I thought I should probably do a little bit of a serious post on the blog. Having a long distance relationship is a huge part of my life and so I thought it deserved at least a post. I know that before me and George started this whole 'apart' thing reading blogs and posts where people were managing long distance really helped me, so I hope to some extent this could have that effect. If any of you are currently doing the whole long distance thang, or are one of the fabled-few who have reached the other side, please feel free to share your advice and experiences in the comments.
In the effort to be completely honest I must warn you this may not be the most cheery of posts; long distance is hard and can be very...trying at times. Also if you are reading this as a source for advice- take it with a pinch of salt and consider how different all relationships are. Me and George had already been going out three and a half years before we parted so we had a good firm base to work up from. A big factor which affects us (again, I only say this in the effort to be honest, not to be bitchy) is the fact that not both of us wanted to do long distance. I am a little soppy and sentimental and so tried really hard to get into the uni George wanted to go to. He is a little more work-centric and so had a very clear idea of where he wanted to go. Of course his stance is totally understandable, but I cannot say that it doesn't factor into A LOT of our arguments!
SO! Me and George have just started our second year (of three) living in a long distance relationship. We're in an awkward phase at the moment where I have started term but he hasn't and therefore it's all a bit unsettled. We're always busy settling in or seeing friends or working and so it feels like for a while the relationship kind of comes second. It feels kind of like the danger phase you know? You're not really putting in too much effort so OF COURSE you're not going to get a lot back and then suddenly all the sadness of it hits you when you're drunk or sleepy or just on your own for a while and suddenly you're crying down the phone and wailing about betrayal. Sigh. It's tiring. I'm hoping that, seeing as George is starting term very soon, it will all start to get a bit more regular. Because it did get a bit more regular towards the end of last year and i did get easier. That is my current mantra.
However it did only get easier because we worked at it and so I thought I would share what worked for us. It won't work for everyone; (we were lucky enough only to be two hours away from each other whereas one of my housemates is managing an international long distance relationship!) but it made it all a bit easier for us.
-See each other as much as possible. This is a given. We try and visit alternating weekends if we can. It's hard not to live for the weekend this way, and it's also hard not to wish plans could be a little freer but it's better than not seeing each other. If this isn't really an option because of money or distance then Skype like crazy! My friends Thomas and Nikita are amazing at this; they always make time to talk to each other and seem to be doing great because of it.
-Make friends with each other's friends. I LOVE GOING TO DURHAM! George's friends are awesome and it's great to look forward to hanging out with them, as well as him. It's also good because then you're not putting so much pressure on having a dream date with that one person and feeling all clingy, because you're there to see other people too.
-Try and do new things. We always fall down with this one. Like, always. Whenever I see George I always feel so tired from a full week that I never really feel like going out or planning an elaborate date and I just want to curl up and cuddle instead. That is good, but it does often lead to feeling a bit unfulfilled and like we wasted our weekend, so this month I really want to try and plan more.
-Have something to look forward to. It really helped us last year to have our holiday to look forward to and this year it's really helping having a big anniversary party to plan. A joint experience in the future will keep you together in the present...oooh look at me getting all wise!
-Stay in eachother's lives. I think this may be the most important one. If I meet a new friend, if something happens that's funny or if I learn something cool that day; I really make an effort to phone up George at the end of the day and tell him. When you're living apart there are so many new things happening on a daily basis- so if you don't keep people in the loop then before you know it you just don't feel connected with the life that other person is living. There's nothing worse than saying "you know that guy?" and just getting a blank "no" back.
Phew! That was quite a long post there. Sorry if that was a bit of a serious overload! If you have any thoughts on the whole long distance shabang I'd love to hear them. And if you're currently doing long distance then keep going. When it's worth it, it's worth it.