About a month after Bobby and I started dating I moved to Orlando, Florida for an internship with Disney World. Participating in the Disney College Program was something I had been dying to do since I was a freshman in college. I even took summer school one year so that I could take an entire semester off to do the program and still graduate on time. I couldn’t wait to begin my internship and leave Boone for sunny Florida! And then I met the love of my life 6 weeks before I was supposed to leave… But God's timing is always perfect! Even if dating long distance wasn't the most ideal :)
Dating long distance is just plain HARD. Communication is tough, jealousy arises quickly, it tests your relationship, and the months seem to drag by. Whenever we meet another couple who has dated long distance there’s always an immediate understanding between each other and a look of “I know exactly what you've gone through,” crosses our faces. So yes, long distance dating is really really tough. But I want to share some of the ways we made it easier on ourselves today and some of the pros of long distance dating to encourage anyone who’s in that season!
One of my biggest pieces of advice about dating long distance is to make a plan of how much you're going to see each other before you move apart. Bobby told me before I left that he wanted us to see each other once a month. I remember thinking that seemed like a big commitment and I really didn’t think it was possible. And part of me couldn't believe his dedication since we had only been dating a few weeks! But he made it happen each month and I’m so, so glad we came up with those guidelines in the beginning! He would drive 10 hours through the night to come visit me in Disney. Here’s a bonus of long distance - when you’re together it feels like the best thing in the world!! The time spent apart is so hard, but it makes the time you get to be together even sweeter! Bobby's visits to Disney are some of my favorite memories from our relationship. The tearful goodbyes were heart wrenching, but I'll never forget the feelings of anticipation and excitement before seeing each other and those amazing embraces after a long time apart!
Long distance dating tip number two: write letters. I was honestly not good at this but Bobby was amazing at it. He wrote me a letter every single day that I was gone. Every. Single. Day. I loved getting those letters in the mail. When I read them I would immediately feel comfort and peace. They helped during a hard day, and I would re-read them all the time. It was so much better than getting texts or snapchats or any other temporary communication. Those things are important in the day to day of course, but they are temporary, while I still have all of Bobby's letters and love that I’ll always be able to pull them out and look back at where our relationship began.
Technology keeps getting better for long distance dating. When we were in this season Bobby didn’t have a smart phone for a long time so FaceTime and Snapchat weren’t a thing for us but I can see how amazing it must be to have those now! We did send lots of selfies and videos to each other because when you’re spending so many days apart it helps so much just to see the other person’s face! We left voicemails if our schedules didn’t work out to talk, but we talked on the phone A LOT! We also Skyped frequently. How did people ever do this without Skype?!
And now... What would this post be without some awesome Disney throwback photos?! :)