"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

The LDR – Long Distance Relationship

“All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.”
Shakespeare

As I bear the brunt of surviving the early summer sun and cool ocean breeze of the North Coast here in southern California, MLB is working feverishly in northern California.

While it’s great to be here, most of my day is devoted to searching out the best job to match my skills and experience. So the plan is for me to find work in this area and then MLB will join me once that task is complete.

Until that time, we are maintaining an LDR (long distance relationship).

LDR, long distance relationship

The LDR!

We’ve been known to make it through such times as these.

Early on we were apart for six months with periodic visits in between. I was in technical training in the Air Force in Illinois when she was a tv reporter/anchor in Omaha, Nebraska.

We would meet half way between in Iowa City, Iowa. Here’s the path we took: http://goo.gl/wjrg6
Some great memories from that time period with young love in full bloom.

And then there was the interesting choice by the Air Force to send me BACK to America for training, when we lived in England … right before I got out of the Air Force. That was a three month stint apart from the love of my life. During that time, we had no in between visits, nor was phone access very good or affordable at that time.

At other times, we each have traveled for a week or two for work, or just prior to a move.

Fortunately, for those of us who have to go through an LDR, times have changed. And so much for the better. No longer do phone bills rack up in the several hundred dollar range as happened to us in the early days of our relationship.

phone bill, LDR, long distance relationship

Huge phone bill.

Technology has opened up instant lines of communication. If I see something I know MLB will be interested in, I shoot her the pic at that very moment.

Want to zip off something short and funny – text it in a matter of seconds.

And if it’s something longer, an email can be typed and sent before you can say:

“United States Postal Service delivery takes days to send a letter, and you have to type or write it, stamp it, drop it into the mailbox, pick it up at the mailbox at the other end, and then read it.”

But that’s not to say I don’t miss MLB. Though it isn’t nearly as tough to go through an LDR these days, it’s her companionship that’s missed, nonetheless.

The simple things like driving to the grocery store, getting a pizza, watching favorite shows on the DVR, and having her use some of my 7,000 words per day (the average woman uses about 20,000 words per day while the average man tops out at about 7,000 wpd) are the things that I miss the most.

All the technology just can’t take the place of someone you love being right there next to you, wherever you are.

Well played Mr. Shakespeare, well played.

***

 Have you had to be away from your loved ones for a long time?

What did you do during that LDR?

Comments

  1. Cate Monaghan says:

    I really have to comment on this one, don’t I? It certainly brought a tear to my eye. The romance lives on! And yes, it’s easier these days – but as the coffee mug I had ‘way back when proclaimed, “A long-distance relationship is never easy.”

    • That is true, MLB. The good part is, we know what it’s like on the other side. Just have to make it through the transition. So glad you commented. Talk with you later.

  2. My husband and I were in separate cities for one year while engaged. Our schooling and wedding planning kept us super busy, but it was tough! We put many miles on our cars going to see each other.

  3. Hi MJ. Interesting post! My husband and I are very independent in many ways, so I take trips with my sisters and kids, and he stays very busy refereeing soccer. We do just fine, staying in touch by phone and e-mail, and are always happy to see each other again. Our only extended absence was when my mother was dying (this was before we had kids), and I flew from Seattle and stayed in Detroit for three months to care for her during her last illness. I saw Thom once or twice in between, and then he flew to Detroit for the funeral. I was so busy and exhausted I hardly had time to miss him, and I had my sister Con there for company. He’s just a regular kind of do-what-you-have-to-do sort of guy. I don’t think I’d have married him if he hadn’t been. He is a quiet hero, my lad, and no matter how far I travel, he is my anchor.

    • That’s fantastic that you and Thom are very independent like that. It’s always good to have those things that interest you and keep you satisfied when away from someone like that. I like the use of the term anchor.

  4. My hubby and I were apart the first three months of our courtship. I cherish the letters.

  5. You and Cate seem to have such a healthy, loving relationship. It always makes me happy to see couples going the distance and being happy in the process.

    I know my relationship with MTM could survive a separation like yours, but I don’t think we would choose it. I’m always sad when the weekend is over and we have to go back to work on Monday.

