Treasure these few words ’till we’re together
Keep all my love forever
P.S., I love you
You, you, you.
The lyrics of that famous Beatles’ song will forever remind me of the excitement of being in love, even when you can’t be together. Recently, CatholicMatch member and astute blogger, Jessica Zimanske, wrote a poignant article on how to cultivate courtship, which rings true with the message of this song.
It also got me thinking about all the CatholicMatch members who are attempting long distance relationships. In reading Jessica’s post, I thought back to the days when my husband and I began dating and eventually got engaged. He was living in Georgia and I was living in Connecticut. It’s not easy keeping a long distance relationship going when travel is expensive and the cost of living is so high. So I thought I would throw out a few suggestions for those of you in long distance relationships who are working hard to keep the flames of romance alive.
1. Be Thoughtful
Let’s face it, being away from each other when you are in deep like or possibly in love is hard. As you go through your day thinking of each other, it would be great to get together for lunch or meet up after work but the distance makes it impossible. So this is the time to be creative and come up with some thoughtful ways to express your affection instead of just texting a quick, “Miss you!”
- Handwritten letters and cards, especially in our age of instant technology, has a huge impact on the recipient and certainly shows you’ve gone out of your way to make him or her feel special.
- If you can’t have dinner together, order Chinese food or a pizza and have it delivered to your boyfriend/girlfriend (I did this once and had the guy making the pizza form the dough in the shape of a heart – that’s a surprise my husband and I still talk about today).
- Offer a Eucharistic hour for him/her and announce it with a card describing your “gift of love.”
- Send flowers. What girl doesn’t like to get surprised by flowers? I know many people are having tough financial times, but if you can afford it, why not?
2. Be Flexible
I’ve read many complaints about how a guy says he can’t make the long drive and insists that the woman come to him, or how the woman insists it’s his obligation to come to her. Frankly, I don’t think this is a good sign in a relationship. While chivalry would dictate men should take the initiative on this, I think it’s a sign of a charitable good nature if both parties are be willing to travel whenever possible. But, here again, you can be creative. You can meet each other in the middle instead of one going to the other’s location. You can meet in a completely different city just to inject some excitement into your time together. If you live in New Orleans and your date lives in Chicago, why not meet in Nashville for a fun weekend?
3. Stick To Your Commitment To Be Chaste
Yes, it’s that slippery slope again and I’m here to tell you that not sleeping together before you’re married IS possible. You can do it. As a matter of fact, if you stick to remaining chaste and you do get married, your waiting just makes married life all the more wonderful. So when you are together, make sure you have separate hotel rooms – on separate floors of the hotel – and don’t allow your kisses and hugs to get out of control. All things within reason. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how Catholic you are, you are human and you are prone to making mistakes, so just keep this guidepost in place and you will succeed.
4. Seek God’s Will
Pray the rosary together as much as possible; over the phone or just having a designated time of the day when you both pray in your separate locations, but pray to know God’s will for your relationship. Holy hours and novenas are also a great way to discern God’s will, but doing them together is key. There’s a great website for novenas that will deliver the daily prayers right to your email box called PrayMoreNovenas.com. The owners of the website are a young Catholic couple that just got married in 2012 and provide the site to help others grow in their faith.
Keeping love alive across the miles can be a challenge, but it can also be a wonderful time in your relationship that causes your love for each other to flourish.
Count on my daily prayers for you all and feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.