Day 279: The long distance relationship [update]

Today’s inane image of the day:

One popular search phrase that lead people to my blog: “medical school books” — so I thought hey, why not post yet another image of medical school books?!  

It has been a little while since I touched upon the subject of long distance relationships [LDR]. As you might recall, I was struggling with my LDR back in October but by February, I doled out advice on maintaining [long distance] relationships. Tonight, as I was scrolling through my Google Reader feed [have you subscribed to my blog yet?], I noticed that the Thought Catalog had an entry entitled, “How to survive any long distance relationship.” After reading through it [and feeling rather unsatisfied with its content…] I decided to make this update about how things are going in my LDR.

Without a doubt, our relationship has taken a beating throughout the year. Mike has been exceedingly resilient [he’s totally smirking right now as he reads this] and supportive throughout all of my stressed out rants and panic attacks over exams. Sadly, I don’t feel like I’m reciprocating enough; because time is so limited and there’s always so much to do, I often catch myself taking our relationship for granted. [I’m slowly working on changing that.]

Maintaining a long distance relationship while in medical school is no easy feat. It requires a unique type of dedication, understanding and strength to pull through. I cannot claim to be an expert on the subject because it hasn’t even been a year since Mike left for California, but the first few months were the most difficult. There were a lot of factors to adjust to in those first few months: medical school, meeting new people, staying sane… adding an LDR only complicated things further. But then again, here we are more than nine months later.

In my earlier entry, I failed to mention how important it is to reach out to supportive friends. Admittedly, there were times when I thought the relationship wasn’t going to make it. Mike felt it, too. But then I called up one of my friends and she guided me toward a sound conclusion. Normally, it’s really hard for me to ask for help, but sometimes you just need to overcome your ego or whatever is preventing you from reaching out to someone because emotions tend to cloud logic — talking about it helps clear up the situation and leaves you open to ideas you probably would not have discovered on your own. I am so grateful for the wonderful individuals [yes, if you think I might be referencing you, I am] that have listened patiently to my redundant rants about this relationship. Thank you.

Despite my pragmatic and sometimes pessimistic view on life, I’m optimistic about making my long distance relationship work. After all, we’ve made it this far…

Are you in a long distance relationship? Are you considering one?

12 thoughts on “Day 279: The long distance relationship [update]

  • May 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm
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    Unfortunately, I’ll be in one in a few years when my boyfriend leaves for his fellowship and I’m still in school. We’re looking at 1-2 years separated but it will be after 3 years together so I’m hoping we’ll have a good foundation to base it on- but I’m still not looking forward to it =/ It is helpful to hear about others experiences with LDR, especially in medicine. I think the field makes it uniquely difficult. I know I’ll be having a lot of near-panic attacks 🙂

  • May 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm
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    As always, another great post Amanda. My morning ritual now includes reading your blog, and subscribing has made sure I haven’t missed a beat 🙂

    I have about 4 years of long distance relationship experience. Finding a balance between enjoying myself here and making time for trips/calls/emails is how I made it through. I’m fairly certain the distance has strengthened our relationship because we’ve had ample time to develop as individuals in our new settings and not mutate into one of those monstrous two headed couples that does absolutely everything together and will turn into a babbling mess of goop if they are separated for even a minute. You’re 100000% right though that it absolutely sucks sometime (we both hate how every spring, all we seem to see is coupled waltzing around town holding hands), but you two will be together again someday.

    Only 4 weeks left till my someday 😀

  • May 21, 2012 at 3:54 am
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    I’m not currently in a long-distance relationship, but I do believe that they can work. I know for sure they are hard, but I also believe that it’s very important for both people to really want to make it work, for it to actually work. I like how you pointed out the need for a support friend/group that especially believes in your relationship. That’s so important!

    Really nice post Amanda =). Enjoyed reading every word of it!

  • May 22, 2012 at 11:59 am
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    1-2 years will definitely be tough [especially since he’ll be doing a fellowship and you still in medical school] but Mike and I started our LDR after only 1.5 years together and we’re doing okay at least.

    Medicine definitely adds another layer of complexity to the distance, but in the end, it’s just like everything else in the field – tricky, but so worth it.

  • May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm
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    Thanks, Jordan! I always look forward to your comments. =)

    Mike and I were totally a prime example of one of those 2-headed-couples that does absolutely everything together… haha. It has been interesting trying to undo the mutation process.

    I think the most annoying part of Springtime for me is that our anniversary is the weekend after Valentine’s day… wah wah. But you’re right, we’ll be together again someday!

    When is the official date that you guys are tying the knot?

  • May 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm
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    I’m on the verge of starting a LDR with someone I met during my time as a TFA teacher. We met each other at the beginning of the training (right out of college 2 years ago) but were both in relationships so I never pursued anything. I thought I had been permanently jailed in the “friend zone” too, so 1.5 years went by with nothing more than the occasional call/text/FB wall post or bumping into each other at required TFA conferences.

    A week ago we saw each other at the TFA alumni induction (now both single) and everything felt right. After an amazing night, we’ve started talking more and the truth about how we feel each other has come out. The problem: She’s staying in North Carolina for a 5 year program to become a principal, whereas I’ll either be in Atlanta or Chicago for medical school. It hurts to know that I’ve finally found someone who I can see spending the rest of my life with, but the timing couldn’t have been worse.

    Thanks for all the tips. I look forward to reading your blog more.

  • May 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm
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    Hi Erik,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story! [As an aside, would you be interested in submitting a story for my other blog project dedicated to sharing long distance relationship stories? I’m hoping to make it into a sort of online support community and am hoping to get it going sometime this summer.]

    Even if the timing seems like a problem, at least your distance won’t be *too* unmanageable. No doubt it will be difficult since both of you will be in high-stress and intensity programs, but there’s definitely time during medical school to make time for your relationship. It’s not easy and it’ll take time to get used to, but as long as both of you are clear on your expectations and have an end goal, things will work out.

    Good luck!

  • May 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm
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    Also, would you be interested in submitting your long distance experience for my other blog project dedicated to sharing long distance relationship stories? I’m hoping to make it into a sort of online support community and am hoping to get it going sometime this summer… let me know! =)

  • May 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm
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    Thanks for the advice, Amanda. I’d love to submit a story and take part in a community like that.

  • May 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm
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    Our wedding is June 29th, 2013, so my summer break will be my honeymoon 🙂 I’m most excited for our reception since it will be at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. We get an hour beverage service in the gorilla exhibit!

    As for the other blog – sure! Just let me know when!

  • May 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm
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    PS – you did a great job redesigning your blog! I really like this layout.

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