So far, my boyfriend and I have been apart for three weeks and four days. Not that I’m counting. But when your days are marked by going to sleep in a bed that’s too big for you and pulling clothes out of a wardrobe that’s half empty, it’s kind of hard not to. I’ve written before about love in long distance relationships, and I was pretty optimistic. Sure, being away from the person you love sucks, but you can get through it if you’re meant to be. And I still feel that way. I’m in a super committed relationship with the coolest person I know, but I know it was no picnic getting here, and the rest of our time apart won’t be a walk in the park either. So here’s hoping that all of you long distance lovers out there can learn from my mistakes.
You won’t talk every day
This was probably my biggest mistake. I had a vision of us Skyping every day, calling each other before bed, texting non-stop, sending letters and presents all the time. But it isn’t like that at all. Even at our best time, which was when he hadn’t started work and I had a uni break, we only Skyped three times a week and spoke on the phone for less than an hour each day. At our worst time, we didn’t talk for five days. But as much as that sucked, it taught me some important lessons. Firstly, we’re both grown-ups. Even though we’re each other’s first priority, sometimes uni or work or family needs to be dealt with first. And that’s okay. It also showed me that we can survive not talking and not being physically together. Which I think is a pretty good sign.
You’ll want to break up
I was not expecting this one. I knew I’d have moments where I doubted our relationship, but that’s normal even in a regular relationship. What I wasn’t ready for were thoughts about breaking up sneaking into my head almost every day. I think this is partly because of the nature of long distance relationships. When you’re apart the physical, affectionate side of your relationship is missing, and it’s really hard to have tickle fights or crack jokes together. This means that what’s left is mostly talking about what you had for dinner and trying to remember a single interesting thing that happened to you. And sometimes that doesn’t really feel like a relationship. That’s why you need to take the focus off the time you have apart. Talk about your favourite memories together, like when you had a surprise weekend away (yes, this did happen, I am very lucky), or when you had the most romantic birthday of your entire life (also me, very blessed). Or talk about the future, and what your relationship will look like when you’re back together. Just remember that it won’t always be hard. And even though it might suck really bad, ultimately long distance relationships help make stronger couples.