Absence makes the heart

Its no secret that I’m in a long distance relationship and while we’re surviving, it hasn’t been easy. The greatest difficulty I’ve personally had to face is finding the balance between doting and being clingy. How do I stay warm1 and be cold enough to remember how to function in my daily life without him? How do you organise a time to talk on the phone or chat online without making it impossible to live your life where you are? How do you stay devoted without becoming a homebody who waits by the phone or computer all day?

It hasn’t been easy and I haven’t found the secret. If I hadn’t been able to see him every few months or so I think I would go crazy or worse yet, forget. Not that I could ever forget him but I’m certain that life would simply get in the way. It doesn’t help that we don’t get to talk often. A five hour difference might not seem like a lot, but its an awkward 5 hours. When I get home from work, he’s in bed. When I get up, he’s at work. During the weekend, when I wake up its the perfect time for him to be doing things. And before he goes to bed, its the perfect time for me to be feeding my social life.

We’re lucky that we have such a great connection that we can always pick up where we left off when we see each other. But I want more, and I hope that these next few months we can talk a little more often that we used to2. Of course, now that we’re talking more often I find myself wanting to speak with him every night!

We hit a bit of a snag late last year. He had just left after his 3 week holiday in August/September, and I was devastated so I buried myself into blogging3. So much so that I stopped replying to his emails on time – and sometimes I didn’t reply at all before he sent me another email. There is no logic involved, but it was as if I was trying to avoid him to avoid feeling hurt.

Thankfully, he called me out on it and snapped me out of it. If he hadn’t done so, and had just let it go it could have well been the end for us. But he cared enough to call me out on it, and I cared enough to listen. As I’ve said, I haven’t figured out the secret but if there is anything I’ve learnt that I would like to pass on to anyone else who is crazy enough to try this long distance thing: You can’t forget how good it feels to hurt. It may hurt but its worth how good it feels when the hurt stops long enough for you to feel how great your love is.

Do you think absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Footnotes:
  1. emotionally[]
  2. and so far, so good[]
  3. and the social networking that goes along with it[]

responses to “Absence makes the heart” 13

  1. It was terribly hard on me during the time my husband was in Germany. Like you and your sweetie, his day started as mine ended,and worse, he didn’t have internet access during that month and a half. My social life is limited, so making time to phone him wasn’t as hard, but it did get expensive! I’m truly glad he’s home now and not planning any more long trips!

    I think you are doing a lot of things right in your relationship. I do hope that you guys can get together soon!

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  2. I understand what you go through – organizing the time to talk online.It sometimes take control of my life. I can’t do anything anymore like go outside to do some shopping or whatever.

    But I also think it is okay to be apart sometimes. It truly makes the heart grow ponder. I know that from experience because my husband goes at least 6 times a year for a week of business meetings abroad. When he comes back – it’s really good coz we see how much we’ve missed each other.

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  3. oh man, I dont know if she would like that! LOL.

    I will tell you this though. When she left me for the first time for an extended period, I looked forward to all the letters she wrote (yes, she wrote letters instead of emails) and all the time we spent together on the phone.

    When she finally came home and I KNEW she was back for good… WOW!

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  4. I have a difficult time imagining myself in your position. I find it hard to go even just a few days without him around. I do think some absence does make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes you take things for granted when they are right there in front of you.

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  5. @trench: You know I would love to hear more stories about you and your wife. Would you ever consider writing a guest post for my blog… to tell us maybe how you met or when you knew you fell in love with her? Or when you knew you would spend the rest of your life with her??? 😀

    @Ann: Thanks so much for sharing with me. It makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone feeling this way, and that its normal.

    @Lyndi: He’s set to come here in May; hopefully that will be all the resolving that this issue needs!

    @Web-Betty: I didn’t think I ever could either… but love makes you do silly things doesn’t it? He’s coming in May, maybe for a Holiday but hopefully for a few years 🙂

    @AmeriGlide: You’re so right. Its a real special thing that we have, and I’m so glad neither of us are taking it for granted! I’m happy for you though that you’ve never been in a long distance relationship where you absolutely couldn’t see each other – its hard!

    @Penny: Oh Penny, hehe I knew you’d be able to relate. Yes I know you don’t have the whole time difference thing but its still hard for you to see each other whenever you want. Glad its all working for you too!

  6. I remember you telling me that your boyfriend helped you to overcome that phase, luckily I think I did too. But wow it interferes with my life so much and I don’t even have a time difference! I just really want a routine and I begin one then it gets broken. aaarrgh! I understand what you mean about hurting though. Last time my boyfriend left I did hurt and I was so glad, because I hadn’t been feeling it for so long and, yes, it made my heart grow fonder! hehe

  7. I have never been in a serious long distance relationship, however I once dated someone who worked two jobs. Sometimes I only got to see her for a few hours a week, despite living in the same city, so it oft felt like a long distance relationship.

    I am glad you were able to work out your rough spell. It says a lot about your relationship that your boyfriend made the effort to help “snap” you out of it. The easy and comfortable thing probably would have been to do nothing.

  8. I would hate to be in the position you find yourself in. You seem to be coping though and as you say, the relationship is still strong. I am holding thumbs that somehow this situation resolves itself pretty quickly.

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  9. Totally understand how you feel. Before my husband and I got married, and whenever I return “home” to visit family, it was hard being apart. Being 5k miles/8k kilometers and seven hours time difference wasn’t easy. Trying to “arrange” one’s day around the time difference is not exactly easy, it does feel like one has to “sacrifice” a bit in order to be able to chat/talk to the other half. Found though if one sets a limit, for example, one to two hours a day, specifically for chatting/talking to the other half, you’re still able to talk to the other person, but not at the total expense of giving up your other daily needs.

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