Long Distance Relationship Wall Art on Etsy

Being in a long-distance relationship affects so many important aspects of your life–your emotions, your schedule, your focus, etc.  Sometimes it’s nice to have a positive visual reminder of why you’re going through so much hardship. Below are four prints I found on Etsy that serve that purpose and look great.  They all come customized for your relationship.  Prints like these can be great even after you’ve closed the distance. They’ll always remind you of how far you came and the obstacles you faced while you and your partner were long distance. One of these prints would make a great gift for your partner.

The first print I want to share with you is super hip! This print features the geographic coordinates of your city and your partner’s city. You can pick your own colors and the final product is a 12×12 print with a black or white frame. Purchase it here for $45.

City Coordinates Print by DefineDesign11 on Etsy

City Coordinates Print by DefineDesign11 on Etsy

 

This long distance relationship art print is so elegant.  You can pick your own colors to make a personalized 8×10 print. Purchase it here for $20. There are options upgrade the size of the print if you wanted something larger.

LDR Art Print by GoodNightOwlDesigns on Etsy

LDR Art Print by GoodNightOwlDesigns on Etsy

 

This one is sold as a travel poster, but it works perfectly for people in domestic (USA) LDRs. It’s a fully customizable 11×14 print.  Purchase it here for $25.

Travel Print PaperFinchDesign on Etsy

Travel Print PaperFinchDesign on Etsy

 

Finally, this custom art print for is perfect those of you in international LDRs. I love maps and though this 11×14 print was especially pretty. Purchase it here for $28

LDR Map Print by breedingfancy on Etsy

LDR Map Print by breedingfancy on Etsy

There you have it–four beautiful prints representing your relationship that aren’t too “lovey dovey”, making them perfect decor pieces.  Do you have any art on your walls that represents your relationship?

Standards in a Long Distance Relationship

Let me say first off – this will probably not be a popular post topic. This may be something you don’t want to look at or even consider.

As someone who’s in an LDR and who lives on the opposite side of the world of her family, I’m begging you to think on this.

When we fall in love with someone who is far away, it sometimes feels like both the impossible, and the most exhilarating mountain to climb all rolled into one. On one hand, there are the incredible lows of missing one another, of not getting to touch, kiss or simply be together. On the other hand, there is the intense high of that precious one to four weeks together. The time spent travelling together, learning about each other’s lives. Of being a privileged insider into your loved one’s innermost workings and being.

And we plan, sometimes impossibly, a life together, one filled with laundry, daily arguing, and deciding on the best meals for dinner.

I don’t think there’s anything which brings out a relationship’s needs faster than an LDR. It requires all the skill of communication that takes many people years to develop even when living together. It requires patience, love, and understanding.

And it also includes knowing what is important to you, and what is flexible.

After a point, perhaps with all the planning, you may wonder if all the work to close the distance is worth it. And you know what? That’s a valuable question. Don’t shortchange it.

What IS valuable to you? What makes that person you want to live with forever worth it.

I can feel the eye-rolling from here. Bear with me. What makes it worthwhile to you, to give up everything in your country, which can include anything from favorite foods to beloved family/friends?

Some people say love is unselfish. I disagree. It requires looking at what is selfish to us, and knowing if we can work within our limitations. It’s NOT selfish to be close to your family, and need to stay and ask them to move, or to ask for a compromise. Being in love doesn’t mean you HAVE to sacrifice everything that’s important to you.

It’s about priorities. And thinking about your future as you want it, regardless of others. And knowing that there are some things you can handle, and some you can’t.

And as always, a sense of adventure, because having an international love is an adventure all of its own.

Don’t be afraid to have standards for what you can and cannot stand. Don’t be ashamed to say “this is enough, and it needs to change.” And never, ever be ashamed to be who you are. Because in the end, that’s all you have. And all your partner has as well.

And any love that grows within two people’s competing needs is truly special indeed. And that is why an LDR is even more precious than words can describe – because despite all of those needs, wants, and more, it survives.

Love long and prosper, my friends.

Marisol Dunham has been a freelance writer since 2007, and now lives with her once long-distance boyfriend in Australia. An American wandering the bush, she writes about her life and writing ventures on her blog at http://www.madunham.com/. You can find her on Twitter at @maridunham.

photo by: zoetnet

Are you Homesick, or Nostalgic?

Traveling down the Missouri highway during my trip through the US, I heard an intriguing interview with author Susan J. Matt, who studied homesickness as it presented itself in American history. Given my own history with the topic, I listened with interest as she described the country’s history with homesickness.

Something she said struck deep, resonating with me, and something I’m sure so many of us who’ve moved realize as well. Talking about the relation of homesickness and nostalgia, she says:

“…Increasingly people discover that they really can’t go home again and that’s kind of the basis of our modern sense of nostalgia.  I think technology had a lot to do with that when you could take the steamship home and go to your village and realize that it had changed during your absence, or you had changed during your absence…or taken the Transcontinental Railroad home and see that your little town in Massachusetts wasn’t what you remembered.  People realized they couldn’t go home again and that became this new sense of nostalgia that what people are longing for today is a lost past and home is located somewhere in that past, but it’s irretrievable.  In contrast, the homesick want a lost place that they can go back to, it’s only a gulf of geography that separates them, whereas the nostalgic is separated by a gulf of time.” ~Susan J. Matt, To The Best of Our Knowledge interview

Deep inside, I knew that once I left home, it would never be the home I remembered. I experienced this when I left for college; upon returning for Thanksgiving, I was struck by how different things were.

