~ Just a few days after we were together again June 13′
As many of you know- after Adam and I started dating back in Wisconsin (which seems like a lifetime ago), we began a long journey of long-distance dating in August of 2012…before seeing one another again in June of 2013. 10 months. Way too long to go without seeing someone who means so much to you.
We are getting ready to be apart again for a little bit less than 2 months before we get married. I will be going back to Nebraska for a little while to get wedding plans in order and spend time with my family. And Adam will be here working and moving into our new little abode! :)
~ First real date after long distance to celebrate my 21st birthday
I know God had plans for both of us during the time we were apart- and plans to use that in our relationship. I wouldn’t have traded the time I had in Africa, but it was hard to be apart.
Adam did an awesome job of keeping us connected and being intentional about dating even though we were living on different continents.
Some people say that they would NEVER do long distance…..and although that may be the ideal- you just never know what life will bring your way and when all the sudden you’ll be dating a man or woman on the other side of the world! But press through it, and just maybe you’ll get to marry that person!!! Like us….:) Aren’t we lucky :)
~August 24th 2013……We got engaged!!!
I am not an expert by ANY means- but I thought that I would share a few things that we learned during our time apart to hopefully be an encouragement to people having to be apart right now…..and to my heart as a good reminder before we do long distance again!
Here it goes:
- Hold onto hope: When you’ve been apart for a long time, it’s hard to remember why you are dating at times- because you don’t get a lot of the fun feelings and emotions that come from dating…..there isn’t any traditional “dating”, going to movies, nervously holding hands, watching the sunset, or any of that romantic stuff. But if you felt like it was worth it to date someone even if you knew you wouldn’t see them for a while- there must be something pretty special about that person :)
- MAKE TIME: It meant the world to me that Adam prioritized “us” while we were apart. Often it’s easier to just kind of neglect your relationship because there is no immediate benefit- and most days it feels more like work than anything else. But again, be hopeful about it, and make it a priority. Put TIME into letters, e-mails, cards, and skyping.
- A little romance never hurt anyone :) Even though it’s harder to do it long distance (especially living in the bush of Alaska and the middle of Africa), do sweet things for each other….send Valentines, small gifts, sweet cards, etc.
- Connect: Make a huge effort to get into eachothers lives and connect. It’s hard when all the sudden you don’t know mutual people anymore and have no idea what the other person’s life is like. But try. Talk about your day and tell little details that you might not tell other people. Adam and I wrote lots of letters! We did a list of 30 questions and wrote them back and forth….which will always be special memories for us! [SIDENOTE] I went into the post office the other day, and met the woman working in there…..she said that she remembers Adam coming over all the time last year to send letters….and I think she was touched by it! :)
We also sent photos to each other! haha….I still send him pictures cause I think it’s just a sign of being in love! We also each made paper chains of the weeks we had left to be apart and would tear one off every Sunday.
Be intentional about finding ways to connect and make memories while far apart.
- PRAY for each other: It’s not often I don’t think that you can be intentionally praying for someone and have it not move you to care more for them. I wish that I would have been more faithful in this area……but this is something that is always very valuable in relationships, and that I am constantly learning. We always prayed with eachother every time we skyped, and I think that was really special…..and something that God blessed.
If you are in the middle of long distance- I hope this is encouraging. We sure have lots to learn as a couple- but I think some of the things we learned while being apart have been so valuable to us….and made us love eachother all the more! Life is sure better with someone by your side! :)