When Jay moved from Sydney to Rotterdam I knew the time difference would be more of a challenge. Sure, he’s 18 hours closer to me but I still need to hope on a plane for 7 hours to go see him so it doesn’t make that big of a difference in terms of ease of travel. The time difference is what gets me now. People always seem to think that the bigger the difference, the harder it is to connect with one another. To some extent that’s true, but there’s also a weird middle ground of horribleness associated with time differences. Jay and I used to be 14 hours apart (sometimes 15 hours or 16 hours depending on daylight savings time) when he was in Australia. I remember thinking to myself before he left that it was going to be impossible to chat. I mean 14 hours??? That just seemed like way too much.
But to be honest, I don’t know if I would have adjusted as well to the distance if he was in the Netherlands first. In Australia Jay would wake up as I got off of work and we could chat for a little while until I went to bed or he went about his daily routine. When I woke up, Jay was getting ready for bed so we had another hour or two to chat with each other. It was as if our days were flipped, in a night-and-day sort of sense. But now we’re battling a new time difference of 6 hours (he’s still ahead of me….always just chilling in the future). This is a lot more difficult for me.
The biggest challenges with this new time difference are:
- I don’t get to talk with Jay before I go to sleep. One of my favorite things is to talk to Jay on Skype as I fall asleep or send him messages about my day as I slowly close my eyes. I don’t have that anymore, but he still gets to talk to me before he goes to sleep (which is now a little after I get home from work).
- I want to talk to him during the day. Now that Jay and I share some of the same hours in our day I just want to talk to him all the time! Knowing that he’s awake and available to chat makes it so difficult to resist the urge of skipping work and Skyping instead (which obviously I would never actually do). I can just hear these voices in my head saying “but he’s awake and you’re awake….why aren’t you talking!?” Go away, voices…I have work to do!
- Finding the time. With work picking up and my social life buzzing along, it can be hard to find the time to talk with Jay. We try to Skype often, but it is usually when I get home from work. If I come home too late or have dinner plans it can skew up our schedule. I don’t want to sacrifice too many things so we can Skype, but I also really really want to Skype!
But no challenge is too difficult for us. We have already found some ways to deal with this new time difference:
- I don’t get to talk with Jay before I go to sleep…Solution: Jay now goes to bed early some nights when he knows I’m busy so he can wake up earlier and Skype me. This means that I get to talk to him before I fall asleep, which is awesome! I make sure he doesn’t wake up too early (I don’t want him falling asleep in class) and I completely understand if he hits snooze instead. It’s still a nice treat to see him every once in a while before bed
- I want to talk to him during the day…Solution: Sometimes I can’t fight the urge…I must talk to him during the day! Luckily for me, I get an hour break for lunch every day. If we really want to chat I’ll go out to my car and Skype him on my phone for a little while. It’s usually no more than 20 minutes, but it’s more than sufficient for us.
- Finding the time…Solution: When we really can’t find time during the day, but want to talk to each other I will make sure I head straight home from work. We’ll try and throw in random Skype sessions whenever we can and also chat each other short messages throughout the day. Just having these seemingly small conversations really keeps us happy until we can find time for a real Skype session.
Of course our system is far from perfect, but we’re doing our best to maintain a strong connection. How do you deal with the time difference? Have you or your SO moved to a different time zone during your relationship? If you are experiencing (or have past experience with) a 6 hour time difference, do you have any advice for me? I’d love to hear your suggestions! Comment below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!