Open when you love someone in the military, and are dating Long Distance…
I know there are days when it hurts so much to be away from the one you love. There is that painful ache that never quite leaves your chest. You would do anything just to hear their voice. I know the painful sting of jealousy when you see other couples call and text each other throughout the day, and you haven’t heard from yours for a week. I know the struggle of searching for deals on plane tickets while trying to pay off your bills. I know about the nights where you cry yourself to sleep, longing for the day they will be beside you. I know, too, about the frustration you feel when others question your relationship. “Why are you doing this? How can they expect you to wait so long? Are you sure this is the one?”
Yes, you are sure. You know this love is true. Right now, it is just being tested by distance.
No, friend, you aren’t crazy. You certainly aren’t weak. You are surviving a challenge that many people could not. This stage is only temporary. You have the rest of your lives to enjoy your relationship.
I know all too well the ache of a long distance relationship. My husband and I dated long distance for 7 years before we were finally able to get married. A combination of me going to college, him at distant duty stations, and combat deployments kept us apart during that time. Yes, it was frustrating and exhausting. But we survived. And now that we have been married for 9 years, we can look back and say that those years weren’t so bad. They strengthened our relationship for the deployments and challenges of being married to a service member. You, too, can get through this long distance stage. You can do it the same way we did.
How to get through long distance relationships in the military
- Write letters: every day or week you are apart. We learned a lot about each other in our letters, and we still have them today!
- Find creative ways to celebrate birthdays and holidays: mail a special gift, make something sentimental, or plan a surprise visit. Military life will show you that great distances can’t stop great love.
- Use all the technology! Know your communication options, then find an app or schedule that works for you. Whether you send each other memes and Snapchat stories, plan weekly Skype dates, or write a good morning text, those rituals will strengthen your friendship and help you both feel loved across the miles.
- Don’t rely on your lover for everything. Fill your life with other positive people and hobbies you enjoy. Focusing on things you love helps distract from the pain of long distance and keeps you positive.
- Find support: From other military significant others or from civilian friends, you need a support group who will have your back on those rough days and make you dinner or take you out for coffee until you feel like yourself again. (Like my free FB group for Deployment Support, which you can find here.)
- Sometimes, you have to forget about the cost. We saved up for plane tickets at least once or twice a year. I couldn’t always find a great deal, but spending a few days together was still worth it. It was a lot of money when I was a student. Nevertheless, I believe investing in your future together is worth it!
I want you to know that even though the distance is hard right now, you can do this! Hang in there, and stay positive. Someday, I hope you will be celebrating your 10th or 50th anniversary together, and you can look back at these years with a smile. Until then, stay strong, my friend. You are so much stronger than you know.
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