I could definitely call myself a long distance relationship veteran. I have gone through both long distance friendships, and long distance relationships. But that was all when I was a teenager, who has grown up in the digital age. It seemed quite natural to have friends across the country or across the world.
Until I met Mr Arguably Honest…
…on an Internet forum.
And it was no longer natural – I couldn’t wait for the distance to no longer be there.
Overall, almost 2 of the 4 years we’ve been together we’ve spent in different countries. Although that completely sucked, we survived it, came out of it strong.
The first year was just after we met – two teenagers in different countries. We were getting to know each other, talking a lot. I was meant to soon move to England, so it seemed fine.
The second year was a bit more abrupt, and neither of us expected it. After a short period of being in England, I had to suspend my studies and come back to Poland for health reasons. After being able to see each other every week, the perspective of being apart for so long again was daunting. To be honest, I was worried Mr Arguably Honest would tell me to go to hell when I told him I had to stay at home. He didn’t. Thankfully.
But I guess you can see why I believe I am a true LDR veteran. I really know them inside out. As they say, I’ve been there, done that.
Most articles and posts about long distance relationships have a negative feel to them – such relationships are apparently impossible to sustain, not real relationships at all, and just lead to heartbreak. I am a living and breathing example that this isn’t true. So I decided to bring you a more uplifting and positive image. Because although they’re hard work, and not as nice as being able to see each other whenever you want, if you really love someone, they’re totally worth it.
To the point, though. I think there are a few things you can do to make your long distance relationship work – not just manageable, but also kind of enjoyable.
Have a regular Skype date
Skype (or FaceTime) is probably the best invention of our times, even if it doesn’t work properly half the time. I can’t imagine a long distance relationship without it – WhatsApp is great for everyday communication, but nothing can replace a face-to-face conversation, even if that face is only on the screen. Setting a weekly Skype date is very important – saying you will Skype once/twice a week just won’t do. You will always end up being busy or having stuff to do. Set a day or two during the week, and make them sacred. Inform your family you’re unavailable during that time. Don’t make any other plans. It’s the time for the two of you.
If you don’t live too far, try to visit often
It wasn’t an option for Mr AH and me, as we were in different countries, but if you are parted by a smaller distance, try to arrange to see each other as often as possible. An occasional hug is better than no hug.
Have an end date
I think the bad press long-distance relationships are getting comes from the fact that, if they’re indefinite, and you don’t know when they’re going to end, it’s really hard to keep going. In both cases, Mr AH and I knew when I would be coming (back) to England, so it was a bit easier for us because we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re really serious about your relationship, you should think about its future. Will one of you move to be with the other? Will you both move somewhere else? LDRs can’t go on indefinitely.
Be ready for no sex
Obviously, if you’re in different places on the planet, there will be no sex in the conventional sense of the word. So make sure you know about it and are ready before you get into the relationship. If you think you will have trouble staying faithful to your partner, you will be better off not getting together at all. Unless you’re doing some open relationship thing. But I don’t understand those.
Turn your trust button on
You’re in different countries. Your boyfriend/girlfriend will go out with friends, or go clubbing during the time you’re in an LDR. You need to embrace it. If you are going to be calling them every 5 minutes whenever they’re out, then you might as well just call it quits before it starts. Just wish them a nice evening and go watch a movie. There will be temptations, for both of you. But if you don’t trust your loved one to resist them, or don’t trust yourself, should you really be together?
Keep them in the loop
What would you do after a long day if your partner was waiting for you at home? Tell them about your day, I’d assume. So when you’re in a long-distance relationship, you should keep them posted about whatever happens in your life as well, consult important decisions. Basically, what you would normally do in person, do it on the phone or online. Whoever came up with the idea of WhatsApp is forever going to be my hero.
See light at the end of the tunnel
An LDR will be hard at times. You will wish you could just cuddle together and watch a movie together, munching on a big bag of Tesco’s sweet and salty popcorn. Or you will physically miss your boyfriend/girlfriend so much the only thing you’ll want to do is cry. But try to think that there will be an end to it. It’s just a rough patch in your relationship, one that, once you go through it, you’ll know that all this was worth it.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. And if you listen to the advice above, your LDR will be that little bit easier.