Friday, March 23, 2012

What Long Distance Taught Me

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1 year, 4 months, and a day since we first met.

Those years, months, and days don't seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things considering I've been alive for almost 24 years now. But knowing that we have not only loved one another, but worked hard to grow together as a couple from a distance makes me feel incredibly grateful.
My parents dated long distance when they first started out, and it wasn't until 3 years later when they were married that they lived together in the same city. I admire them. They've been happily married for more than 25 years, and I know that M and I were meant to start out this way. Because we love each other and want to be together, it forced us to grow up and helped me change.
I never thought that one person could have a big enough place in my heart to make me want to be better, not just for him, but for myself. So here are some of the many things that I learned about me, continue to work on, and try to improve.

1. I dropped my passive aggressive habits. For a long time, I was (and still can be) extremely passive aggressive. But acting that way does not solve problems, and it's even harder to deal with someone acting this way from a distance. So instead of pretending like something's fine, even when it's not, I forced myself to communicate.
2. Communication is probably the biggest thing I learned about what a healthy relationship needs to thrive. If something bothered me, I would tell him. If something I liked happened, I would tell him. If something upset me or hurt my feelings, I would tell him. If I needed something different or more, I would tell him. This was not easy, and I still struggle with it, but I continue to communicate.
3. Along with communication came the promise of never lying to him. No matter how big or small, I promised I would not lie. And so, I haven't lied. I haven't said "I'm fine," if I'm not. And I haven't told him that I wanted to do something, if I didn't. Honesty is a major key.
4. I get disappointed far too easily, especially when it came to seeing (or not seeing) M. And it would always send me into lots of tears. This isn't something I'm proud of, but it's something that makes me who I am. The amount that I feel heightened And being in a long distance relationship helped me embrace those feelings instead of trying to stuff them away.

There are many other things that I've learned along the way, and I will continue to learn, but these were the front runners. Compromise, honesty, communication, trust, and love are those major things in life that can make many miles not seem so far away. Fortunately, I get to see my M every day now, but I'm grateful that we had this learning process too.
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25 comments:

Erin said...

Hi! I'm a new follower- found you from Emily's blog and your guest post. I was in a long-distance relationship for a year and can completely attest to how much you grow as a person. Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

xox
Erin

erin--elizabeth.blogspot.com

lil desiqua said...

I agree completely. C and I did the long distance thing for about a year and a half. I really dislike it, but it definitely gave me the time and space to mature a little bit and helped us learn those very things you mentioned!

Happy Friday!

Natalie said...

What a great post about communication and relationships...long distance is never easy but if you make it through it you really grow stronger and learn a lot. Have a great weekend Amanda!

Claire said...

I'm learning a lot in our little "mini-long distance" saga right now too!

Ruthie Hart said...

Jon and I did long distance for 9 months my senior year of college and there are so many things I wish I would have known now that we are married to do back then! Long distance is a butt kicker but it is SO worth it. I remember finishing up my finals and driving with my car packed full back to Austin in tears knowing the distance was over!

Kristin said...

Because of our Army life, we're long distance way too often. These relationships take a lot of work, but are so worth it. Congratulations on ending the long distance part of your relationship!

amy b.s. said...

long distance is so hard, but it's exciting that you are continuing to learn from your relationship in the same location now!

sherri lynn said...

You've learned some really good things since you've been together - which I'm sure have laid a great foundation for you two! caleb and I dated and were engaged long distance... when we got married we were finally living together and in the same town! I think it was really good for us, though, because being long distance really does force you to communicate SO much. I think that because of our long distance we've always had pretty good communication.

poptartyogini said...

The entire time king Louie and I dated it was long distance. We didn't live in the same state until we got married. You definitely develop a respect for your time together. I'm still working on the passive aggressive thing. Sometimes it just comes flying out of me!!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

My daughter was in a long distance relationship for 3.5 years so I saw the good and bad in it. You're so right that it takes a lot of work.

DWei said...

That's pretty awesome of you. To have fixed (or at least tried) so many things within a span of a year and a bit.

Jess said...

I love that you are introspective. I think that is incredibly important in becoming a better person and mate. :)

Janna Renee said...

This is so sweet Hun! You guys are going about things in the right way, and you are only going to get stronger <3

Nathan said...

Aww, how sweet. I've been happily together with my girlfriend for almost as long as you now, minus a couple months.

Mademoiselle Michael said...

Really: so proud of you. Tremendous work that will last a lifetime.

Jess said...

I admire you for not only being in a long distance relationship but using it to learn and gain insight from it to better yourself and your relationship. Glad everything is going great that ya'll are together and no longer living long distance.

HayleyKiah @Classy In KC said...

I think these are all important lessons for people in long distance relationships and ones that can be together all the time. It's amazing that someone you love can change you for the better!
I gave you an award on my blog! http://classyinkc.blogspot.com/2012/03/sunshine-award.html

Deidre said...

I feel very similar. IC was/is(?) my first real boyfriend and when we first started going out, I promised myself I'd be honest and tell him if he was annoying me or communicate what I was feeling - and stop being passive aggressive (well try...). It'll always be a work in progress, but man is it helpful :)

Beth Dunn said...

I so hear you on the passive aggressive thing. It doesn't work well with a partner.
xoxo
SC

SM said...

yes communication is very important

Brhea {NoPlaceLykeHome} said...

My husband and I spent 4 years long distance - some of which I lived overseas... You have the opportunity to have many real conversations and to truly get to know one another when you only have your words to communicate!

I am excited to be your newest blog follower :)

Molly Jac said...

I agree 500 percent on all of these. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Megan said...

Such great lessons, especially about communication! I have learned a lot about it in marriage. I am not a very good communicator because I just want to pout!

Mariel Torres said...

... and I couldn't agree with you more darling. Sean and I are going into three years next week of dating long distance and even more than that since we met. It's been an incredible (and at times difficult) journey but it has taught us to never take each other for granted. He's just so worth it.

Brittany said...

This is SUCH an encouraging post!!!! <3 <3