My manfriend and I spend approximately two to three months of the year apart. Sometimes the time is sprinkled throughout, a week here and there, and it doesn’t seem so bad. But more often than not, we find ourselves staring at several solid months of long-distance, snuggle-less existence.
When not traveling for work, we work, sleep, eat and fuggle in the same 500 square feet of space. All day. Err’y day. Temporary long-distance is hugely different from how we normally operate, so of course we feel the burn. Next week, my guy takes off for eight weeks, and I’m dreading it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some perks to having our little loft to myself. I can operate on my own schedule. (I am by nature an early-to-bed, early-to-rise gal, while my hubs is a night owl). No one will care if I feel like eating popcorn for dinner (again), and I can freely waste away whole evenings tucked into a book without feeling like I’m missing out on some quality face time. But the perks end…
It’s hard to connect when we’re apart, especially since the one on the road has a new, demanding and exciting schedule, while the one at home stares at the empty spot at the dinner table. Connection is missing, intimacy lags, and romance easily falls by the wayside. Here are a few of the coping mechanisms my dude and I have come up with over the years to stay close, even when we’re far.
When we find ourselves apart, we often send each other little scavenger lists of things to find and selfie with. Whoever completes their list first gets some type of reward. Typical assignments revolve around location (a shot in front of the Chicago theatre), season (you in a pile of leaves), or food (New York City pizza, please!). It’s a nice, competitive way to engage and think of each other as you’re out and about.
Seeing as we’re both filmmakers, many of our nights together are spent watching and then discussing films. When we’re traveling, we try and hunt down the same movie to watch on the same night and call each other up to chat about it.
To me, the antiquated tradition of sending and receiving real-time letters always feels romantic. It takes more effort than a fired-off text or email, and it’s a sweet keepsake. Plus, when you’re touring, it’s nice to send off a postcard from every city you run through.
Time differences and conflicting schedules can make it surprisingly difficult to nail down a time to talk. To avoid floating through the day completely disconnected, try and make an effort to send a text or quick call when you wake up. Just a quick “thinking of you” first thing in the morning is an easy way to set the mood for the whole day.
So, how do you stay connected when you’re apart?