It’s been a while since the last time I talked about my thoughts and feelings around being in a long distance relationship. I shared my initial thoughts on being in an LDR and since then there have been some ups and some downs, but essentially my thoughts are the same. Long distance relationships are not easy. But they are worth it.
There have been days where the sadness is so overwhelming that it cripples me. Days where nothing can soothe the ache in my chest that cries out for the man I love. Days where I want to give up and escape from the entire situation, because honestly, it’s one of the most difficult situations I have ever been in. But, here’s the thing. As long as we both talk to each other we can get through every bout of sadness. We talk and we realize that we are not as alone as we think. The learning curve is steep and to maybe help some of you guys to deal with it too I thought I would share some of the things that help me deal with it.
- Communication is Key
This has been repeated to us all more times than we can count, but it’s easy to forget. You have to talk. You have to be more honest than you have ever been, even if it hurts. The person on the other end of the phone won’t be able to tell that you’re having a bad day so you will have to spell it out to them to get the support people in LDR so often miss. There is no getting around the fact that when you can’t hug it out you have to talk it out. To keep the connection alive you have to learn how to communicate on a whole new level and it won’t be the easiest lesson to learn, but it will be a valuable one.
- Don’t Forget Your Hobbies (Or Get New Ones)
It will be easy to either replace the time you spent with your significant other with other things or to give up on any and all hobbies to spend more time together. The latter will be a subconscious reaction to the change of not seeing them, and a way to cling to the other out of desperation. The former is escapism at its best, but will ultimately lead to you both feeling worse. Neither is a solution. You will need to have hobbies, to have activities that give you energy, to keep busy. You have to live your life separate from the other and there is no getting around it, but you can choose to do positive things. You also have to choose to schedule time for each other in between all the things that make up your everyday life. Snapchat each other funny things throughout the day and keep each other updated between that 2pm lecture and the evening Bar Crawl. Find a balance between fun activities with your friends and Skype time with your significant other.
- Hang Out Together
If you used to hang out two or three days a week and now only Skype for an hour or two once a week you’re obviously going to feel the lack of contact. In periods you will both be busy (see previous point), but you will both have a lot of downtime at home and you may feel like you don’t want to bother the other if they’re busy. Ignore that feeling. If you study, Skype each other while you’re both sat at home studying or if you work, keep each other company while making dinner. If the time difference makes this impossible, try improvising. He can have breakfast while you have lunch. Or you can have an evening drink while he has his morning coffee. Watch TV-Shows together online and hang out. You don’t have to talk constantly while you have Skype on just like you wouldn’t talk constantly if they were right next to you. Let them be your friend and companion in the same way they would be if they were physically closer.
- Don’t Fear Growing
One of the things that I fear the most is that the growing we both will do this year will make us grow apart. Growing, learning and changing is inevitable, especially when one part moves abroad for the first time and the other is on the cusp of a new stage in life. The key here is to not fear growing. Don’t try to stifle the change that will happen in your LDR partner and the change that will happen between the two of you because that just breeds bitterness. Try instead to grow in positive ways and to grow together, while apart. Encourage the other to challenge themselves and challenge yourself a little bit more ever day. Try to become a better version of yourself and channel that into your relationship.
Just over three months into my LDR and there’s been hard days and there’s been amazingly loved up days. Writing this down really helped me focus my thoughts and having something to look back on to keep thinking productively even on bad days is good. To come out on the other side of an LDR stronger and in a better relationship than when it started it’s important to fight for the good moments and learn from the bad ones I think. It’s a continuous process. What’s your best advice for people in Long Distance Relationships? Xxx