So you’re in a long distance relationship, and the end is in sight. Finally, after years of waiting, tears, heartbreak, and missing each other so much continuing on seems impossible, you have a date for the day the distance will close.

What amazing news this is; you and your SO are beyond excited. The family and friends of the person moving are probably less than excited. But hey, you’ll be with your love!

Amidst all the excitement, though, a new question creeps into your mind. What happens after you close the distance?

This is an important question to think on; it is so easy to get caught up in the moment and not think about how your relationship will change – but it will change.

Starting over again

Before I left Australia, I sat down with a good friend of mine as he shared some insight with me. At the time, I raised my eyebrow and thought, “Nah, not gonna happen. Not with us.”

He told me that when Brittany and I were finally together, we’d likely have to relearn how to interact. It’d be like a whole new relationship in some regards.

A few months later, I was forced to admit that he was right.

For two years we learnt how to interact using text and video calls. We dealt with not being able to hug each other, with never having the other around. And we’d gotten good at it.

Then, in a moment, that all changed. No more video calls or needing to communicate through texting. Hugs abound, and she was always around.

The first month together was rough; we fought almost daily, and sometimes those fights got pretty heated. I had gotten used to having space when I needed it. As a guy, I need to step back from a situation to process. I need to think through what has happened before I’m able to properly communicate with Brittany.

When 3000 miles separated us, that was easy. I could remove myself from the situation long enough to think and then take care of her. In person? I couldn’t leave. If I walked out of a room, she would follow… or at least her voice would.

When we were apart, I grew to understand that I needed to ask her specific questions to find out what was wrong and take care of her. In person? I got used to being able to hug her, and forgot how to ask the questions she needed. I thought I was showing her more affection. But from her perspective? She felt less cared for and understood.

We only recently worked out that while hugs are great, she does still need me to persistently pursue her. To prove I want to know about her thoughts and feelings.

We’re still figuring out exactly how that works. But since remembering that asking those questions was one of the things that made Brittany feel so loved, it’s been a lot easier.

There’s no one answer fits all

So what about when you and your SO are finally together? Just remember to have patience, and know that if things are rough, it’s okay. You both got used to how the relationship was when you were apart; it’s a huge change to close that distance. It will take time to relearn how you work best with each other under the new circumstances.

Here’s my biggest piece of advice. When temperatures rise and you can’t get your head around how the other is acting, remember this: You’re both survivors of a long distance relationship. There isn’t much life can throw at you that’s harder than spending weeks, months, or years on end without the luxury of being in the arms of your love.

If you can make the decision to wait a year without seeing the love of your life, you can certainly make the decision to breathe, put your needs second, and think of how your SO is feeling.

Give yourselves time to adjust.  And most of all, remember what a gift it is to finally be with the one you love.

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6 thoughts on “What happens after you close the distance?

  1. Dan, so perfectly said. We have had some of the same issues and funny enough, when we have an argument we go back to texting each other from different rooms. It is what is familiar to us after so many years apart and it opens up our communication again after a heated argument. Time helps normalize things as you adjust to finally being together. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Thank you! That’s pretty funny that texting is what helps you two. But it makes a lot of sense. I think Brittany and I completely forgot how to text, we read all the wrong things into what we each write. Especially as we often text when rushing about, so what we write is short and abrupt. Neither of us do well with that, haha. Coming out of an LDR leaves a couple with some fun quirks, hey? Wouldn’t change it for anything though!

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  2. Although my relationship with Brittany can be confined to a single year in high school, I can truly say she was a very influential role model. To this day I remember aspects of her personality and strive to handle tough situations as she might. Reading your blogs makes me feel as though you and Brittany have now become role models for my upcoming marriage. This blog in particular really struck home with me. We will FINALLY be closing the distance this summer after two years apart and your advice on this situation is amazing! Definitely something I never would have considered but now feel that all long distance couples should. Thank you to you and Brittany for the wonderful inspiration.

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    1. Thank you so much Audrey! Brittany is definitely an influential woman, I say that from my own interactions with her and the way she’s impacted my life. I’m really honoured to hear you consider Brittany and I role models. 🙂 God has done amazing things in our lives, and it’s purely through Him that all this *waves hands at the blog and the stories told on it* happened and we’re together. I’m glad to hear that God has used this blog as encouragement and inspiration for you! 🙂

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