I’m not an expert on Long Distance Relationships. I haven’t been invested into one for years and years. I’ve only been doing this for about 9 months, but I didn’t learn the real struggles until he went off to Boot Camp.
This post is for all the girlfriends out there. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life and how your relationship should be, I’m just going to give some insight on MY experiences.
Being Just The Girlfriend
Personally, being a Military Girlfriend is way different than a Military Spouse. More often than not, I felt like I wasn’t important because we didn’t have a label on our relationship – we weren’t engaged, we weren’t married. We were just simply two people dating each other. I got discouraged many times because my mom would say something like “well, you are just the girlfriend” and she totally didn’t mean it in a bad way… but to me those were fighting words.
To me, it felt like if I wasn’t the wife then I wasn’t important. I’m not family, I’m just the girl. And I know that none of my friends or family ever meant to hurt me when they’d say things like this, but it didn’t take the pain away.
My advice: understand that your friends and family love you and that if they say something like that it is not a personal attack. Remember that your boyfriend loves you and cares about you very much, and not to get upset if he calls his family instead of you. It’s okay to get upset but don’t take it out on him. When they’re in boot camp they are under TONS of stress and do not need any added stress from you.
Take It One Day At A Time
At first I was super stressed out and emotional. I’m typically not an emotional person but when he left it felt like something was missing. I didn’t feel complete. No amount of distractions would keep me from thinking about him. I even cried myself to sleep many nights.
I can’t say there was a turning point in my healing process. I guess I just learned that there was nothing I could do except take it one day at a time. If I could just get through the day then that’s all that mattered. Eventually this was much easier. I got used to not being able to talk to him whenever I felt and I think that was the hardest challenge.
My advice: Keep yourself busy with the things you love. Make sure you spend time with your friends and family. And don’t be afraid to lean on your loved ones when you need someone. You will not be happy every single minute of every single day, so it’s very important that you can make yourself happy or you have someone to vent to.
I wrote a post about writing letters, but since then I think the biggest thing I have learned it to just write often. I wrote to him every day and it sort of ended up being like a journal to me. I would write everyday and once it got to be what I considered long enough, I sent it out. I found that I had a lot to say to him each day (some days way more than others) and if I went week by week he would have too much to read at once. I didn’t want him to be overwhelmed so once my letter got to be about 1.5 – 2 pages I would end it.
Some days I had so much to say to him. Other days I wrote two lines. I headlined each day like: Day 42 – Monday, March 21st. The beginning number is the number of days since he left and then the date, obviously. I wanted it to be more organized and not just a cluttered mess of writing.
My advice: Be patient when it comes to waiting for your first letter. His mom and Dad both texted me telling me they got letters in the mail and I was so certain that I wasn’t going to be getting one. Then the next day it showed up in my mail box! By the time I got my first letter it was exactly a month after he left. Be patient. It sucks and you are SO anxious but you will get something! In his letter he said he didn’t have much time to write, so I didn’t expect to get another letter.
I have written about various LDR topics throughout the past couple months. All of my LDR related posts can be found here.
If you have any questions for me regarding LDR you can always leave them in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as possible! Have a wonderful week 🙂
Where to find me:
Etsy (where I post LDR cards & other artwork)
Instagram (where I post my daily hand lettering project & products of mine)
Facebook (where I post Behind-The-Scenes, etc.)