Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Surviving a Long Distance Relationship

You might have realised if you've been a regular reader of this blog over the last few weeks that I recently moved in with my boyfriend. This brought to an end a very long period of long distance, around 600 days. Not that I was counting. With it being the time of year when people go off to university and cosy at-home relationships suddenly find themselves many miles apart I thought I'd impart some advice of my own.

Peace Bridge, Calgary
To begin, Karl and I got together almost two years ago at a flat party in Calgary, Canada where we were both studying at the time. He came up to speak to me after hearing me speak and clocking that we were both British. A week of dancing around the topic and we were inseparable. At Christmas I was preparing to fly home to continue my studies back in England but he had another term left. We were determined to make it work however, and I flew out to see him in February and he returned in May. So now we were back on the same time zone at least. But, he was based in the Shetland Islands and studied in Edinburgh and I was based in Surrey and studied in Oxford. So the distance continued, I went to see him in the summer, he came to me before we went back for our final years of university. Once we were back and writing our dissertations we were actually the closest geographically we had ever been. We saw each other every other weekend, although he did most of travelling when my anxiety took hold and I refused to get on the train. Once we'd finished we spent a lot of time together and then he spent three weeks back at home before we officially moved in together at the start of August.

Phew! As you can see, I'm well practised in the art of maintaining a relationship over hundreds and thousands of miles.

Halloween, Canadian style!
The best coping tips I have are:

  1. Skype and Facebook are the wonders of the modern age. I don't think we'd have managed  if it wasn't for our nightly Skype conversations and regular Facebook chats. They're the perfect way to keep in touch.
  2. Trust and communication are key. You have to be able to trust that person with everything and talk to them about anything you are uncomfortable with. Bottling up emotions will just lead to big arguments.
  3. You have to be prepared to sacrifice. Missing out on things your friends are doing is all part-and-parcel of being in a long distance relationship. But, you have to make time for yourself or you'll start to resent the other person.
  4. Little surprises are great. They don't have to be expensive but a little something in the post can go a long way to making someone's day.
Long distance relationships are hard, but with equal amounts of effort and a lot of communication they're doable. And when you're finally together for good, it's all the more sweet.

Do you have any long distance relationship tips?

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