Those of you who have been reading my blog for several months or even from the very beginning will know that firstly: this person is incredibly important to me, and that secondly: we have been living with a long distance relationship for over four years now.
We had only been together for six months before we ended up being over 200 miles apart for about two-thirds of the year.
It sounds a little worse than it was, although for eight to twelve week periods three times a year we’d only get to see each other once or maybe twice, we did have long holidays at Christmas and Easter and then several months in the summer in which we only lived a few miles apart and could see each other for lovely long periods of time!
Although the terms could sometimes seem to stretch out for an incredibly long time, we always had the holidays to look forward to. After weeks of not seeing each other, the time we had seemed extra special and we could forget being apart for several weeks.
The thing is, things have changed this autumn. Tom has moved to the capital and has started a full-time job (scary!). This means that now there are no lengthy student holidays in which we can see each other several times a week for a month at a time. But it does also mean that we are geographically closer and thus only a reasonably short train ride apart. Weekends have become incredibly precious, roughly every other weekend one of us hops on the train to visit the other and stay the night. These nights are already my favourite time, waking up besides Tom just feels like such a wonderful treat, it’s the only time I wake up with a smile!
Long distance definitely is not easy but there are definitely things you can do to make life a little bit easier for both people and make the relationship stay special…
1. Communication. Seriously. Everyone who’s ever been in a long distance relationship will tell you this but it is just so true. You need to talk, you need to tell the other person how you’re feeling, you need them to know when things are a little tough. Skype will become your new best friend – you can talk to each other for free and you can actually see each other which really really helps when you’re missing each other! Send little texts in the middle of the day; write long emails; maybe even send the occasional letter, imagine how happy your partner will be to open it up and read it.
2. Have some kind of clear relationship parameters Because you are not together as often as couples in more conventional relationships it is especially important that you both know where the other stands on important relationship issues. Be open about what you want from the relationship and what you see for it in the future. This might sound a little stilted but being clear about what you want is really helpful and avoids any problems of this sort.
3. Make your time together special. When you only have a little time together make sure you don’t waste it. Do something fun together, go on dates, spend time doing each other’s favourite things, discover new places together, maybe even take the occasional mini break. Create wonderful memories to cherish and relive in the time you are apart.
4. Trust each other. I cannot stress how important this is. Depending on how long you have to be apart, sometimes emotions like jealousy or lack of confidence can begin to surface and this can be toxic to your relationship. You need to trust your partner, of course they will have a social life with the people around them whom you have never met, this is normal and healthy, that doesn’t mean they’re forgetting about you. Equally by being open about what you are both doing means that there can be no damaging suspicion and you can both feel safe in your relationship.
5. Stay positive! Although it may seem really horrible to be apart, there are some positives, for example the time you do have together will feel extra special, you also have more space to do your own things and develop as your own person. It’s incredibly important to make sure you do not dwell on any negatives, if you have an argument deal with it and then let it go – holding on to it will only breed unhappiness and further arguments. Enjoy your relationship and on the plus side, you will definitely appreciate your relationship that extra little bit 🙂
I hope my advice is helpful to anyone out there about to start, or already dealing with, a long distance relationship. Sometimes they do fail and people decide to separate but I can promise you that they can also be hugely rewarding and worth everyday of feeling lonely!
Are you in/have you ever been in a long distance relationship?
Do you have any advice of your own?