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December 30, 2019


Kelly McKinnis



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How we spent the holidays apart for 2019

If you’ve read our ‘The Story of Us’ series, you’ll know that I moved to Florida from Chicago when Matlock and I started dating.

I don’t regret it for a second, but honestly, it is pretty hard to not see my parents for an entire year.

And same goes for Matlock and his parents. He moved to Florida from Los Angeles six years ago and doesn’t get to visit all too often (the last time he was there was three years ago!)

So, when it comes to the holidays, we sometimes end up apart from each other. This year, I went back to Chicago while Matlock went to Los Angeles. Different time zones, different activities, and not seeing each other for a good amount of time… it’s not exactly easy, but I wouldn’t say it’s difficult either.

And this wasn’t the first time we’ve been apart. Two and a half years ago, Matlock went to South Africa for a couple of months! Talk about different time zones… he was 7 hours ahead of me and our time to talk was very limited.

BUT, we made it work.

And I know we’re not the only ones who end up being apart, whether its for three days or a couple of months. So, I thought this would be an awesome time for us to share some things that worked for us to stay connected while we were in separate places.

1. Have solid communication

I know, I know – this one is probably obvious… but when your day gets busy with your own activities, it can be difficult to stay in touch. Matlock and I will often text throughout the day and let each other know if we won’t be on the phone for awhile due to something like going to see a movie or going to dinner. That way if it takes a long time to get a response from each other, we’re not wondering what’s happening on their end.

Now, when we are together, we don’t really tell each other every moment of the day what we’re doing. But I think it’s important to give more details when you’re apart since you really have no idea what their day is like or what they’re doing unless they tell you. It just helps you feel more connected when you’re long distance and has worked really well for us!

2. Keep each other involved!

One way we keep each other involved is by sending photos of what we’re up to that we know the other will love. While I was in Chicago, I visited the new Starbucks Roastery (the biggest Starbucks in the world!!) and I sent pictures to him as I explored the building. We both LOVE coffee and I would have loved if he was there – so this was one way I was able to include him in on that.

Starbucks Roastery in Chicago

And for Matlock, it was one of those rare moments where it SNOWED in the desert at Joshua Tree!! He sent me a lot of photos and I was in complete awe with him!

Snow at Joshua Tree, California

3. Checking in on the other person

Matlock is my best friend. We spend a TON of time together and I normally know all about his life and vice versa. So, when you’re long distance, even for a short time, it can be kind of weird because you’re not directly in each other’s lives, but life still goes on for each of you. Something may have upset me one day that I wouldn’t normally talk about unless he had directly asked, and talking about it with him helped a lot and I think it made him feel more included on my daily life.

So, we made a rule for ourselves that if we ever felt like something was wrong with the other person to always ask, and to always be honest in our response. This really helps us to still feel like we’re in each other’s daily lives.

4. Be understanding and listen to one another

For us, the first time we spent time apart, we didn’t really know how it would be. I probably could have gone all day without texting or communicating – I just didn’t really think about it honestly 😅 But Matlock really wanted to communicate throughout the day, so I had to intentionally communicate better while we were apart.

Honestly, long-distance is tough, but it can work. I don’t think there’s any right way to go about it, but these points above have really helped us feel comfortable spending time apart when we have to – and we’ve done it a lot over the last three years!

I really hope this can help! Do you have any long-distance tips yourself? Feel free to comment them below!


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