Dating with Distance

Posted on: Friday, April 15, 2011

This coming Saturday April 16 marks three years that Kyle and I have been together. While Kyle mostly ruined this occasion for me last year, it is still a milestone worthy of note, so I suppose I should reflect on and ramble about it. 

Over the years I have received many comments and compliments on Kyle's and my largely long (sometimes shorter, sometimes average, about to get really long) distance relationship. People at work would always have stories of woe and stupidity to share regarding their significant others, and for a while I had nothing to contribute to the conversations except a sympathetic frown and maybe a hug. People always tell me they couldn't do it themselves, and I too am impressed. Well, Kyle has made sure to provide me with some good fuel for conversation in the last couple years (ahem), but what's a relationship without its little additional challenges on top of that whole big, looming challenge of hardly ever being in the same place, right? 

The elusive "they" always say that "communication is key" when it comes to just about everything. Our relationship was born out of communication, as distance pretty much dictates, though we were not always great at it. We had a bit of an awkward summer together in State College after my return from Finland, but we soon became better friends than before. I remember that summer when he came over to chat the afternoon after I'd gotten my wisdom teeth out: not optimal talking time we realized not long into the mostly one-sided conversation, but he was there. Aside from this poorly planned parley, well before we started dating, Kyle and I would talk all the time. Starting out my first year at AU while he was going on his second at Pitt, he was the person I talked to more than anyone else. Kyle always seemed to want to talk to me, and I found myself always wanting to talk to him.  He was always there, always wanted to be there for me, even when "being there" meant waiting at the Greyhound bus stop in State College for my- what a surprise- late bus to arrive from DC, only to get to see me for a couple minutes before I was hurried home (not dating at this point). Or if it meant getting fake engaged (but facebook official) to my sister as some sort of roundabout attempt to try to make me jealous (still not dating, and it only worked a little bit, and I'm not sure it has anything to do with "being there," but I wanted to remind you all- remember when that happened? good times). Or even if it meant taking a three hour drive down to DC in the car with my Dad to surprise me while picking me up from school for the summer (OK- we were dating at this point! But only for like a month). Kyle has always been there, in person when he could, on the phone or gchat when he couldn't, and in my thoughts all the rest of the time. 

While communicating about rough topics and being completely open with our thoughts and feelings were not always our strong suits, it is something we've learned through experience, and it's why we've been able to make it through all that we have and end up married on the other side! I do not hesitate to make my feelings known, though I've learned that when I'm really upset, silence from me is more terrifying to Kyle than any amount of yelling or caps lock internet shouting. It's these little gems of knowledge you discover along the way that make for a rich and effective cornucopia of ways to communicate! :)

It's been over a year since Kyle made a surprise withdrawal from Pitt with the apparent intention of joining the military. After living in the same city for six months and for the first time in our relationship, I had just gotten used to the idea that maybe our days of long distance were over. It has been by far the hardest year. I have woken up with my eyes nearly swollen shut more mornings from crying the night before than I should admit (oops), but this kind of thing really shakes up your life, especially when you're left to deal with it all from a distance. Kyle is soon to be deployed; another rough year is soon to start. I feel we are pretty well prepared; I'm certain that if there's any couple that can handle a year apart, we're that couple. We're awesome! Oh, it is going to suck- don't get me wrong. But we've acquired and built up the tools we need to handle just about anything, and we've both gotten quite good at writing letters. 

Stay tuned for the sequel to this post, Married with Miles, up sometime in the next year! 

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

"They are so cute. They are that couple you know that are really nice people and never get in fights. I love them." --Christy


  1. If a couple can survive from the distance and the problems that comes trough the distance, they will survive from anything later on :).. Was nice to read this, while I'm in long distant relationship myself too at the moment, and would need some guidance once in a while..


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