Well, my tour group never showed up this morning and the phone hasn't been ringing so much, so I figured this was the perfect time for a post about something other than my father.
As you know, my Sweetheart is away in Haiti for two months. Before this trip, he was in Angola for six weeks from mid-October to the end of November. That trip was the last of the many, many trips he made last year, I think it must of been at least five or six, none of them any shorter than ten days and there was, of course, that two year period when he lived in Toronto and I shuttled back and forth from his place to mine every six weeks.
With all this travelling on my Sweetheart's part, it is needless to say that he and I have the long-distance relationship thing down to an art. I have blogged about this before, but I do like bringing the subject back up in case any of my newer followers end up in a situation where they are contemplating ending a relationship because they have a partner who travels a lot for work or who might have to move away for a time because of it. My opinion of the matter is, of course, that long-distance relationships can work as long as both partners trust one another implicitely and have independant personalities. You both also have to be good communicators. My Sweetheart and I are very fortunate that we both have all three of these things. We have never in eight years given each other any reason to believe that the other would not be faithful while we were appart and we are both perfectly able to function on our own. We love each other very much and are one another's favorite person to be around, but we are not emotionally dependant on one another and most certainly do not feel a need to be together every night of the week. Even when we eventually move in together, we will still each have our own hobbies and our own friends and will still have no qualms about sending the other off for an evening with their own friends. That will just be the perfect oppotunity for the other to enjoy some alone time and in my case I will more than likely indulge in a nice, long bath with a glass of red wine. As for communication, we mostly developped that talent while my Sweetheart wa sin Toronto. Sweetheart used to not be that great of a communicator, but pretty soon after he moved 527 kms away he realised that it might be important for us to talk on Skype more than once or twice a week and to exchange e-mails more than twice a week as well. In short, he started to really miss me for the first time ever and he also appreciated the value of our relationship more, especially when it became clear to him that I was the only person who came to visit him regularly while he was in Toronto. I made at least a dozen trips to see him over the two years and two months he was there and that proved to him just how serious I was about our relationship.
So, while I have gotten used to my Sweetheart's frequent travels, they still do get hard sometimes. Do not think for one moment that long-distance relationships are easy by any stretch of the imagination. They require more patience and work than the average relationship, but I have also found that they can serve to make the relationship far more solid. I also find that you appreciate your partner much more when they are near you. If ever you find yourself faced with the reality of a long-distance relationship, I encourage you to give it shot. This type of relationship, whether it is full-time or part-time (my Sweetheart has been known to stay at home for a few months at a time occasionnally) is not for everyone, but when they work out they can be very rewarding.