Closing the Gap: An Update on Long-Distance to Really, Really Close

Dec 20

Last week, I shared all over Instagram that my writing was featured on the More Love Letters diary.  Y’all, I can’t even tell you how excited I was to get an email from Hannah freaking Brencher & her crew asking me to be on their writing team.  It’s the first time in a while that I got some validation as a writer, which is hard to come by.  But I really feel God pulling at my heart to write more, so I am OBEYING & I’m excited about it.  🙂

Anyway, since it’s been a week since my tips for long distance dating debuted on More Love Letters, I thought I’d share an update on what it’s like after you’ve closed the gap.

Most of you guys know that I moved back to Orange in August, and that was a big change for Robert & I!  Instead of living 90 minutes away, we’re usually about half a mile from each other.  We also work together.  Every day, we’re in the same building working together to grow Madison at the Mill and keep up with his family’s other businesses.  It does have its challenges, but 99% of the time, it is still the best thing.

And because people ask me all the time: no, Robert and I do not live together!  We could walk to each other’s homes though.  I mean, it would be a long, very cold walk these days, so we don’t, but we COULD!

Here are the fun and um . . . different changes in our life together since Robert and I closed the gap!

  • Robert is now the person I text the LEAST.  I realized this the other day, and it was actually the inspiration for this post!  I pulled up my messages to text Robert & started scrolling for our thread.  And I kept scrolling.  And scrolling.  Until I finally found a message between us . . . from two days prior.  TWO DAYS!  Why?  Because we spend most of days TOGETHER now, and it’s incredible.
  • I have to keep my fridge stocked with actual beverages, not just water.  If you saw the grocery list Robert wrote for me on my Instastory the other day, you know why!
  • The biggest challenge has been understanding each other’s alone time.  Robert has his own ways of unwinding, and so do I.  He likes to chill out and play video games while I would rather read or watch a show together.  My love language is quality time, so it hurt my feelings any time he wanted to stay home rather than hang out with me.  I had to learn that just because we COULD hang out 24/7 doesn’t mean we SHOULD.  We’ve learned that some evenings apart to do our own thing is healthy.
  • Since we’ve lived closer, I’ve noticed that we have so much more FUN together.  We get to flirt with each other, and not just via text!
  • A lot of people give me an “oh, yikes” look when I say that Robert and I work together most days.  But honestly?  I love it.  I love getting to work with him on weddings at the Mill (even when we butt heads sometimes, which is usually when one of us is hangry) and see him at the office during the day.  We’ve learned a LOT about each other this way.  Most of all, we learn how to listen to each other.
  • So, what do we lock horns about most?  The wedding venue.  It’s Robert’s baby, but I feel like I have more wedding experience than he does (BECAUSE I DO hahaha).  He’s really good at the things I don’t like, like setting up the tables.  He is a stickler for symmetry, so he’ll shuffle things around 54 times while I’m like, “OMG IT’S FINE!”  Yes, you guys, setting up tables for wedding receptions is, for some reason, SO MUCH HARDER than it should be.
  • My lunch breaks are very different now.  I used to eat in front of my computer, watching Netflix.  Now Robert & I have lunch together almost every day.  It’s such a better “break” in the day.  🙂
  • Now that we spend more time together, I can read his mood like *snaps fingers* that.
  • We tame the baby elephants.  If you haven’t read Hannah’s blog about her first year of marriage, do it today.  It’s so good.
  • We are terrible at date night.  See, when Robert was coming Richmond, there was always something going on.  We would go to movies, try different restaurants, go to Altria Theater, hang out on Brown’s Island, whatever.  Because he was THERE and visiting, it was always a special occasion.  In Orange though . . . not as much to do!  We don’t have a movie theater here, there are a handful of restaurants, etc.  We’re still figuring out how to get creative with dates . . . and there’s a blog post coming about that in 2018! 😉
  • I do treasure the small things we get to do together.  I mentioned in my MLL article that I often felt jealous of couples out having dinner on a Tuesday evening or just running to the grocery store together.  Robert & I get to do those things together now.  And you know what?  Those little things and silly errands are FUN with him. Someone I really respect told me once that a solid marriage is built out having fun doing the little things together, and I’ll never forget that.

So there you have it!  Over 4 years in, Robert and I are still learning a lot about each other AND learning how to communicate and compromise and listen to each other.  It’s not always fun or easy, but it is worth it.

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