Ask a WAG - Making Long Distance Work
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My boyfriend and I have been doing the long distance thing since he was drafted in 2014, the year we both graduated from college. Before that, we had a preview of what it might be like to be away from each other for a season when he played in a collegiate summer league. Luckily, it was close enough so I could go visit/he could come home a couple times a month.
In college, I got to see him every day and could go to all of his home games (and even traveled from NYC to Texas for a series) so the switch to minor league baseball was a bit of a shock to the system. We were fortunate enough to have gone to one of the best universities in the country which gave me the opportunity to start building a great career shortly after I graduated.
As much as I wish I could live and travel with David during the season, we know this is what makes the most sense for us right now because we know we'll be together in the long term; we just think about how fortunate we are to be able to pursue our dreams and build our careers and give each other endless support.
The biggest payoff for us is by having me stay home and work, we were finally able to get our first home together (well, our own tiny apartment) which will give us some stability (something that isn't very common in this baseball life) during the offseason since he had been living out of a suitcase his past three offseasons.
I love living in NYC and I love working in fashion, but long distance is difficult and I would be lying if I said that every once in a while I don't wish I could just give it all up to be with David. That being said, here are some of the ways we have been able to get through the long periods of separation (in no particular order):
1. The biggest thing for us is we make sure we FaceTime goodnight every single night. No matter how long his game goes, I always stay up to make sure I can say goodnight to him.
2. Find little windows during the day when you can jump on the phone and say hi. Sometimes he'll wake up early to call me when I'm on my way to work and sometimes when I'm on my lunch break I'll be able to catch him at a free time.
3. It might take a few weeks, but you will figure out how to get into a good routine. Between my 9-6 job Monday-Friday, going to the gym, making time to see friends and family, I don't have as much free time as I think I do.
4. David and I watch a lot of TV shows together during the offseason, so we try to incorporate this into the season as well. For the shows we watch together, we try to watch at the same day so we can kind of feel like we're watching together.
5. Make FaceTime dates. If David has an early game or off day when he's not traveling we'll both pick up a bottle of wine and have a date over FaceTime.
6. We try to never go a month without seeing each other. I know when it hits that three week mark I become a mess, so I will always try to find a way to get to him within that time.
7. Make the most of long weekends. I always try to visit around weekends and holidays to get the most time there I possibly can. I also always book flights out that morning and go right to work - I may show up like a zombie but it's worth it for that extra night.
8. Try to plan ahead to know when you will see each other next. I still always cry when I say bye/see you later, but it helps when you know the next time you'll see each other.
9. Become friends with other WAGs. I've been lucky enough to have become friends with some great girls who have turned into my baseball family. They are always there if I need to call/text/FaceTime. They'll also send me pics and vids of my guy on the mound when I can't be there.
10. And when I'm really desperate - shopping, wine, and froyo always seem to help a bit! (I honestly asked my best friend how she thinks I get through the season and her answer was FaceTime and Postmates froyo)
Different things work for different people, but this is what works for us. I promise you that you will figure it out. It will be a lot of work, but it will be worth it when you finally get him home for the off season. There are still times when I'm having a bad day I'll just go home and cry because I wish he could just be here. It doesn't ever get easy, but it has made me much more independent and makes us appreciate the time we do have together during the season. Our relationship is by no means "normal," and sometimes during the season it can feel like we're living parallel lives, but it's our normal, and it is and always will be special to us - which is something that's always important to remember.