How My Long Distance Friendships Have Prepared Me for Military Life
If there's one thing you can mentally prepare for ahead of time when you're becoming a military spouse or reaching a big transitional moment in your life is the potential of moving. Moving away from your friends and family, from your college town or the street you've lived on your entire life can be scary, especially when you don't know whether or not your friendships and relationships will last.
When I first left home it was after college because I went to a university right up the street from where I lived. I was terrified of leaving my parents let alone trying to figure out how to maintain long-distance friendships with my friends. I love sitting down and just free writing, because it's not something I get to do on the blog very often, but this post started as a post with advice about long-distance friendships and has evolved into something more.
Long-distance relationships and friendships teach you a lot and I'm convinced that my experience with long-distance friendships since I graduated college and moved to New York have prepared me for military life.
You Get Out What You Put In
Long-distance relationships, whether they're friends or romantic partners, take work. When it comes to an LDR friendship, you're going to have to put in a lot of work in order to maintain it. This may mean setting up regular times to FaceTime or talk on the phone, planning trips together, etc. If you're expecting the people on the other side to put effort into the relationship, you better be willing to as well.
Military life is always going to be what you make of it. The experience can be fantastic or it can suck so it literally is going to be what you put in. If you want to be upset because you didn't get the post you wanted then you're going to be miserable when you're there. Instead of being miserable, take it as an opportunity to see the good in every decision.
There Will Be Highs and Lows
The worst thing about long-distance friendships is not being able to be there for someone in person when they need you or vice versa. Just like everything else in life, long-distance relationships come with highs and lows. You may have to get creative about comforting friends going through breakups or family issues when you can't physically there for them. There may also be times when your long-distance friendship goes through periods of highs and lows as well.
Military life is full of highs and lows, from what I've learned already (and I still have two months to go before I officially become a military spouse). You never know what life is going to through your way, especially as a military spouse so knowing how to handle each high and low with grit and grace is key.
You Find New Ways to Communicate
Whether it's one-liners, inside jokes, Memes or GIFs, in any type of long-distance relationship, you're going to have to figure out how to communicate. My friends and I speak in inside jokes, movie quotes, and even GIFs and Memes. Communication is crucial in long-distance friendships, especially as military spouses because your friends could be all over the world. Learning how you communicate best and how your friends communicate will also help your long-distance friendships thrive.
Friends Are Forever
No matter how much time goes by, friends are always going to be there for you. You can always count on your true friends to be there, no matter how far the distance has you apart. Friends are one of the most important things in life and that's why I love the saying, "Find your tribe and love them hard" because at the end of the day, the people who are closest to you matter. These are the people that are going to get you through your toughest times in life and I can think of nothing more vital than that as a military spouse.