Being a professional athlete is hard in itself, but then throw in things like: being away from home, not knowing anyone, a new language, all new food, and on top of it all a long distance relationship and it reaches a whole new level of difficulty. Today I am going to try my best to cover the last of those things: here are a few tips on long distance relationships which have helped me and my boyfriend Conner.
Yes, the task is daunting and that moment in the airport embracing one another goodbye for anywhere up to 10 months away from each other is beyond scary. But take it from me, it is not only possible to make it work but you can make your relationship thrive!
Trust: Long distance or not, a relationship simply will not last without trust. With all the traveling and playing there will be days that pass which you do not get to speak to each other. For me personally, I only have a way to communicate overseas when I am in wifi so there have been travel weekends I have gone multiple days without even getting to send a text. Without trust it would be virtually impossible.
Effort: Realize that it is not easy and it is does require work! There will be days you have to sacrifice sleep or personal times to have a normal conversation. Days when you will stay up until 4 or 5am just to let that special person know that you care and are commited to the relationship.
Develop routines: While the spontanious conversations and facetime calls from each other are awesome, I suggest having at least one time per week that is always consistent. For Conner and I we have a FaceTime bible study on sundays. So no matter what happens during the week we can plan on having a real time to talk, share, and pray together every week. It simply gives our unusual situation some better structure and stability.
Details: Learn to live in the details! For my boyfriend and I this is so important. Just telling him I have a “good” day is not enough. Throughout the day, I consciously think of little details I can tell him about my life in Germany and he does the same in the States. Simply sharing little jokes or taking and sending a picture of something funny goes a long ways. I know I can talk to him about specific plays in practice and he knows everyones name and little details even about my teammates. And going the other way, he knows he can talk about anything and anyone specific and I make an effort to remember and live in those details. It makes the distance not seem so far and it makes us feel like we are apart of each other’s daily lives!
Live: While it is easy to get caught up in missing each other and counting down the days. Realize life is still going on and this is a huge opportunity for growth in your individual lives as well as your life together. So do not forget to soak up the moments as they happen because each one of us is blessed to live the life that we do.
One last thing, self-control: while this did not make the top 5 for us it does not mean it is not important. There will be days when you are minding your own business and a couple comes out of no where and shares a romantic kiss right in front of you… THE NERVE! We all react differently to situations like this but after 4 months away from the one I love, all I saw was red! Resisting the urge to throat-punch them both, I instead decided to make dramatic scene consisting of “EW! GROSS! GET A FREAKING ROOM BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THAT!” followed by a series of gagging noises until, language barrier or not, they caught my drift.
Bottom line, it is hard to be away from each other! But like Conner and I always joke: one day we are going to be so sick of each other that we wish we could ship each other off to europe again. So make the most of your relationship and your time the way it is now!
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