The truth is that, I say I hate it sometimes, when in reality I hate it all the time (constantly)…
I hate it the most when I’m doing things I know he(she) would enjoy. I hate it when I want to feel a little extra loved. I hate it when there are things going on but we can’t physically be there for each other. Or the times when I’m sitting on my bed alone and I just wonder how different it would be if we were together. I hate distance, I hate missing the one I love. Honestly I think there is always a time that I hate it. (except when I get to talk to him(her) or I when I know the time is getting super short like days or weeks)
The truth about long distance is that it’s hard. It will always be hard (yes there are ways that you can deal with it but it doesn’t make it easy, just a little more bearable.) People will always have something negative to say (yup there is always that person), you’ll always want the person you love a little closer or there with you. They never leave you’re mind that’s for sure. The truth is that you’ll always have something that reminds you of them with you, as a way of having them there. You won’t always find someone that will understand what your going through (but that’s ok there’s always the LDR community or your other half trust me the know what you’re feeling). You’ll feel that long distance hits you hard on somedays, harder than usual. Tears: happy or sad, oh trust me they exist in long distance.
Now in all honestly the truth about long distance, the one that isn’t like anything els I said. I’ll tell you what the truth about long distance is; that all the love that I have for THE ONE is what keeps me going with this long distance. The way that I feel when I’m with him (her), all the happy tears and all the smiles that he puts on my face are what keep me going. It’s the love that keeps a long distance relationship strong. Yes of course there are other things but, if you don’t have love as a base you can’t have the other things that make LDRs strong.
If your reading this you may be able to relate or you’re probably in an LDR (maybe not). But I want you to know that whether you’re waiting on him or her all the negative things we hate about LD it will never beat the LOVE that we have for them. Continue to stay strong and know your not alone, they miss you and need you too.
Learn how to be totally independent. You have to be able to support yourself physically, mentally, and (especially) emotionally. In order for you to be able to support your soldier, you have to take care of yourself. Keep yourself busy with your job, school, hobbies, or family. It is important for you to have a life of your own.
Learn how to keep a secret. Do not share any information that could possibly be used against anyone in the military. This means no precise countdowns on when he’s coming home, no information on current projects or deployments, and absolutely no locations. The internet is not a place to talk about his job.
Learn how to fill out a US Customs sheet at the post office. This isn’t really a big deal. The post office employees are generally very nice when it comes to military packages, but be sure to have his address on hand and a detailed list of the package’s contents. Also know what therestrictions are on sending military packages.
Add a personal touch to care packages. Sure he might have asked for socks and stamps, but don’t be afraid to add a few personal items. Pictures, handwritten letters, books, mixed CDs (if he has a way to play them), and other reminders of times you’ve had together are great. But make sure these items are morale boosters, and remember that he will have very limited space to store these items (he may even have to carry them).
Learn the acronyms. After about five minutes of talking to any military personnel about their time in the military, you’re likely to hear at least 20 acronyms. It helps to bridge the gap between his military and civilian life if you have an idea of what he’s talking about. Don’t be afraid to ask because showing a genuine interest helps to prove your dedication to supporting him.
Look your best when he comes back. Don’t worry too much about this because you will most likely look beautiful to him no matter what after a months of being away from each other, but remember he has most likely been talking about you during his deployment or training to all of his friends. So it only makes sense for you to present yourself well when he comes back. And if you know he has a favorite outfit, wear it! Take pride in yourself to give him someone to be proud of.
Learn how to swallow your own problems (temporarily). Try to remember that you’re boyfriend might be in a stressful environment, and those 5 minutes out of the day that he gets to talk to you shouldn’t be spent on you rehashing every detail of your fight with your best friend. There is a time and a place for you to vent your problems to him. Keep things light until you have a chance to talk to him for an extended period of time, but always end on a good note.
Learn military time. In the military, there is no such thing as 5 pm, it’s 1700. And understand that he isn’t allowed to be late to anything. Be considerate of what he is used to and try to be ready 15 minutes early even if you’re going to a non-military function.
Boost his confidence. It can be difficult for soldiers to see the big picture and the consequences of their actions sometimes. It helps to remind him of how many people his actions helped save or how important what he did is. And if he tells you about a commendation he receives, make a big deal out of it even if you don’t fully understand it. Awards, coins, promotions, and compliments from superiors all deserve congratulations from you. He’s working extremely hard, so be proud of him!
Don’t make him feel guilty. Be careful to not make your soldier feel bad for being away from you. And guilt-tripping him just to get something in return is a huge DON’T in any type of relationship. Remind him (and yourself) that what he’s doing will better your lives together and try to keep your mind on the goals you two have set (financial stability, education, marriage, family, serving your country, etc.).
Avoid disturbing material. News and information on military tragedy can turn the most logical person into a sobbing mess. Avoid military news, movies, books, documentaries, etc. as much as possible. And when you do hear about a military-related tragedy, remember that you’re only hearing about the most extreme cases and most of the time these examples will be totally unrelated to your soldier.
And remind yourself of why you’re with him! Talk with him as much as possible, reread old letters and emails, flip through your old pictures with him, and focus on the good times you had together. Remember that deployments and training are temporary. Believe it or not, deployment (if done correctly) will strengthen your relationship and make the time you have together ten times more valuable. You will be back together with your soldier soon enough!
The hardest part of it all is watching him walk away again at the end of the day. Knowing he’s leaving again. Saying “see you later” each and every time, hoping with each one, you’ll never have to say it again. When they leave and you watch them, helplessly, tears streaming down your face, that’s the hard part. The part no one tells you about. The part that tears you to pieces. But there’s always another reunion, sometime down the road, that keeps you going. Another chance of seeing them again which makes you get up in the morning. The knowledge that you’ll once again be in their arms after the wait which eases you to sleep at night. It’s not an easy life but it’s the one I’ve chosen and wouldn’t trade for anything.