Matt was spot on when he said long distance dating stinks. Friends, there is no sugar-coating it, it IS hard! There were times it hurt a lot because I missed Matt a lot. Times when it felt like that season of being far away from each other would never come to an end. And then times when I would cry because of either one of those.
BUT there are some areas of long-distance dating that give you an even greater opportunity to grow closer together. The big one; Communication. Matt and I choose to be proactive and work hard to become really strong in this area. It was hard and it did take extra effort, but it was so worth it! Working hard at it together and then getting to experience the great growth in our relationship was straight up awesome. Here are some things we learned:
Have a plan. Schedule regular and as consistent as possible times that you know you will get to talk each day. By doing so you prevent those unsaid, unmet expectations and you have a time you both have a time you know you can look forward to. There will be days where there just isn't a whole lot to talk about. One couple who are friends of ours recommended that each day we both share a triumph and a trial. That was one of those “groundbreaking” things in our relationship. Doing so we got to learn a lot about one another and even more importantly; it gave us the opportunity to know at a deeper level how to pray for each other.
Get creative with how you communicate. Matt and I would often switch up how we got to talk to each other each day. Skype, Google Hangout, Face Time… All are great ways to switch it up and not only get to just hear each others voices, but also get to see each other. We also wrote lots of letters! These were always really sweet and memorable. I would read and re-read Matt’s letters to me over and over. They brought a lot of joy. :) Write letters even if you’re not long distance dating (it can be a lot of fun)!
Those “usual” times you talk, keep those interesting, too! Even though we were in different places we still had dates. Matt was so good about asking me out on fun dates over Skype like dessert dates where we would each meet with a dessert in hand to enjoy at the same time while we talked. We also had game night dates together while Skyping. It was fun to find all the different games we could play together online (we mostly played scrabble). Another long distance date we had was movie night. This was when I was sick, camped out on the couch, and not talking much! Matt upgraded to Skype Premium allowing us to both see each other and the movie on our computer screens. It does come with a small cost, but you could also, if you both have the movie, start it at the same time and watch it together on your own TV’s.