    • Funny you mention that. Cate is the same way about weekends when we’re together. I do wish there would have been another way to do this, but it seemed the practical, though not fun way to approach the situation.

  6. Brings back memories! Before we were married my husband and I maintained a long distance relationship for two years. He lived in Switzerland, I lived in CA. It was hard! And this was before technology, when there was such thing as $800.00 phone bills! Good luck to you both in your LDR and your endeavors!

    • Oh my – two years?! That is a very long time. We too, had those hundreds of dollars in phone bills early on. But boy, how did you last for two years? You and hubs are troopers, for sure.

  7. I think my marriage might have survived if it was a permanent LDR with no face to face visits. Or phone calls. Emails. Texts. Thoughts…. But good for you to WANT those things and to have the kind of relationship that will survive any separation. :)

    • You are too funny, Julie. We’re like oil and water sometimes, but at the end of the day, it’s much better together than apart. Sounds like your situation was just plain oil and water, huh? :)

  8. Judy Berman says:

    Mike … I wish you and your MLB (Cate) the very best. Glad you’ve been able to survive the LDR and the humongous phone bills. The longest Dave and I have ever been separated in our nearly 28 years of marriage was about a week. That was rough enough.

  9. Thank you, Judy.

    That’s good that it’s only been about a week for you both. Not too bad in 28 years. We’re going on 27 years ourselves. Congrats on your longevity, my friend.

  10. Kricket says:

    From the title I thought that you must really miss us! But then it makes much more sense for you to miss your lovely bride. :O) I don’t want to take that away from her. You guys are a great couple and great friends to us. As much as we will miss you even more when you are together in So Cal, we want that for you. Until then, I’ll enjoy having your lovely bride close to us!

    • There is no doubt that I miss you guys. You’re a very close second to MLB.

      I’m so glad that she has such good friends there. It takes a burden off my mind that there are great folks in the area if something comes up where she needs support. Thanks for being there.

      Look forward to your next visit down south!

  11. Back in the day, ATT called my future husband and asked if he was aware of the size of his phone bill. When he acknowledged that all the calls were his in pursuit of our romance, the phone rep asked if he was going to have any problems making his payment.

    Now isn’t that great service? It’s wonderful to have such a caring communications carrier. Now we use Skype for our kids and relatives across country.

    • That’s funny, Barb, I did make payments on one of our phone bills. It was well over $600 back in 1985. I had no choice. I think I was grossing $1,000/mo. back then.

  12. Have had LDR with God for some time. At arms length probably keeps us both happier.

  13. Oh, how nice, Mike! I bet your wife loved reading this! We’re about to go through a 2 month LDR! We used to do it a lot in the Army and often post-army- but this is the first that is by our choice because of that seemed to make staying back a better option (for cost more than anything)….I’m glad to to see family but we’ll miss having our little family together for 1/6 of the year!!!!!! So you were the young AF stud who ran off with the TV anchor…oh- the cliche is killing me! hahahaha!

    • You are too funny, Tricia. I wish I could say that you were the first to mention the anchor/AF connection. :) hehe

      Hope your two months go very quickly for you and your family, my friend.

  14. I can only imagine what you guys are going through being apart like that. It’s a testament to your strong relationship for sure! I have never been away from my husband more than a night. Best wishes to you and your job hunt, MJ!

  15. Wow, WBFF. You’ve got me thinking here … and honestly, I don’t think I could do it! I hate to sound like a needy person, but I cherish the everyday moments so much — and if you took those moments away for an extended period of time, I might go crazy (or I should probably say “crazier”).

    ;)

    Of course, if the choice was “do it — or lose him,” of course I’d do it. But I’d be grouchy and grumpy and sad and depressed all the time. Trust me. I know me. I’d be a wreck.

    My wish for you is a quick reunion … and no more need for LDRs. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, it sounds like you and Cate have all the heart fondness you can possibly take.

    My other wish for you is a quick and painless job search — you deserve that, too!

