Distance is never fun when you are in a relationship, I don't expect anyone to be surprised there. I knew from the get-go it would be difficult. I just didn't know how difficult it would be until I was 18. Paul and I had started dating my freshman year of college... two weeks before the school year ended. We were from different states and had to figure out a way to stay close during those three (summer) months apart. We talked on the phone like any normal couple does. However, I am not a normal person that is part of a normal couple. Believe it or not, I am not a fan of conversing over the phone. I'm actually really bad at talking to friends, family, and (especially) boyfriends over the phone. Everyone that knows me can testify to this. When it comes to strangers, however, I can carry on a conversation with no problem at all, which is extremely odd. Anyways, this was the dilemma and Paul figured it out after the second week of being apart. He also came up with a solution. He wrote me letters.
Text messaging was another way we communicated, but not nearly as special as the hand written letters I would get from him. We've only had to deal with being away from each other for two months before either one of us visits the other. I don't know how military couples do it, but two months for me is extremely hard. Those letters really helped my telephone phobia, which is an actual problem, believe it or not. I found this out on Wikipedia and there is also something called 'Nomophobia' where you are afraid of being out of cell phone contact... crazy! Anyways, the letters helped and I was even able to talk to him over the phone sometimes (for a maximum of 20 minutes).
Today, we are in the same predicament, but now, we know how to deal. While Paul lives and works in Texas, I am in Colorado planning our wedding and trying to acquire more certifications as an educator. Not only do we write letters back and forth, but we also Skype. I had to do a little bit of persuading (agreeing to talk on the phone at least 2 nights a week), but he finally he gave in and opened up an account. It's been a blessing being able to see his face and talk with him just like he is right across the table from me. There is also something else we have added to our schedule of communication. I can let you in on one of our secrets to staying close as well as keeping both parties sane when it comes to distance. It's very simple. It's prayer.
Yes. We pray. We don't pray separately, we pray together. This has been the most important thing that has kept our relationship alive and healthy. We say the rosary once a week over the phone together, adding special intentions and giving thanks for the (many) gifts we've received. I can also tell you that things have gotten better. When disagreements come into play or when there are bumps in the road, our ability to understand each other has increased immensely. All these recent happenings can be linked to this. It's amazing how everything has fallen into place and how worrying had no part in it. It's humbling to know that I don't have the control I thought I had when making plan after plan in this whole chain of events. It's wonderful having the support from both families as well as friends. It's safe to say that nothing would be possible if it weren't through Him. Prayer keeps us together and somehow, it works. :)