His Version: So Close, Yet So Far
If you are unaware, my wife and I do not live with each other. This is not by choice. Being in the military, you don’t have much of a say in where you live or when you’ll be gone. I’d say the majority of our relationship has been apart. When we lived in Washington, we were six hours apart because of her college. After she graduated and returned to our home town, I deployed for 6 months. And before I returned from my second deployment the next year, she moved to Germany. Now, we are both living in South Korea but we are still a 3 hour drive apart. This is the best living situation we’ve had for some time now.
But distance is not entirely a bad thing. Distance can help keep your relationship fresh! Since we spent a majority of our time apart, we tend to cherish our time together. Not a minute is wasted and we make the most of our time when we are together (unless our plans for that day is to just be lazy and watch Netflix). It’s always easy to come up with things to do when your time is limited, but what can you do in order to keep the love alive when you’re apart? There’s plenty.
When we were in Washington, I spent ¾ of my time either deployed or training in another state. During our short talks she would always complain about being too busy to do anything, even too busy to eat! So, I’d order food to her place without her knowing. What kind of food? Her favorite of course! Pizza! Who doesn’t love pizza? I’ve done this even while deployed overseas. I would order pizza through an app and have it delivered to her door whenever I wanted. In the special requests, I’d always ask them to draw or leave little messages for her on the inside of the box. It’s the little details that show you’ve put some extra thought into it.
Bedtime stories! Bedtime stories!
We are typically never in the same time zone. And if we are, we are usually on different shifts. I’d be on nights while she was on days and vis versa. Our talks would usually be when someone is going to bed, while one just wakes up. We one day decided to tell one continuous bedtime story, when I say continuous, as in we have built a story so in depth that we are still telling story today. It’s usually about our stuff toy, Ninja, or our hedgehog, Oshwald. They travel the world, fight the bunny cartel, and sell bunny flour. The use of our imagination together helps us build lots of inside jokes and make us always look forward to bedtime. Eventually, we want to turn them into children’s books. Well, maybe adult children books similar to the ones at Urban Outfitters do to it’s content.
Snail Mail – The Future of Communication
Texting, calls, and skype are a staple of all long-distance relationships. For us, it’s a daily routine. All our time outside of work is spent on some form of communication. We even sleep on Skype so it feels like we’re sleeping together. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish every moment I spend talking to my wife. But it’s nothing special. Remember that feeling when email first came out and you were super excited that someone messaged you? Or when video calls were suddenly a thing and everyone wanted to be in the same chat room. You can make every message you send to your spouse have that same effect. How? Through snail mail! It’s so easy to communicate now-a-days that no one puts the extra thought into actually mailing your loved ones something. Since we both travel so much, we always buy postcards from all the different places that we’ve been and send them to each other, just to show that they’re still in our thoughts even when we’re apart. That’s something a text can’t live up to.
I’m sure there’s plenty of other ways you can show someone you love them, these are just the a few samples of what works for us. If you have any other ideas that can help shorten the distance, let us know and leave it in the comments! We’d love to try it ourselves and it could help one of your fellow readers! Thanks for reading and good luck!