The Ups and Downs of a Long Distance Relationship

There’s no sugar coating it. Long distance relationships can outright suck – there’s a reason why people avoid them altogether.

Sometimes though, you can’t avoid getting yourself into a long distance relationship. This is the position I’ve been in for the past 4 ½ years.

For anyone else who’s been in a LDR, I’m sure you’ve all heard:

  • ‘Why even bother? You know they don’t work out don’t you?’
  • ‘Oh man, that must be so hard!’
  • ‘Don’t you ever get…you know…tempted?’
  • ‘That’s a huge commitment. What if it’s all for nothing?’

All I have to say that is that when you know it’s worth it, you’ll find a way to make it work.

With long distance relationships come tearful and utterly depressing goodbyes (at airports, train stations, the list goes on), frustrating calls, missing each other, annoying time differences, visa dilemmas…you get the picture.

BUT – a big but – with long distance relationships come reunions, personal growth, more time with friends and family…the list surprisingly goes on. In my eyes, that makes it all worth it.

I’ve been luckier than most because I’ve been able to live with my partner for the past year. However, we’re about to embark on another huge stretch of long distance because of visa related issues (…bloody visas). This post is mostly a reminder to myself, but also for others going through a similar situation, that long distance relationships are possible and totally worth it.

Here’s how I’ve made the LDR situation suck a little bit less…

Communication

When I first started dating long distance, I had no idea how to navigate it. It was a brand new world to me. So of course, I did what any normal person would do – I flocked to Google.

‘Communicate, but don’t overcommunicate’ was at the top of every ‘How to get through a long distance relationship’ list . Uh…WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN!?

Being a communications major, you would think that I could figure out this equation. But I still haven’t figured it out. Especially not when it comes to relationships.

My advice? Be open with your partner and figure out what kind of communication works best for both of you.

Whether you want to talk once a day, every other day, or ALL day, it’s up to YOU to decide. Don’t let others dictate how often you should be communicating.

Have something to look forward to

Whether it be an actual reunion, a phone call or video call…always have something planned that you can look forward to. This undoubtedly makes it that little bit easier to get through those relentless weeks and months of not seeing each other.

Have an end plan

This point kind of goes hand in hand with the above point – it makes it much easier and feel more worthwhile when you have an end in sight.  Visa and study/work commitments can get in the way of this, but if you can have a ‘long distance expiry date’ in sight, it makes it a little less painful.

Draw up a plan together on where you both plan to be at the end o fit and try working towards that goal. So that despite not being in the same place, it makes you feel like you are working towards something – together.

Focus on YOU

This is a perfect opportunity to focus one becoming a better version of you and to, of course,  do all of the things you’ve wanted to do.

So with that said, there’s no time to sulk! Go out there and do you boo…and do all those things that your partner hates to do. 😉

Invest Time in your Friends and Family

Without your partner around, you’ll obviously have a lot more free time. This is the perfect opportunity to invest that extra time in your friends and family.

Say YES to all of the activities and make the most of it. 🙂

Remember good old fashioned snail mail

Who doesn’t love receiving good old fashion snail mail? Kick it old school with a hand written letter or post card…or a surprise gift perhaps?

Disclaimer: To be honest, this has mostly been one sided *cough cough Joe cough cough*, but I still think it’s good advice that maybe my partner will eventually get onto.

Well, that’s my LDR vent over. For others going through a similar situation, I hope this helps ease the pain a little bit.

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