Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When Your Partner is Long Distance or Travels: My Survival Guide

The first eight months I was dating Nick, we were long distance. I lived in SC, and he lived in NC, although he was rarely home since he travels for his job.
In March of 2012, Nick bought a house where I live, and shortly after I moved in. However, he is gone almost every week Monday-Friday, and occasionally weekends as well.
I've found a few ways of coping that work for me and I thought I would write them down, if for no other reason than that I can read them later and remember this season of our life.
If you can, make a friend with a long distance or traveling significant other. It's not always easy to make friends as an adult, but if you are lucky enough to find such a friend, they are worth their weight in gold. My friendship with my friend Melanie has been extremely helpful. I met Melanie freshman year of college, and knew her casually until we were both bridesmaids in a wedding, and I got to know her better. Like Nick, her husband travels for work. It's nice to have a friend that just gets it. We check in with each other and meet at the gym, and that really helps me to keep from feeling lonely.
Having pets helps tremendously when you spend a lot of time solo. I never feel like I am alone when Nick is gone because I'm not-our little zoo {two dogs and a cat} keeps me company. Having a German Shepherd makes me feel a lot safer when I am home alone.
Give yourself things to look forward to. Whether it's something with your partner when they return or seeing a friend, having something you are excited about lifts your spirits. If Nick is away during the weekend, I try to make plans with girlfriends or go spend the weekend at my Mom's.
Take advantage of your time alone to have me time, watch chick flicks, and do other things that you don't do when your significant other is around. I get Chinese takeout when Nick isn't home, because he doesn't like it.
Keep in touch and keep each other as updated on your everyday life as you can. I find this helps to avoid a disconnected feeling. I send Nick texts and pictures of Yadi all the time. He couldn't be home on Halloween, so we used Facetime so he could see the dogs "helping" me hand out candy, and I got a few trick-or-treaters to wave at him.
Try to be as flexible as you can. For those of us that are routine oriented that might not come naturally, but learning to roll with the punches is part of life. After we had been dating about three months, Nick had to open a plant in Douglas GA and spent a lot of time there, including weekends. I would pack up Trinket and go down there for the weekend. There was nothing to do there, but we made our own fun! We've also met in the middle for a weekend when he's been out of town for work.
Learn to be independent. This isn't very hard for me because I was single, and not even dating, for a long time before Nick. However, I've gotten over some of my prissy ways and learned to drive Nick's truck and cut grass. Those things have been helpful to us both.
Don't listen to negativity. We all know nay-sayers. I had a {now ex} friend tell me she thought Nick "wasn't into the relationship" when I was driving to Georgia every weekend because I was going to him and he wasn't coming here. Um, he was working. People also tell me "I wouldn't like it if my man was gone a lot" and "How can you stand that?". Rude.
Don't complain or make your partner feel bad about leaving you. Yes, sometimes it can be easy to pout, especially if you are a brat like me. However, I have never cried when Nick's left, and I try not to wallow or feel bad for myself.
I would love to hear how you deal with your long distance relationship or traveling significant other. Comment and let me know!  


  1. LOVE THIS, I love how honest you are! You have such a great outlook too!

  2. Love these tips! I have some friends who have really made the long distance thing work too, and it's worked very well for them. PS - I didn't realize I wasn't following your blog until today SO SORRY love!

  3. I admire you for sharing your story here. Is his Monday-Friday schedule (if you don't my asking) temporary or seasonal? Or a permanent part of the job?