05/02/2018

LIFESTYLE | On Long-Distance Relationships


Why the hell did I have to get myself a boyfriend who lives in America?!

Some of you may know that I am in a long-distance relationship. I have been for over a year now, and in this time I have been able to reflect on it and what it involves. I've wanted to speak up about it in a blog post for a while now, as I am sure there are more people in a long-distance relationship that we'd think. So if you are in one, or ever have been, do read on and let me know if you can relate!

Breaking news: no, it's not easy

I won't lie, being in a long-distance relationship is hard, especially when you're very far away. I live in England and my boyfriend lives in California, so we obviously can't visit every other weekend. When we started dating, we knew this was coming and the risk of not knowing when we'd see each other again was there from the start. However, because we're two crazy individuals, we still gave it a go and I will never regret it.  
We last saw each other in July, when I went spent the month in California. Since then, it's been messages, calls and Skype. These indirect means of communication are a poor alternative to seeing each other regularly, and I can't count the times we've said 'I miss you.' But truth is there's no way around it, so being resilient and relying on each other is key. (See my post On Resilience & What I Learned in 2017) But yes, it gets hard and you might also cry a lot. I know I do. Not any groundbreaking info here, but it had to be said!

People will pity you

Alright, 'pity' might not be the word, but I do sometimes feel like that, causing 'ooows' and 'oh noooos' whenever I mention our relationship. As much as I appreciate the concern and the fact that people empathise with how rubbish the whole long-distance situation is, I don't understand some of the reactions I get. How many times have I heard 'It must be so hard!' or 'How do you do?!' when I happened to mention that we were thousands of kilometers apart? I have lost count, and now I'm always expecting that kind of response. 
So yes, long distance is hard, yes we hate it, but with these people I want to share the positive: the constant communication, the support we get from each other, the little messages that make each other smile, when he stays up incredibly late (hello eight-hour time difference) so we can call... All these little things is what I want people to think about. Because yes it's is a pitiful situation, but in a way it does make the relationship ever so special and unique.

Trust is key

One of the strangest questions I go asked t when I talked about our relationship to someone was: 'So are you allowed to see other people in the meantime?' It took me a few seconds to gather my thoughts on that one! Although we are far apart most of the time, my boyfriend and I are not in an open relationship, and never even thought about it simply because this is not our vision of things. 
This anecdote leads me onto a major point: trust. To make a long-distance relationship work, you have to trust your partner. Not in the sense of trusting them to be faithful (that comes without saying), but rather trusting their vision of the relationship, their involvement, and the effort they will put to make it work. And so should they trust you. Long-distance relationships involve trusting that both of the partners want the same thing and have the same expectations from each other. If this trust isn't there, if you are unsure about what your partner wants or thinks about the relationship and what it involves, chances are that misunderstandings could arise. Be clear from the start, be trust-worthy and supportive, and expect the same of your partner to make it work. And it will!

*
Engaging in a long-distance relationship isn't for everyone. That much is true. However there are ways to make it work, and the good always outweighs the bad, by far. As I tell all the people that wonder how on earth we manage it, there is so much happiness in it, and I count my blessings for being in such a supportive and loving relationship - no matter how far apart we are.

Have you ever been on a long-distance relationship? What are your thoughts about it?
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15 comments:

  1. I have never been in a long distance relationship for longer than three months, so there was always "light at the end of the tunnel", but I remember it being hard.
    Trust in your partner and in your relationship is key, I agree, but I think it will help you survive hardships that come along later in life much easier. I mean, if you have been through that, what could be more challenging?

    Anne - Linda, Libra, Loca

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    1. No matter how long it lasts, it is definitely always hard - whether it's being apart from two months or six! It definitely challenges you in all sorts of aspects yes, I totally agree :) xx

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  2. Wow, and people say to me I must have it tough with a 400 mile gap between Ben and I. We are incredibly lucky that he can afford to drive up and down every two weeks, and that we are in the same time zone! Facetime/Skype is SUCH a godsend. We watch TV "Together" at nights over facetime, spend hours just in each others company but not together. It is hard, but with a focus in mind, you are right it is total possible!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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    1. You're quite far away too, and it's definitely great that Ben can drive all the way to come and see you. We do also watch films together sometimes, and although some people might find it strange it's still a nice moment to share! xx

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  3. I didn't know you guys were a LDR! The only experience I have with it personally was when I studied abroad in college for a semester and my boyfriend at the time was in Germany and I was in Spain. I'm sure it's tough but good for you guys for making it work!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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    1. Yeah we are! Studying abroad is one of the big issues with relationships too, and I know from other people it's not always easy. But there's always a way to make it work if both partners really want it! xx

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  4. I can understand why you'd get tired of people instantly showing sympathy when you say you're in a long-distance relationship (I'll keep that in mind when someone tell me they're in one from now on!). I agree, trust must surely play a huge part in making it work, and it's lovely to know both you and your partner are totally making it work Julia! :)

    aglassofice.com
    x

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    1. Well I am still grateful for the interest people have when I mention our relationship, but yes there's always a moment where the sympathy verges on pity and this is not the most positive reaction unfortunately. Thank you for understanding and reading Gabrielle :) xx

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  5. It's such a tricky one - I think I can do it when there's a definite end in sight but the last relationship I was in for 4.5 years was long distance for 3 of those, which was incredibly tough :( I know what you mean about the 'pitying' thing and it used to get my back up a bit too

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. Oh wow three years is indeed a very long time... It's of course more encouraging when there's an end to the long-distance, and when you don't have that reassurance it gets very uncertain at times. On the day-to-day basis I focus on the positives and I know it's all worth it! xx

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  6. I've been in a long distance relationship and sometimes I was asked stupid questions. My husband and I lived apart for a few months, and it made no difference, people still asked about trust and stuff like that.

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    1. I don't really understand the questions about trust, I would assume that any partner who gets into a serious relationship with you will be faithful no matter what. It's quite of sad in a way to think there's a risk somewhere. xx

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  7. This is such a beautiful article, I was in a long distance relationship for the first part of ours and I empathise with others going through it, it can be so tough >< but it also such an incredibly happy thing and it feels so magical to have someone on the other side of the country or world thinking and dreaming about you :D this was such an honest post, I loved it! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

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    1. Oh yes it definitely feels magical sometimes, I love how you see it Elizabeth :D Thanks for being so positive! xx

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  8. I didn't realise yours was more of a transatlantic relationship, I can relate with everything you've mentioned in this post..especially the trust component of things! So heartwarming to see you guys making it work despite the distance!

    Vintagonista

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