My whole adult life, I’d always sworn I’d never do a long distance relationship. I always thought that being away from your partner for such long periods of time could surely only cause nothing but sadness, paranoia and doubt – so much so, that it just wasn’t worth it in the first place! The movies (Going The Distance aside!) never made it look like there was a happy ending, so I was totally aghast when anyone I knew put themselves through it! However, two years living in USA later, I’d fallen hard for my American boy, not wanting it to end even though I was going back across the pond, thus, my very own LDR began!
The beginning was most definitely the hardest part. The tearful goodbyes on my last day in America were heart-wrenching! Neither of us really knew what was next, when we’d see each-other again and especially no idea how we’d actually manage to make this work. Both of us had a completely different experience when I left – both with it’s own issues and benefits. For me, I was going back to the life I’d left behind, seeing all my friends and family that I hadn’t seen for ages, settling back into life in London. On the plus side, I was busy catching up with everyone and searching for a job, so my time back home was jam-packed! On the downside, I’d not only left my boyfriend, but also my entire life that I’d spent two years absolutely loving, so it felt like everything had been taken away from me all at once! For him, he was stuck in the exact same schedule and routine, just without the person who he’d hung out with most evenings and weekends, leaving him with a LOT more spare time than he’d had for the past few months! Both of us struggled, but we were still desperate to make it work!
I personally found it really hard living in different time zones to each-other, as when I’d be going to bed, he’d only just be getting home from work – so we struggled to find the same downtime in order to digitally spend time together! Luckily, he started a job shortly after I left USA that had him doing the early bird shift, which conveniently settled us into pretty much the same schedule. Obviously, that’s pretty rare and we were very lucky to fall into that pattern, as most people do have to struggle along! Make their countries time zone feature on your phone clock; it’s an easy reminder not to call him when it’s 3am his time, even if you are bored on your way to work!
All the LDR blogs I’d read stated you had to set aside specific times to speak to each-other, ensuring you stuck to your appointed time slots to make sure you made it work. I’m sure, for some people, that works perfectly – but for us, that felt way too outdated and way too forced. We didn’t want to make appointments, it was supposed to be a relationship not a visit to the doctors! Instead, we just contacted each-other whenever and wherever we had something to say! I think with modern day technology, you truly don’t need to set out times or dates to speak, you can send a message or a voice clip on WhatsApp and they pick it up and reply whenever they’re able to, share a funny meme on Instagram to cheer them up or just have a quick video call in your break to share the latest work gossip. We still ensure we keep up to date with our favourite shows, trying (and, often failing) to sync it so we’re at the same point! The amount of times I’ve shouted at him for being 2 minutes ahead and accidentally revealing a plot twist, is uncountable, but ‘Netflix and Whatsapping’ is definitely the new ‘Netflix and Chill!’ Keeping contact as normal as it would be if you were in the same country, in my eyes, is essential – the more abnormal or rigid you make it, the harder it will be!
Looking back on previous relationships, I most definitely couldn’t have trusted them to live even 2 hours away from me, let alone longer! However, when you meet the right person, none of those doubts even cross your mind. You find absolutely any way possible to make it work, yes there will be tears, yes there will be hard times, but at the end of the day the connection you have with that person will trump absolutely anything else. Obviously, it’s still really hard; it’s rubbish not getting a hug when I feel down, or being able to laze on the sofa watching TV with him when we’re bored. Not being able to enjoy certain moments together is a lot sadder than I had initially assumed! But, we both trust each-other completely and have no doubts that being in this relationship is the right thing to do, so it’s only natural we’d do everything we could to keep the fire alive!
Finally, you definitely need to have a plan for where you want this to go, or an end goal to reach, which would make the LDR feel a little bit more worth it. Whether you agree you’re happy to carry on as you are, or you decide one, or both of you want to relocate to be closer to each-other – having a idea of what’s next definitely helps to alleviate some of the stress! For us, we agreed that ultimately we did want to relocate to be with each-other – but I wasn’t quite ready to stop travelling yet! So instead of one of us moving, I’ve managed to drag him along to my next adventure in Australia and I could not be happier! Going somewhere neutral for both of us, I think is a great way to explore the longevity of the relationship, neither one of you feels like they’ve sacrificed more than the other and both of you are experiencing something new and exciting together! Perfect!
So, for us, although it’s hard, it’s definitely been doable knowing that we’ll have every day together soon, albeit, we’ll probably be fed up with each-other after a few weeks of living with each-other! After making the decision a few months ago, we both agreed that as hard as it would be, it wasn’t cost or time effective to keep flying back and forth to see each-other before we made the move to Oz. It will have been 9 months since I left USA and 7 months since I last saw him, which trust me – is excruciating! But, we’re thinking of the long game and if we want to achieve an amazing end goal together, we need to make a few sacrifices until we get there! After Australia, who knows, but if we can survive LDR, I’m sure that we can survive anything!