Throughout my entire relationship with Alex, I’ve always had a recurring sense of things just falling into place – of the stars aligning. We met on Hinge and the first thing he said to me was something along the lines of, “Wow, you are SO out of my league it’s laughable”. We’re currently living on opposite sides of the country, which isn’t ideal. But I thought it might be helpful for any of you out there struggling with the same thing if I wrote about surviving – and thriving in – a long distance relationship.
But first, a bit of our dating back story.
I ended up having to cancel our first date because my dog died. To keep busy, that weekend my sister and I went to Cherokee, NC for a little weekend getaway. She decided she wanted to go white water rafting at Nantahala Outdoor Center. And guess who worked there as a raft guide? Yup, Alex.
When I told my sister who the hot rafting guide was, and that we were supposed to go on a date earlier in the week, she basically forced me to text him right then and ask to meet up that night.
I’m not usually the one to make plans or ask a guy out – but I said YOLO and did it anyway. 😉
We ended up deciding to meet at a casino in town (because that’s the only thing that was open late). I got there before Alex and he called me when he arrived to ask where I was. Mind you, it was a MASSIVE place. I asked him “what do you see? What’s around you?” He started naming off places that I didn’t see, so I finally asked him “do you see a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse?” He didn’t.
Turns out, there are TWO casinos called Harrah’s in the area. He was – you guessed it – at the other location. An hour away. He was SO mad at himself, but determined to meet me that night. He drove an hour to see me at the RIGHT casino, and to this day he still says I was so worth the drive. We spent the evening having an amazing casino date and totally hit it off.
The next day my sister and I went white water rafting, and it was so cool getting to see Alex in his element. (Not to mention how HOT he looked. lolol!)
At the beginning stages of our dating life together, we lived 2 hours apart. Being in a long distance relationship is a hard decision, but it’s ultimately worth it.
He now lives and works on a ranch in Mesa, Arizona. He used to live in AZ when he was younger, and he’s always wanted to go back. So he jumped at the opportunity and took a job working at a beautiful ranch, and 2 weeks later we were loading up his car and driving across the country.
I flew to Richmond to spend Thanksgiving with him and his family. The day after Thanksgiving we hit the road – it took us 32 hours over the span of 4 days to reach the Ranch. But there’s honestly no one else I’d rather drive across the country with.
After a long road trip and only a few days together in Arizona, I caught a flight back home to North Carolina. Saying goodbye was SO hard because I had no idea when I’d see him again. We’ve always been long distance but never THIS long distance.
Surviving – and thriving in – a long distance relationship definitely takes some adjusting and sacrifice. But it’s totally worth it.
Here are some tips to make the distance seem a little less – and keep your relationship happy and thriving.
My advice to thriving in a long distance relationship:
1.Visit each other whenever possible.
I get that traveling is expensive and can be difficult (especially right now!). But prioritizing trips to see each other is so important. Two months after Alex moved out to Arizona, I found a cheap flight and we celebrated our anniversary, birthdays, and Valentine’s day all rolled into one.
You can use sites like Hopper or Scott’s Cheap Flights to get good deals on airfare, or even look at staying in (or buying!) a trailer or tiny house to save some money on accommodation.
2. Schedule Facetime or phone calls.
Have consistently scheduled day and time to either Facetime or chat on the phone. Whether it’s Wednesdays at 8pm or first thing Saturday morning, when it’s scheduled then you always have something to look forward to.
3. Watch TV together.
Start a movie/Netflix show at the same time and stay on the phone together. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it’s a fun phone date to have! (No cheating and binging the whole series without your S.O., though!)
4. Steal each other’s shirts.
Either purposely leave behind or take with you things that smell like each other. Grab one of his sweatshirts to cuddle up in, or let them steal your fave blanket to use at bedtime.
5. Send them memes every day.
This one is pretty self explanatory! Keep it light, make them smile, and be the person that brightens their day.
6. Practice good communication – despite the long distance.
It’s so important to be open with each other. It’s obviously difficult when you don’t have an opportunity to talk every single day, but the more you can share about what’s going on in your life and how you’re feeling, the stronger your relationship will be.
Here are some ways to practice good communication:
- Write secret letters and notes! Hide a hand-written note when you’re with each other, in a place that they won’t discover until after you’ve returned home
- Find creative ways to fulfill the other’s love language (you can take the 5 Love Languages Quiz together to find out how you can appreciate and love on each other!)
- Be intentional with the words you speak to each other. Choose your words carefully and always infuse your messages, notes, and emails with a smile.
5. Don’t waste time.
Don’t waste a second of time that you have together. Whether it’s in person, Skype or video chat, or even on the phone – make it count. Especially with everything that’s been going on lately, make the most of the time that you have together. If you can’t physically be together because of distance, then make the most of your time when you’re able to connect online.
Being in a long distance relationship can be challenging. But if you can be intentional about the time you spend together, and make each other feel special, then no distance can keep you apart.
I hope you enjoyed reading about me, my man, and how I make the best of a difficult situation. If you have any other tips or advice about long distance relationships, I’d love to hear it! You can comment below, contact me, or come comment and follow along on Instagram! xo