reflections on long distance relationships

Reflections on Long Distance Relationships

Today, I’m happy to turn over the blog to Lexi from Lex Be Livin’! Lexi is a wonderful blogger friend that I’ve made, we connected right away and I love reading her blog! She shares great insight on being a new blogger and coping with long distance relationships. She also has a pretty awesome Instagram challenge going on! I’m so excited to have her here to share!

I am so excited to hang out here today! Before we dive in, let me quickly introduce myself. I’m Lexi and I started my blog Lex Be Livin’ about ten weeks ago, so I’m fairly new with all this. I share my blog learning journey, snippets of day-to-day life, preparations for a state move, and I feature other bloggers with my #letsbelivin Instagram challenge.

I knew I wanted to connect with Jackie the moment I read the name of her blog because I can completely relate. When did we become adults and have to deal with all these responsibilities? Along with adulthood comes committed relationships—and mine has a bit of a complicated twist called “long distance.” Yep, we’re one of those couples. My boyfriend and I just celebrated our one-year anniversary and half of that time has been 1,144 miles apart with me in Colorado and him in Northern California. I’ve seen him once in 5 months. It’s quite the emotional rollercoaster and I find myself reflecting on how to cope with the long distance often, doing my best to keep a positive attitude when I would do anything for just a hug from him.

There are so many myths and words of caution, strategies and bits of advice that revolve around long distance relationships. You can research how-to’s, make promises with your significant other, and emotionally prepare yourself as much as you want—truth be told, most of it goes out the window as soon as you hit the first day of your long distance relationship.

Because every couple is as unique as a snowflake and you don’t know how your relationship will reshape until you’re dealing with the long distance every moment of every day. My boyfriend perfectly summed up how to adjust in a long distance relationship: “It’s like you’ve lost one of your five senses. Suddenly you need to sharpen the other four to make up for the one missing.”

Which brings us to a famous communications model. In its simplest interpretation, only 7% of what we’re saying is communicated through the words themselves. 55% attributes to our body language and facial expressions, while 38% of the message pertains to our tone. For those of us in a long distance relationship, it’s one big “Uh-oh, half my message isn’t getting across!”

Remember to take a deep breath, it’ll be okay. There will be obstacles and that is all right. In fact, I believe there should be obstacles because it will give you and your significant other the opportunity to figure out how to overcome the obstacles, whatever they may be. Understanding how to tackle problems together, resolve disagreements, and providing the other with what they emotionally need in the moment is difficult in any relationship and especially challenging when there is so much distance between you two.

Remember to take a step back and strategize what works best for the both of you, your schedules, and how you communicate. It’s a trial-and-error process that requires patience, understanding, and persistence on a two-way street.

Remember you are not alone. I know it feels that way sometimes (trust me, I really do) and it’s like the world is against you and your relationship because the separation is just so unfair. When you feel particularly distant from your loved one, tell them—chances are, they feel the same way.

Remember it is only temporary, however long that period may be. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and once you come out on top, you both will have strengthened your communication skills, learned how to express your love with only four senses (so to speak), and realized you will never, ever let the other one go.

I admit I did not anticipate this guest post to be so serious—I tried to tweak it for a fun spin, but honestly this is one of those situations you can’t laugh about until it’s over. I am overjoyed to announce the end to our long distance phase is, indeed, in sight thanks to a Sacramento job offer I’ve accepted. If your gut is telling you this is the right person for you, and if that love and trust stays intact no matter the miles between you, keep pushing forward. If you want to learn more about my journey coping with long distance, follow along with the links below! Thank you for hosting me today, Jackie!

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