‘Long distance never works!’
We’ve all heard it, said it and thought it. I know this time last year I couldn’t have agreed more, I had 100% sworn off ever dating outside of my postcode again – then I met my boyfriend and the bastard completely screwed that up!
I’m currently clinging on to the belief that we can prove the doubters wrong, as hard as it is we’ve pretty much got this thing nailed and I only want to run away to London and hang off his ankles and yell about loving him about 6 days of the week. That’s fairly good going I feel.
How have we managed to make it work? Fuck knows, fluke mostly. That and spending far more time on trains than should be legally allowed. But there are a few other things I feel are key to keeping a long distance relationship alive, well and most importantly – healthy.
Honesty and Communication
Being able to talk openly and honestly is key to ensuring any relationship remains the best it can be. When that relationship involves only seeing each other every other weekend it becomes even more important.
You need to be able to tell them when you’re feeling uneasy about that girl at work, or if it seems like you’ve been a bit forgotten this week, or when it’s all just getting too much. Things can eat away at you when you don’t have the luxury of being able look them in the eye and know things are ok, so these conversations become essential.
It’s harder to talk openly with distance, you don’t want to ruin those rare times you actually get to spend together by filling it with serious talks and not everything can be said over WhatsApp or a half hour on FaceTime – but you need to find the time and the way to discuss these things.
I’m still working on doing this, a text of ‘I’m fine.’ (the full stop is key here) may make it clear I’m not, but it doesn’t help anything and I only end up sulking all night about the fact he can’t read my mind and actually believes me when I say I don’t want to talk about it.
(It’s just dawned on me I’m definitely the wrong person to be writing this…)
If you live in the same town you set aside nights for one another, even if those nights just involve sitting in your pyjamas watching RuPaul and barely speaking (and I hate you for how lucky you are). The same time needs to be set aside if you don’t have the luxury of sharing a sofa. Of course it’s tempting to spend every night drinking with your friends, you get that part of the single life without the awkward attempts to find someone to take home, but your long distance beau needs to feel like a priority still. If you can’t offer them a night or two a week twatting around on FaceTime it can be easy to begin to feel forgotten.
Talking to them in your free time is one thing, but showing that you’re willing to free your time for them means a thousand times more.
Stock up on Canesten
And Cystopurin. Just trust me, ladies.
Talk About the Little Things
Breakfast, lunch, cups of coffee, stupid Buzzfeed lists, the freaks you see on public transport. They all seem pointless but the pointless is exactly what makes the distance feel a little bit less and offers some reassurance that out of sight doesn’t have to mean out of mind.
Never, EVER start a series together
If by some complete miracle you manage to resist the urge to keep watching without them you will be waiting years before you ever finish. Chances are however you’ll find yourself watching it on the sly and not speaking for days when you let slip that Dan is Gossip Girl. Oh…
There are a million other things that constantly add to the difficulty of distance; people acting like you’re not in a real relationship; having to go to coupley events alone; never getting long, lazy Sundays that involve nothing but roast meat and cuddles; and the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and never any less painful act of saying goodbye. That last one really is the worst, I’m not sure a word has been invented yet for the pain it causes.
But all of the missing each other and the lonely nights are completely worth it when you get to spend a whole weekend doing absolutely nothing together. Especially if you’re as lucky as me and have an idiot so perfect you couldn’t have dreamed him. Three weeks and a five hour train journey is nothing really when that’s what you have waiting for you.
(GOD I’m glad I managed to get a FNL gif in here)