Wednesday, September 3, 2014

4 Benefits of having a Long-Distance Relationship with your Sailor

 I am so incredibly thrilled to introduce our newest guest poster Elise! Not only is she a Navy Girlfriend, but she has a lot of experience as because she has been dating her Sailor for two years and she's doing it long-distance! Bravo! Please welcome her via comments or our Facebook Forum!

By Elise
A Navy Girlfriend w/Cred

Photo: Long distance love by Dvortygirl via Flickr 
Once upon a time there was a single mother who as fate would have it, crossed paths with a wonderfully kind and handsome man. Unbeknownst to her he served proudly in the United States Navy. Neither of these individuals were looking for anything at the time, in fact after both being previously married, they had given up. Their chemistry was undeniable though and they quickly fell in love.

Almost two years later, our happily ever after has yet to become a reality. My Sailor has recently been transferred overseas. We had known for about ten months prior, so this did not come as a surprise.

After first hearing of his career choice, I thanked him for his service. I was raised with much respect for our Military and Armed Forces. However, other than thanking him for his sacrifices I didn't know what “serving” entailed. When he told me of his early transfer I was highly upset and remember asking “they can do that?!” he laughed and just replied “yes.” This was my first real introduction into this lifestyle and the first disappointment into my long journey ahead. We had planned on moving in together that summer, but given the news we postponed.

At that time, we lived an hour and a half apart. On his available days off, he would drive the distance to see me and vise versa. It was a bit tedious but we made it work. Moving in together would have been more convenient but weighing our options it just wasn’t right. My son has a mild intellectual delay, he has also been diagnosed with ADHD. Routines in my household are very important. Had we moved in when planned we would have only needed to move again, disrupting school routines etc.

I'm not going to lie, it was lonely and a bit rocky at times. Given the choice though, I wouldn't go back on our decision. Here are just a few reasons why...

1. Trust: 
What woman doesn't have some sort of abandonment or daddy issues? I know I do. Living in different cities takes a lot of faith in each other. A couple months after dating, he admittedly said “I am so glad you gave me a chance. We Navy men get a bad rap. You know what they say…” To which I replied giggling “Oh, no I do not. Please, do tell…” There will always be an instance especially in this lifestyle where your trust will be tested. Whether it’s in the same state or a world away I know the distance has nothing to do with how we value each other.

2. Intimacy
Not in that way ;-) When you aren't around each other physically it leaves a lot of room for the little things like, laughing, listening, sharing stories, thoughts, and just getting to know each other. Building on the foundation of your relationship and a strong friendship, this is extremely important.

3. Communication
No one is evolved enough to read minds, and slamming doors was not an option. A lot like our current situation, I wasn't sure when I would see him next. I learned to choose my battles wisely. I'm not one to carry ill feelings. I’d rather just say how I feel and move on, luckily for me he is the same. Any tension between us only expanded our knowledge of each other, giving us an opportunity for conversation.

4. Commitment
Although he didn't come home to me every night, there was no doubting his commitment to our relationship. Let’s be real, you wouldn't live apart for as long as we did if you weren't fully committed to each other. It hasn't always been smooth sailing, yet we pushed through. We both married quickly in our first marriages, with babies to follow shortly after. So, for our own reasons we are waiting on that next step till he comes home. This is not due to any uncertainties of our relationship, we just didn't want to be rushed. On Valentine ’s Day, he did give me a ring and further professed his commitment to me. (I call it my “training wheels”, joking that I am on layaway.) When he returns and gives me “the” ring it will be for all the right reasons, something we both look forward to.

I will admit I am a hopeless romantic but I have never lived into the fairy tale hype. I have no need to seek that knight in shining armor to carry me away. I want someone to add to my life, to my son and I, like he does. The new chapter in life and our reunion together will be much sweeter being that we have waited. As they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the things in life worth it, are worth the wait.



About Elise

Hola! I am a God fearing 28 year old single mother who lives to love, and loves to live. My journey started almost 2 years ago, when I met my boyfriend online. Despite the hour and a half distance we made it work! I grew up in a patriotic home, but I didn't know anything about the military lifestyle, this was all new to me. He however, had been in the Navy for 12 years upon us meeting. About 6 months into our relationship we found out he was to be transferred early overseas. That is when I quickly grew accustomed to the demands of the service. Any plans to move in together were put on hold. We continued our long-distance relationship in anticipation of him leaving.

He’s only been gone a few months and we have at least 22 to go… Its been a roller coaster of emotions. During this short time I can certainly relate to the feeling of being unhinged. Coping with these emotions would often be followed by disappointment for allowing myself to be affected and seemingly weak. Its very lonely, which is what encouraged me to reach out to the internet. Given that we had never shared a home, it has made sleeping alone a little more bearable. It also gives me something wonderful to look forward, for when he returns home.

When I'm not holding down my man or my household, I work full time in the medical field serving others. My son is diagnosed with ADHD and has a mild intellectual delay; it poses its own challenges but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love to learn and ask a lot of questions! I am outgoing, expressive and a bit feisty. I've still got a long road ahead and a lot more to learn, but I am hopeful of the outcome!

5 comments:

  1. Hey there, I am not sure how old this article is but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the advice. I recently started dating a Navy guy. He has been in for 15 years and is 5 years from retirement. He has one more sea duty left before retirement. He recently asked me a hypothetical question about whether I would go with to his next station if we are still together. I responded yes. But later I got to thinking that I did not know anything about the Navy way of life or what this typw of commitment would entail. He currently lives 5 hours away and we are getting a very slow start to our relationship, which I actually think is great. But reading everything I have over the last couple days from different blogs, forums and articles has left me feeling a little overwhelmed. I really like this guy, he is pretty much the nicest and most genuine guy I have ever been with. The best part is he makes me smile!! And he holds doors...i really did not know guys did that anymore! Anyway, your post really provided me with hope for the future of whatever this relationship becomes. Thank you so much!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment! I'm so glad you found this article helpful and I hope you continue to have faith in yourself. You are strong and capable and if you love this man then you can do whatever it takes to be with him.

      Search Elise or Navy Girlfriend to find more on this topic. We have an entire series!

      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & Founder of U&E

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  2. Thank you so much for your post! I really enjoyed it. I recently started dating my own Navy guy and he lives 5 hours away. The distance has really slowed down our relationship and can feel kind of frustrating at times! Your article gave a lot of really great advice. He asked me a couple weeks ago if, we were still together at the time, if I would consider going with to his next station for his last sea duty. I responded that I would but later realized I know nothing about what this entails. From reading other forums, blogs and articles I was starting to get discouraged and overhelmed. It seems like this way of life is not for the faint of heart! Thanks again for all the great advice.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment. It's so wonderful to see these posts helping others out there.

      Search around for more and find our group on Facebook to speak with other Navy Girlfriends and wives who support one another with encouragement and understanding.

      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & Founder of U&E

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    2. Sorry for the multiple posts. I was using my phone and did not see that it was submitted. ;)

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I love, love your comments and questions! Just remember to not mention any security info about your Sailor! Thank you!

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