On Making it Work Long-Distance

Over the five and half years that Patrick and I have been together we've had two extended periods of time where we were in a “long-distance” relationship. The first was when we were dating/engaged before Patrick moved from Seattle to join me in Washington DC. And the second is now. You may have been wondering why I spend so much time in Oregon? It’s because Patrick works in Portland full-time.

For us, living apart is a choice that we made (and continue to make) based on a desire to establish our careers and be close to family in Seattle. I joke with Patrick sometimes that “we never chose the easy way” because we tend to seek out adventure and have a high tolerance for risk in our lives. Sometimes this works out well and we high-five each other for living life by our own rules. And sometimes life gets really hard and we have to push through to achieve an outcome that we are committed to.

Keeping in mind that we are by no means experts (nor do we want to be-- ugh), here are a few things we’ve learned along the way:

Funny faces during FaceTime :)
-  Be intentional about the time we do spend together. Because we only are together on the weekends, it’s easy for all of our time to get filled with social engagements, family dinners, happy hours with friends, etc, etc. It is essential that we block time for just the two of us since we don’t get this on the weekdays. We’ve tried to spend one entire weekend a month just the two of us (Cannon Beach and the Willamette Valley were two of my favorites!).

- We both hate talking on the phone and Patrick is not a fan of Skype but we have learned that consistent Skyping/FaceTiming/phone calls are a must. Sharing the little details of each other’s day can feel mundane but is really what keeps us connected throughout the work week apart. Patrick does love FaceTiming with Rafa (our kitty) though, go figure. ;)

- Recoginze when you’re overwhelmed. Sometimes I start to get annoyed and short with Patrick and unless I take a step back and can acknowledge, “yes, this is hard and it’s getting to me” I tend to let things bottle up. It is HARD living apart and it's good to keep some perspective.

Patrick put this up on the bulletin board.

- Have a sense of humor about it. It's important to not have every conversation be super serious or "planning" for future activities since we don't get to have as many of them as we'd like. One thing I love about P is his ability to keep things light and make me laugh even when things get rough.

I’m fresh out of new ideas at this point though, would LOVE to hear any tips from you all out there about how to keep a relationship strong from far away!

1 comment

  1. My darling and me have a long distance relationship since we get a couple in 2010. Although we do come from the same little town here in Austria, we see each other only at the weekends. I'm studying in 160 km away from home city and he has a good job near to our home town. I really accord do you that phoning and keeping in touch is really important. We also want to have some WE-time at the weekends. Daten ights like going to the cinema or a fine restaurant and also having "intern" date nights... I really love it when he sends text messages to me with sweet words. And I also love it, when we leave some messages in the flat/shoe/bag of each other.. I'm a bit cheesy and want to save all these little things... But I've to say, that I'm the one who is sending more text messages and leaving more messages. But I know he loves me, so it is okay.

    (sorry for the faults and my bad english... I'm way better in german (what a wonder))