    • I do have my moments, as well. Different times of the day and night are easier and harder than other. Weekends can be tough since that’s when we normally would spend more time together. I know it’s shocking, but I’ve can be grumpy from time to time. :)

      It will be worth it once it’s all over and we move back into a routine here. But I understand what you’re saying for sure.

      And I thank you for your kind wishes. You are truly my WBFF!

  16. First off, MJ– good luck with the job search. I don’t envy the task but hope that your search doesn’t last too long before you land yourself the perfect job!

    Secondly, I am a huge wimp when it comes to being apart from the love of my life. Since we started dating nearly 9 years ago, we’ve spent MAYBE two weeks apart from each other. Maybe. I thought I would need way more “alone time” in order to hack a long-term relationship, but with Marty, I truly enjoy his company and have a hard time when we’re apart. We even work together! Many couples would have broken under the constant level of companionship that Marty and I maintain, but we’re cherishing every moment and still very much in love. :)

    I hope that you and YLB get to be reunited very soon! It’s painful for me to even think of living in a different city than MLG (my lovely groom).

    • Thank you, Dana. I appreciate the encouragement tremendously.

      Yeah, we don’t like it at all. You and I may actually be related. We spend all of our time together as well, other than time at work. We actually had a consignment store that we started and both worked at for a short period of time. Though we bicker like kids, we do get along great and love doing even mundane tasks together.

      I’m glad that you and YLG have such a strong relationship. You don’t see that too much anymore. Congrats, my friend.

  17. I can say this with conviction that LDR simply doesn’t work out………Its nothing like being close to your loved one! Anyway,happy that you’ve pulled it off successfully:)

  18. Sometimes absence does make the heart grow fonder. And won’t you two have fun when you see each other. C’est la vie!

  19. I love that quotation.

    I’ve never really had a long distance relationship. Is it odd to admit that the idea of “longing” is somewhat romantic?

    • Really, I don’t know if anybody said things better than Shakespeare – he was just a genius.

      I’m quite a bit the romantic type. Our favorite movies to watch are rom-coms.

      The longing does feel romantic at times, and at other times it just plain feels empty. It’s very bitter-sweet. I try to focus more on the sweet or it gets way too lonely.

  20. >As I bear the brunt of surviving the early summer sun and cool ocean breeze of the North Coast here in southern California, MLB is working feverishly in northern California.
    - :-(

    >We’ve been known to make it through such times as these.
    - :-)

    Kate

  21. sunshine says:

    All the best to you MJ on your job search and quick reunion with your loved one…
    The only LDR I remember is with my father, the rolling stone.
    Guess we all know the line, absence makes the heart grow fonder…

  22. Hi,
    It is a shame that you will be separated from one another, and I sincerely hope you find a job that suits you, it certainly isn’t easy at the moment.
    The longest my husband and I have been without each other is 5 months, this was due to work commitments, I was working full time, but I certainly felt his absence at home, and yes a lot of expensive phone calls. :)

    • I’m hoping this will not be too long. At least we’re close enough to make periodic trips.
      And I bet that five months wasn’t too fun back then.

  23. LDRs are tough. Thank goodness for Skype! Email helps too. I guess it made me more independent because I had to live my life without that person around as much as I’d have liked. I cherished the time when we were together, but I tried to have a life even when I couldn’t be with them. :)

    • It’s definitely great to have cell phones, texting, and email. It would be very difficult without those things. Just knowing a quick text can pop up makes it much easier. We’re both pretty independent, but we really enjoy each other’s company.

  24. Awww, I feel for you MJ, I can imagine how much you miss her!
    As much as I despise technology sometimes, I must admit, I don’t know how we would survive without it. I bet it saved a LOT of relationships and created some too, I’m sure!

  25. In my first marital attempt….LDR was a blessing. Should have been a sign huh?!!?
    Now…..LDR is no fun. He works nights several days a week and I still don’t like sleeping alone. He went away for a week of training and I couldn’t wait for him to come home.
    Good luck! I hope you both are reunited soon.

    • Yeah, not a good start.

      I must say, I’ve never liked being away from my girl for very long. This is not my idea of fun. Just looking forward to having her here as soon as we can make it happen.

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