Mark: Jill had a unique opportunity for a girlfriend trip to Florida this past week so we spent the week apart.  When one of us travels, we’ve found it very important to have a plan for staying connected.

Jill: As a recovering avoider, I have to work to think about staying connected. I have a low personal need to touch base when we’re apart. I know Mark will be there when I return and trust that we’ll catch up then.

Mark: For me, however, staying in touch daily…if not several times a day…is important to me. I need that connection. I like to know what’s happening in Jill’s world and I like her to know what’s happening in mine.

Jill: Connecting more often is in the best interest of our marriage, so that’s where we’ve landed in our plan for staying connected while we’re apart.  Here are the strategies we use:

Text: We text throughout the day just letting each other what’s going on in each other’s world.

Bitmoji: The Bitmoji app on our smartphones let’s us send quick messages back and forth in a fun way.

Phone: If it works for our schedules, we try to talk or Facetime each day.

Pray: We pray for each other intentionally while we’re apart.

Pictures: We text pictures of what is happening in each of our worlds.

GIFs: Sharing GIFs is fun way to bring a smile to each other’s face. One of the friends Jill was away with, her husband was the GIF king during their trip. When she mentioned to him they were going shopping, he sent a hilarious shopping GIF. Whatever they were doing, he found a GIF to match it. It was a great way to stay connected.

Mark: It’s likely that in your marriage, one of you desires to stay connected more often when you’re apart and one of you doesn’t think about it as much.  The most important thing is to agree upon a plan of connection and to make that plan a priority.

Jill: If you’re the one who needs less connection, you may have to do some very practical things like set a timer on your phone or make a calendar reminder to prioritize connection.

Mark: Staying connected is valuable even throughout the workday, but it’s even more important when you’re apart for a longer timeframe.

What about you? How do you intentionally stay connected when you’re apart? 

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