Today he has been in army for exactly one year. He left October 21, 2015. We are still here. We love. We wait. Less days now, I check my countdown every single day. I can’t wait for it to be over.
It’s funny how he says he hates it because I hate it too. He learned a lot of things, some of them he will take with him when he finishes. I learned a lot too. What’s more important is that we both learned to be patient. We learned how to be stronger together and we learned that doesn’t matter how a situation can change us… love will always remind us who we are to each other.
This year has taught us how to love and show it in all ways possible because you don’t know how much time it will pass before you can see or talk to each other. It made us realize that we can’t be without the other. Taught us how to be grateful for every bit of communication that made us feel closer in the distance… even when we are 6000 miles away.
The biggest lesson was knowing that we can do it, but only if we do it together day by day. We are not letting go.
A year ago on this very month I was dreading the inevitable: my bf had to join the military and was leaving in October (2015). The weeks leading to that event weren’t easy for me. I wondered each and every night what my reaction would be when he left. I knew I was going to cry even when I told myself (and him) that it was ok, it was just days.
It wasn’t ok. The day he left we spent the afternoon talking, laughing and trying to convince the other that we weren’t nervous. We failed. I couldn’t stop crying. In fact, I cried for days after he left. I texted him every single night knowing that his phone was off hidden somewhere in his room. I had faith that one of those nights those messages would be marked read.
It wasn’t just days. That first time, I had to wait for weeks. Praying and wishing for him to be safe, in a good place and just waiting for my messages to be marked read. I felt down for weeks and had to get used to the fact that he wasn’t going to be there all the time. He even programmed one of those services that send you an email every day just so he could say that he loved me.
Never underestimate the power of a double check mark in an app. Yeah, I cried the day those messages were marked read right when I was texting. Best feeling ever after so many days.
Time is the best healer. October 2016 will mark a year. Every time he leaves again after “holiday” has gotten a little bit easier. We can text or talk sometimes. I don’t cry anymore. I miss him every single time and I still pray for him to be in good places, with good people, SAFE.
Most of all I think I pray for the day he finishes… my countdown app says that day is Soon. I bet he doesn’t even remember that I still get an email every day at 5:30 am. 😉
A few weeks ago I got a question on Tumblr. It made me think a lot and it took me like 2 days to answer it. Part of it because I was sure that the person knew about my long distance relationship. The other part was that I was asking myself those questions before I gave an answer. I wanted to be fair to the person (and to myself) and give an honest reply.
The next day I was sure I knew who that person was… the last question gave him away. Now it was time to finally answer after learning the shocking truth: When i said the person was right about it being less me.. It’s because in a way I did lost my inspiration and my purpose. He was right.
I didn’t think I was falling out of love. I was (I’m) sure of what i feel. But I guess sometimes we do lose our inspiration and our purpose and then we struggle to get it back. Sometimes it takes someone else to tell you.Someone else to say that you no longer write love letters. That you stopped showing everyone what you feel. That you don’t have those special details for that other person anymore.
You know what they say… People outside can see the smoke before the ones that are burning can feel the fire.
And finally when you do realize everything.. You wonder what happened and how to get back on track. You think about the reasons you started writing in the first place… In my case it was because I felt my mind was going to explode in a million words. Then it became a way to handle my LDR.
Fast forward a few weeks later and I’m still trying to get back on track. Still trying to figure out how to stop writing love letters in my mind.. and the reason.. the reason is YOU.
I think the first thing I wrote was a love letter. I used to do it a lot for friends who needed someone to fall in love with them, while all I wanted was to fall in love with words. I was the one with the romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day and they always seemed to work.
I didn’t write a love letter in quite some time… I guess people doesn’t really need them anymore. I do write the equivalent, some pretty long text messages filled with all kinds of romantic things that Ahmad loves to read (at least someone does). So it was expected that when a fellow blogger did a special in the month of February about love letters I would want to jump in (HERE is the link to her post).
I never shared that letter and after reading it over and over again.. I thought it was time to do so.
Until next time…
Details are important in a relationship. It can be the difference between having a healthy, lasting relationship or getting a ticket to Splitville. Every relationship is different but there are certain things (in my opinion) that can shorten the longest distances.
1. Pet Names: Having a special name for your significant other can be a sweet and unique way to communicate between the 2 of you.
2. Apps, Social Sites, Messages : There are lots of ways to shorten distance. Having an app for you 2 makes it special. Having the same apps to jump between them when one isn’t working is useful. Text and/or call each other daily. That little detail tells the other person you are thinking about them. There is nothing sweeter than waking up/falling asleep to a loving message or better yet, falling asleep together while on video call. If you follow or check each other out (is not stalking if the other one knows, maybe) on social sites be sure to check once in a while, let them know you care. it can be a fun way to leave each other messages that only the 2 of you will know even if they are public. You can use a code word or any other thing to identify your messages. It should be ok to like or comment, lets them know you care and pay attention. Make it funny or neutral if you have to keep it a secret (your relationship shouldn’t be a secret but, oh well); that sends the message “I care about your things”.
3. Talking, Listening & Understanding: Always talk about the way you feel. Listen to each other’s points of view, try to understand. Don’t let arguments or discomforts sit for more than a day. If you don’t think you can do that, think about getting out of the relationship.
4. Dates & Dates: Try to remember special dates or occasions like anniversaries or the months you’ve been together. Try to schedule “special dates” to call each other, play that silly game, watch a movie or do something you enjoy together (yes that includes sex). Those details tell your loved ones how much you care.
5. The Classics: Classics never fail. I Love You or I Miss You are always special when said from the heart. Be there for each other in time of need. Share details with each other but most importantly, find new ways of letting the other know how much he/she is loved…those are the details of LOVE.
“Being away from each other doesn’t mean there has to be distance in the heart”
When it comes to Long Distance Relationships (and everything else in life) everyone has some advice to give. Some of it will even come from people who hasn’t been in a LDR before. We do understand that they do it out of the goodness of their hearts but that doesn’t mean you have to follow through with it. For that reason we should listen and pay attention to what friends or family have to say but we have to choose wisely in terms of what we think it’s the best for us and our relationship.
When I started my relationship, one of the best advice I received was from my best friend at the moment. The funny thing is that he gave it to me to actually discourage me of pursuing a relationship with my now boyfriend. His words still echo inside my mind: The heart doesn’t know about distance. He said the words in order for me to give up, because once I fell in love, we would want to fight for it because after all it wasn’t impossible; there are planes and ways to make it work. With that said, you thought I was going to give up? He just said it was possible! Turns out his reasons were very personal and he was just trying to save me from heartache but his words gave me the push I needed to jump on board the LDR Express.
Because we know that sharing our sadness or talking about what makes us feel down actually makes us feel better, that is the time when we get the most advice from our best friends, close friends and even relatives (everyone you share with will give you the magic solution according to them). That’s exactly when my friend Sean gave me the best advice of all: do something to get the fucking guy. Short like a greeting card but as powerful as a nuclear blast.
His words were and still are the reason why even at my lowest I keep going forward. I do want to get the guy. Every day I work hard on keeping my relationship because I have to do something to get the guy.
In the end, everyone will have something to say. It is our right to choose what we think it’s best for us because we are the ones living with the choices we make day after day. Remember to listen carefully and choose wisely.
To read more about LDR Advice and see the writing prompt that inspired this post, head to the LDRBN site. If you are in a LDR and want to be part of the experience, APPLY HERE. Don’t forget to mention my name Gibran.