Lessons from Long-Distance Love

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I’m not going to lie – dating long-distance really stinks.

But huzzah! As of a few hours ago, I have now been freed from the shackles of long-distance love as my bride-to-be rode in on her mighty Volkswagen Passat to save me, the man in distress.

Now, she’s sitting behind me – and how good it feels to have feet, not hundreds of miles, in between us. Actually quite literally feet. For some reason she thinks I’m a footstool.

Fifteen Months on the Phone

We’ve learned a lot from these fifteen months of long-distance. We’ve learned to appreciate the moments we have together, to find our satisfaction in God and not the other person, and to cherish each little moment.

Most of those little moments happened on our daily phone conversations.

I feel very blessed to live in the Age of Technology where my fiance was only a phone call away at any moment (if she’d actually pick up!). We prioritized setting aside time each day for a twenty to forty minute conversation.

We had busy lives. She ruled the kingdom of K5 with an iron fist while I dwelled in the land of sorrowful studying (actually, I’m still there!). But we knew the importance of communication in relationships. And looking back, I can count on one hand the number of days we didn’t talk – besides the times I was out of the country.

I cannot stress enough the importance of this for a relationship. And the wonderful technology of an iPhone (or her dumb Droid) made all this possible. And for that I am truly grateful, Mr. Jobs.

A Blessing – Not the Best

Technology, however, can never replace face-to-face interaction.

I’m not a big fan of phone conversations. And actually, I’m not even that much of a texter. But I am a people-lover – most especially a Carissa-lover (I’m president of her fan club!). I like to be able to see the person I’m talking to.

And no matter how much it advances, technology can never replace that feeling.

Virtual hugs are just not the same. And even Skype can’t take the place of the joy I feel looking at her – in person.

So by all means, if you have to be long-distance, use technology to keep in contact. Relationships are built on communication, and media has made that easy. You have no excuse not to talk. It must be a priority – no matter how busy.

But don’t ever think that a text conversation can replace a coffee shop conversation. A phone call is not the same as taking a walk together.

You can survive long-distance – we did. And we are stronger for it! But we survived it by cherishing the time we spent face-to-face. And the time when that wasn’t possible, we cherished the phone conversations. Even when we didn’t feel like it. Even when we were tired and the day was long.

I picked up my iPhone and hit “Carijo” with the red heart each day not to replace seeing her in person. But to give me the little bit of Carissa I needed until that was possible.

Technology is a great supplement. But it makes a poor replacement.



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