Quality not Quantity
The Distance Between Hearts
As most of you know, Allen is over the road and I stay home. I was with him on the truck for three years. Three years of 24/7 in about 80 square feet of space, with 2 dogs. No matter how much you love and enjoy spending time with someone, you both eventually need some time to yourself. After three years I needed some me time. We both did.
Once we found a place to live we went from 24/7 complete togetherness to only seeing each other a few days every 2-3 months (or longer depending on the tour he's on). I've been asked more than a few times how we are doing? How do we make it work? Don't I miss him? My answer boils down to one basic ideal:
Quality not quantity.
Technology today has made it easier than ever to stay in touch and make those miles seem shorter. Cell phones for easy calls to and from almost anywhere and text messages make communication quick and easy. It is the age of the Jetsons! We now have video phone call abilities with apps like the iPhone iChat, Android video chat, and applications like Skype and Facebook. As long as you have a cellular or WiFi connection you can spend time with anyone you want.
Being apart ain't easy on this love affair.
He always sends me beautiful text messages to wake up to (since he usually wakes up before I do). We talk on the phone at least twice a day. Along with our daily text messages and phone calls, we also send each other cute pictures, “listen to this song” messages, and lovey emoji's, as well as comments and tags across social media.
I try to make a point to frequently remind him how much I appreciate him. To thank him, for all he does for us, for all his hard work and sacrifice. We've had to learn to open up and talk about tough issues without getting upset with each other; to learn to think instead of just react. We've had to learn to compromise to make two individuals into one relationship. It is this give and take that helps keep a relationship strong.
It is not the physical miles between that make or break a relationship, it is the distance between hearts.
All that may seem trivial or even juvenile to some. But when you are miles apart for months at a time you do what it takes to make the relationship work. We all want to be loved and missed. We all want to feel appreciated. So we all have to take the time, make the effort to show our significant other they are loved and missed; even when the distance is great or schedules are different; especially then.
When there are so many miles between two people, you have to use your words. It is one thing to be able to show someone how you feel when they are right there with you. But when that is not an option, you have to tell them. Words are important. Even the most stoic need to hear the words of love and appreciation from time to time.
Feels like home to me.
When he is home I take the time to not just enjoy, but to memorize how his hand feels holding mine. I take comfort in his hand on the small of my back, or how his hugs are so warm and make me feel safe. I admire his tattoos, his laugh, his smile. I make a point to notice and commit to memory all the little things about him. That way when he is out on the road I can call upon those memories to feel close to him
When he is home we enjoy time with each other in big and small ways. We talk. We plan. We cook. We clean. We take care of business. We explore our new city. We have lazy days and days where we venture out to do fun things. It is not about how much time we have together, but what we do with the time we have.
Love is a wonderful thing! (Now you too have Michael Bolton stuck in your head. You're welcome.)
Yes it is. Of course love, staying in love takes work. But it is so worth it!
Love is not blind. It is a choice. You have to choose to love that person every single day. Not in spite of their “flaws,” but BECAUSE of them. Because of their perfections. Because of their imperfections. Because of their quirks, both cute or annoying. Love takes patience, kindness, understanding, compromise, and yes work. That work keeps you from falling into the trap of “out of sight out of mind.”
Distance in miles can be hard, but not impossible. Distance in heart; however, is catastrophic. For Allen and I those miles mean nothing when our hearts are wrapped around each other.
What do you do to help keep your relationships strong?