June 9, 2016

Transitional Period

Okay, okay, I know... I just saw him Sunday night - but it's taking every fiber in my body not to suggest Facetime/Netflixing something every night. It's taking every fiber in my body not to immediately indulge in the shaded dungeon of my room and distract myself with Netflix every afternoon as soon as I get home (and I'm not doing great with that, hello The Mindy Project, nice to meet you).

I guess after struggling with lawn mower assembly over a period of two days, it really puts into perspective life without my SO. Menial errands are lonely. Neither of us get to make dinner for the other. I don't get any in-depth conversations... a few texts during the day, a quick phone call asking how to do something. There aren't any hello or goodbye hugs. It certainly feels like ripping the band-aid.
One of our very first, if not the first, photos together, about 7 weeks after we met.

One of the worst parts is how I know it doesn't affect him the same... he's not someone who has to see his significant other every day, and I definitely am (which has certainly been a challenge for our relationship as a whole). I have a problem with people who see the behavior as clingy, when I think there's a difference between someone who's clingy and someone who owns up to that being their relationship style (i.e. a compatibility issue, not a dependency issue). I encourage him to hang out with his friends, etc.--I've even been the one to set up the plans on more than one occasion. And I certainly appreciate alone time to recharge. But after almost four years together (!), he's become my person, and after having a hard or boring day at work, I look forward to nothing more than sharing a few dumb jokes in each other's company. I look forward to making weekend plans. I look forward to our dogs playing together a few days a week.

I know it will get better after I adjust, but these first few days have been extremely difficult. I'm in a slump. After spending 24/7 with each other for 72 hours straight life surely feels empty when they're suddenly gone and not coming back to visit for two weeks.

And I'm so spoiled! We're going to get to see each other at least every two weeks! And we live close enough where we can drive to each other on the weekends instead of one or two expensive flights during the summer! And it's just for a couple of months!


I know that other people have to put up with distances much further and durations much longer. I know that this will very likely be the case when he graduates in December.


But I sure miss my person.

I'm glad it doesn't affect him the same way, because I don't want him to have to feel the way I feel, but I also kind of hate it because he just can't comprehend and I'm sure thinks I'm silly (or dare I say frustrating) at times. I'm coping by finding ways to smother him with long-distance love. I was living vicariously through Love Taza by going through her mushy archives pre-babies and came up with idea of emailing him a list of things I didn't "do until he showed up". I've sent him a few emails lately. I've sent him Snaps, of course, and teasing pictures of my dinner he doesn't get to taste, and let him guide me on assembly issues via Facetime, and technology truly is great in that it allows us to watch our shows together (Game of Thrones on Sunday nights & The Americans for any times in between):
I didn't realize how terrible of a picture this was until now
but you get the general concept.
He sends me things too, of course, like this hilariously cute picture of him at his internship:

But it's just not the same as in person. There's no physical touching - he makes comments on my need for touch ;) but since he studied physics & engineering and left the psychology to me, I understand the power of touch a little bit more. Some girls talk about butterflies when they're with someone, I only know peace. 
The Buddhists didn't really say this but it's a beautiful quote.
I was actually thinking last night how we've only ever had one summer together, last summer. We'd met at the end of summer, and our first summer of being in a relationship was spent by my training at the TFA Summer Institute in Houston, and then moving to Louisiana briefly. The next summer we actually took a little break, also my choice (and mild regret). Last summer was the most normal, although I went on vacation for a couple of weeks and he spent some time away too. But it was glorious - summer is the perfect time to enjoy the Ozarks and it's when weekdays are a little shorter for social workers because children are out of school. And now here we are apart for another summer of beautiful get-outside weather. I don't know what it is about summer but I'm starting to think it's cursed.

I feel very humbled by others who have much more difficult experiences - I can't imagine the worry of soldier-spouses, wondering if their partner is safe and when the next time they'll have reception will be and if they'll get to visit for the holidays or the birth of their child. I'm thankful our situation is so different. And I look forward to renewing my focus on myself after this transitional period passes, and hopefully quickly. 

Point being, I'm looking for more ideas on how to nurture our relationship in between visits, particularly in the immediate downfall after visits. Especially in preparation for, like I said, what's probably to come after December. Peter will be the first to tell you patience isn't my strong suit (although I don't think he gives me enough credit! I also think we perceive time differently.). Things like Zello, Facetime, Snapchat, e-mail, and texts all help, but I'd love to hear more creative ideas should anyone have them!

I love my person. 

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