As promised, I’ve shared all aspects of my spontaneous trip to France – from tiny packing to listening to your instincts to the best spots to hit up, aka it’s been a lot. But the real reason I booked the trip was to see Michael. It’s been nearly a year since he came into my life and I’ve become a Navy girlfriend. That’s something I never imagined I’d be labeled as because #needy but it has fallen perfectly into place so there are no complaints here.
But before I jump into what this life is like, there has been a debate as to who deserves credit for this coming together and so I figured it was time to settle it once and for all. It was Lisa’s birthday boat but Morgan invited me and Matt & Ryan invited Mike. HOWEVER, I was the one who went up to him after the boat and asked for his number, gave him mine AND texted him that night to meet me out therefore, sorry guys, I get it all. Who agrees? Because seriously, there’s a poll and you need to place your vote.
PHEW, now that that’s settled, let’s get into the real stuff.
The most common questions I get from people is how often do we see each other and how do we make it work. I’ll be the first to say it’s not easy because as I mentioned above #needy. Very thankfully, I’ve been living at home for the past year and have been able to visit him quite frequently. It’s also no secret that I was able to fly out to France within 5 days notice to see him so while living at home has been a rough transition (and I’m still sad about the condo that I didn’t buy), it’s really worked in our favor. Up until he deployed, I was visiting once every month for a long weekend and that is 110% not normal for long distance couples, especially when you throw a military schedule (and my crazy schedule) into the mix. I think we also got pretty lucky that Norfolk is relatively cheap to fly to nonstop which is ideal in these situations because that maximizes the amount of time you’re able to be with each other and minimizes the amount of time you have to take off of work.
As for making the relationship work, I’m obviously biased but I think we do it so incredibly well. Just like in any relationship, great communication is necessary but I feel like when you don’t see each other for days at a time, it’s even more imperative. There’s no room for one word sassy answers, stupid fights or ignoring each other. You quickly learn that if there is an issue, you have to talk it out calmly and not carry it out for days on end. The days together are too precious to let something silly get in the way. Trust is also HUGE. Long distance is never going to work if you don’t 110% trust your partner as all of those insecurities will pop up and not make things pretty.
Another big question I get from people is “what is your plan?” Everyone clearly knows I’m extreme type A so not having a plan is hard for me. And the military really makes it impossible (which ya know, makes sense considering what the job is and trying to be secretive and stuff). And while this can be really hard to deal with, I think ultimately it’s been really great because it’s helped me to loosen up a bit. Not having a plan doesn’t give me quite as much anxiety as it used to. And being understanding of the situation, knowing it’s not his fault it’s just what the job entails makes it much easier. Plus, when you’re flexible, it leaves less room for fights which is key, as mentioned above.
Overall though, the main thing you have to remember is that being in a military relationship is a totally different lifestyle. Saying goodbye becomes a regular thing (followed by a week of depression and irritability), emailing is your main form of communication (plus a little Facebook chat) and it takes FOMO to a whole new level when they port (and when you’re at functions but they aren’t there with you) but on the flip side the hellos and texts are that much sweeter and you get the opportunity to travel to new places. It’s all about that perspective and looking at things in the positive. So while this isn’t for everyone, those that can be flexible and understanding will succeed. It also doesn’t hurt to have a kickass support system behind you *shoutout to mine – you all are the real MVPs*.