It’s February, which means the world is full of love hearts and candyfloss romance. So it wasn’t hard to decide on what my next blog would be about, especially considering my current circumstance.
You see, right now, I’m five months into my first experience with long distance relationships. For context – I’ve been with boyfriend (and cliché high school sweetheart) for just over five years now. In 2015 I made the choice to apply to university, and – obviously – made it in (yay). But this put the ten minute drive between us up to almost two hours. I thought I’d share with you all the more unexpected sides of long distance that I encountered. Disclaimer – this is my personal experience, every couple is different, and has different coping strategies.
The Separation – Firstly, I have to hand you a hard and annoying truth. The chances are (especially if you have a good group of flatmates, or get to know people before move-in day through the New Students Facebook group) that the first time you say goodbye will probably be far easier than you expect. All the buzz of being somewhere new, meeting new people, fresher’s week, being independent – all that excitement can make it slightly easier. But Gee, I hear you say, you said it was a hard and annoying truth! Yes! I did. Because the next time you see each other, the hype of university has died down a bit, so the second goodbye is the hardest! Be prepared!
Keeping in Touch – Communication is definitely the most important part of- well, any relationship! But it’ll be especially important during long distance. Figure out when you’re both free and mentally pencil in that time to talk regularly – whether that’s once a week or everyday. Whilst texting is easy and fits in great with a busy routine, nothing beats hearing your partner’s voice! My top recommendation – get Skype! Because otherwise your phone bill will be through the roof!
Meeting Up – When it comes to finally seeing each other again, it can be easier than you think. I’ve heard a lot of my friends say “no, there’s no way we can see each other”, but there’s always a way! It’s all about thinking outside the box. Is there anything within your partner’s education or employment that brings them slightly closer to you – could you meet them there? Is there anything about yours that takes you closer to them? Instead of travelling all the way to see each other if it’s a good few hours, is there anywhere between you that you could meet for a day out? Holidays can be a perfect excuse to see each other – it’s worth spending all that time and money for Valentine’s day, right?!
Changes – University is usually a period of your life when you change dramatically, you really grow into yourself, and that is awesome! But remember that your partner is going to notice these changes, and although a lot of the time this can have a positive effect of your relationship, remember that you partner may be a little confused, or even going through similar changes themselves!
How it Has Affected Me, Personally – My experience with moving my relationship to university has been, overall, a very positive one (despite my initial dread). Obviously, being apart is very difficult, but it’s allowed us to appreciate how much we care about each other and value our time together more. And although I’m surely my nightly phone calls and weekly rants annoy him to high heaven, he tells me he’s glad I fill him in on what’s going on up here and all my course gossip.
So, of course, everyone is going to have different experiences with long distance, but there is absolutely no reason to listen to all the negative Nancy’s dooming your relationship. If you’re willing to make the effort, you’ll be just fine!
Happy Valentine’s Day! x
(Sidenote: Thank you to my lovely partner for letting me quiz him all about our experience and write all this soppy stuff about him!)