During the application process, Peace Corps inquires about relationship statuses of all applicants. And for obvious reasons, they are casting for the next MTV’s Real World. I mean, after half a century of Peace Corps volunteers, they know the toll distance can take on relationships.
Volunteers have extreme highs and lows throughout their 27 months of service and sometimes those ups-and-downs are difficult for someone on the “outside” to grasp. Romantic partners may worry from afar, but they still have no control over situations thousands of miles away.
I can’t tell you that a long-distance relationship is easy because it is not. I realize many things are out of my control (I think I need to write a blog post called: who is in control?). Some days the network is just down or the WiFi signal is only strong enough to connect in short phrases of “can you hear me?” or “what did you say?”
I originally wrote the post to give tips about navigating a long-distance relationship, but I realize there is no true answer across the board. But, I will tell you the two most important reasons why a long- distance relationship as worked for us.
“Big talk” and the tone was set early in our relationship. We’ve defined our relationship and what that entails during and after my service. Of course, openness includes honesty, trust, and patience. Since we’re able to discuss these things, I believe we’ve been able to build a stronger foundation.
Having support back home can make or break a volunteer’s service, IMO. I have been extremely fortunate to have a boyfriend who has supported my decision to continue on with Peace Corps and “accomplish the goals I set out to meet.” Peace Corps is important to him because it is important to me. Having a boyfriend who can provide sound advice especially when my emotions are whack has been beneficial for me. I won’t go into sappy deets.
Another bonus of our long-distance relationship is we don’t argue much. We realize the times we talk are valuable and there’s little time or energy to be upset with each other.
Welp, there you have it.