Supporting each other vital to making long-distance relationships successful

  • Published
  • By Airman Cortney Paxton
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Saying goodbye is never easy.

Although everyone will experience some type of separation at some point in their lives, this tough situation came early for me. I was graduated from high school only nine days before I said goodbye to the ones I love and took my first steps to becoming an Airman in the world's most powerful Air Force.

'Leaving the nest' is inevitable and part of growing up so saying goodbye to my family wasn't the hard part; saying goodbye to my high school sweetheart - now husband - was.

I was somewhat used to a long-distance relationship due to the fact that my husband, Dylan, lived in Missouri and I was in Iowa, but a seven-hour drive and a flight halfway across the nation are two completely different things.

Believe it or not, Basic Military Training and Technical School weren't the hardest parts to cope with. It wasn't until I arrived here and started my life without Dylan that the separation really started to sink in. His life is in Missouri and, until the timing is right, we'll be apart; something we're both well aware of.

I could very easily sit in my room alone and wish that I was with him; but, unlike some of my fellow Airmen deployed right now, I have the ability to call and talk to Dylan whenever I want.

Although I can break our separation by spending the small amount of money for a plane ride and using the hard-earned leave I save up, I realize not everyone is that lucky. We're grateful for every minute we get together, whether it be through a phone line or a couple plane rides.

Even with the ability to see each other, separation is hard; so we put our heads together and
did some improvising to help make things a little easier.

Talking on the phone to the same person for hours on end can start to become a little redundant.

We thought of some ideas to keep our long-distance relationship interesting.

Every once in a while we'll Skype each other. At least once a week we have "movie night" where we call each other up, put in the same movie and press play at the same time. It's just like going to the movies with him, if you ignore the fact he's 1,300 miles away. We even go grocery shopping "together" - we make our lists then call each other at the grocery store.

There are plenty of ways to stay connected when you're so far apart.

Dylan and I have found the things that keep us united. But the one thing that keeps our relationship the strongest is support - support from each other and from the people around us.

If you're separated from someone it's important to know that the other person is there for you. Whenever you find yourself having a tough time with a separation, remember that the other person is going through the same thing, and that even though every day that passes is one day further from the last time you saw them, it's one day closer to the next time you will.