Despite my homesickness, part of what I missed was something that could never be retrieved—the inevitable flow of time had worn away at the ways of my childhood home. Although the people I love and the places I held dear remained, I already knew there was no going back to the place I remembered.

And yet, knowing things will change, regardless of whether we’re there or not, is almost welcome. Life for everyone we know doesn’t stop when we leave, or remain frozen until we return. Life continues, and we don’t have to be afraid to miss it, since we’re experiencing it ourselves.

Even if it isn’t in our old beloved haunts.

Marisol Dunham has been a freelance writer since 2007, and now lives with her once long-distance boyfriend in Australia. An American wandering the bush, she writes about her life and writing ventures on her blog at http://www.madunham.com/. You can find her on Twitter at @maridunham.

A Year Living Abroad – Lessons Learned

It’s now been just over a year since I relocated to Australia from America. And like every big experience in life, I’ve learned a few lessons along the way I wish someone had shared with me.

1) Sometimes, the simplest things will REALLY get to you.

After being here a year, I still manage to forget that life here doesn’t run the same way it does back in the States. When having to pick up a prescription refill, I discovered they don’t store my information at the pharmacy (called the chemist here), and I had to bring in the paper prescription every time I refilled. No one had told me this the first time, and I was fairly certain I’d thrown it away with the bag three months ago.

To add to this, getting the prescription refilled required getting a doctor’s visit, which takes about three weeks where I live due to a shortage of doctors.

Luckily, it turned out I kept the information since they’d switched me to a medication, but it was a forcible reminder of how one cannot assume with any interaction.

2) Homesickness doesn’t go away, but you adjust.

There are some days where I feel like jumping on the first plane home. Not because of any particular difficulty, but because my family and friends in the states are amazing, and I miss them terribly.

The funny thing is, if I were to leave here, there are plenty of friends and family I’d miss here, too. And planning something with them keeps the homesickness away.

3) You aren’t who you were a year ago.

Every experience you’ve had, good and bad, will be with you forever. You’ll learn life lessons, some of them going deeper and cutting harder because of the unfamiliar surroundings.

Then one day, you’ll be going through town and nothing will seem odd. The buildings are the same old, the scents familiar, the people ones you’ve seen elsewhere.

And then, it hits. This place has become home. A place filled with problems and benefits, annoyances and joys. Maybe it wasn’t what you expected, but it’s okay.

 

So, was the year wasted? Not in my case. How about yours?

 

Marisol Dunham has been a freelance writer since 2007, and now lives with her once long-distance boyfriend in Australia. An American wandering the bush, she writes about her life and writing ventures on her blog at http://www.madunham.com/. You can find her on Twitter at @maridunham.

 

photo by: Robert Nyman

Jealousy in Long-Distance Relationships

Jealousy is one the biggest problems that people in long-distance relationships face.  Not all of us go through it, but most of us will deal with jealousy at some point or another.  It may be a manageable twinge here and there, or it may be an ocean of paranoia.  It is not uncommon and it can be dealt with if you’re willing to accept your emotions.

Crazy jealousy nearly ruined my relationship.  I’m married now, but my husband went through a period that almost tore us apart.  I was jealous of every woman in the world at that point.  He could hardly even talk about his mother without me getting jealous!  I’m ashamed to admit it ever happened–I’ve practically blocked that time period out of my head. If I was able to overcome such strong feelings of jealousy, you can too.

How to overcome feelings of jealousy

Talk about it.  It might seem awkward to say “Hey, I’m jealous of _____. Can we talk about it?”, but it’s a lot better than the accusations and sessions of questioning that usually come with jealousy.

Keep yourself busy.  Developing some hobbies and participating in some activities can help keep your mind away from those jealous feelings.  Instead of sitting at home thinking “I wonder what he/she is doing right now…”, you’ll be busy doing your own thing.  I found that this helped me avoid jealous thoughts and also improved my confidence.

Work on your own insecurity.  Most episodes of jealousy stem from our own insecurity. You’re not actually jealous of your boyfriend’s female coworker, but rather a little insecure about yourself.  Try to build your own confidence; after all, you’re amazing!

Manage anxiety.  If you manage the stress and anxiety in your life outside of your relationship, you’ll be less likely to overreact when feeling jealous.  Meditation and exercise are two of the easiest and most effective strategies for dealing with stress.

See a professional.  Sometimes jealousy and insecurity can be so intense that you can’t beat those feelings on your own.  If you’ve tried the suggestions in this article and still find yourself struggling with jealousy, it may be best to seek professional help.  If you are a student, you can often get free counseling at your school’s health center.

How to handle a jealous partner

Stay calm.  I know you want to yell at your partner and let them know that you’re sick of the paranoia and sick of the questioning.  That will just make the situation worse, though.  Try your best to stay calm.

Reassure your partner.  As long as your partner is actively working on calming their feelings of jealousy, do your best to reassure them.  Jealousy often stems from insecurities, so do your best to make them feel secure and confident about your feelings for them.

Encourage them to reexamine their behavior.  Calmly ask “How would you feel if I questioned you like this?”  and “Have I given you any reason to distrust me?”.  Asking them to step into your shoes can help them realize how insane their behavior has become.  Remember that the realization can be painful; for me, it came with lots of embarrassment (and still does.)

Have you dealt with jealousy in your long-distance relationship? How did you overcome it?  Share your story in the comments section below.