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What I Wish I Knew Before Starting an LDR

Before starting my relationship, I seriously gave it some thought... a couple months’ worth of thought but I think I already knew my answer right after our first date. My boyfriend and I went on our first date about a week before he shipped out for the Navy so I really did not have much time to get to know him in person.  It was all through letters, texts and phone calls for the most part.  And not only was this going to be a long distance relationship but a military one on top of that.

So, I googled. I researched all I could about long distance relationships and what being a Navy girlfriend meant. Because of all my research, I think I was pretty well prepared for the whole long distance military thing but there are still a few things I wish were emphasized more about this type of relationship.

He’s busy, you’re busy and sometimes that doesn’t always work out

I knew he’d be busy and I know my crazy work schedule and I had school.  I was aware of that when considering this relationship. But I really didn’t think about the emotional effect that has on a person, especially someone like me. It sounds kind of obnoxious but I like attention. I like when my partner talks to me all day and calls. I just figured that whenever he was busy I would keep myself busy and just get over the fact that I wasn’t getting as much attention as I would in a regular old relationship.

But it’s not easy to just get over something that is a natural want or need.  I’m slowly learning how to deal with our conflicting schedules and I feel like it is actually a good thing for me to learn. It wouldn’t have changed my decision but I wish I better prepared myself for how often our busy schedules would clash and what effect that would have on me.

Distance really does make the heart grow fonder

No lie. When you have found the right person, the distance makes the love stronger.  When I first started I figured the love would be weakened.  There’s so much distance and there’s not a lot of time spent actually being together. How could a relationship ever grow like that?

Simple.  All the time leading up to seeing each other is spent missing them while still getting to know them. There is an intense longing and all of this builds and builds until the partners finally see each other and then it explodes. There is so much happiness and love when everything comes together.  So, trust me when I say that if you’ve found the right partner distance can be a blessing, not a curse.


You have to love extra hard

Because of the distance, however, you have to love a little extra to make it all work. Only putting in fifty percent will not have a good outcome. Distance means putting together packages, sending letters, tons of texts, lots of planning and a lot of commitment. It takes more time and commitment to go that extra mile.

In relationships, people need both physical and emotional attention. An LDR is no different but a little creativity is needed. Say something tragic happens. There’s no way to give them a hug or make sure they eat. So, thinking outside of the box is required. Order them a pizza to make sure they eat. Send a funny, obnoxious card or some flowers to let them physically know you are thinking of them. Be there without physically being there.

LDRs are your wallet’s worst enemy

Plane tickets are expensive. Hotels are expensive. I realized that way before I ever considered being in a long distance relationship, however, I never took it into consideration when thinking about if I wanted that kind of relationship or not.

Taking a vacation, even if it’s only a couple hours away, takes a lot of time and can be costly. Especially if you are a college kid drowning in school loans, car payments and rent while pulling three jobs.

You have to plan things far in advance, figure out work schedules, figure out money situations, plan around your partner’s schedule, watch gas prices, airline ticket prices, bus prices and that’s just the beginning of it. And obviously you want to see your significant other all the time so this process happens frequently which really affect the bank account.

In my eyes, of course, it is worth every penny. Seeing them and also getting to travel to a new location is very good for the soul.

Now, understand that if I had known or thought a little bit more about these things before jumping into my LDR it still wouldn’t have changed my mind. There is really nothing surprising or shocking about being in an LDR that you don’t already think about before starting one.  The most important thing to consider is how much you love someone and if that sacrifice is worth that love.

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