The Truth About Long-Distance Relationships

You’ve probably got some romanticised view on long-distance relationships, and you can probably blame the likes of Nicholas Sparks for that. But the truth is, it’s not all handwritten letters, surprise visits and happy reunions. It can be months spent apart, feelings of loneliness and loss, and that unending feeling of missing someone. So why would anyone put themselves through it all? It takes someone with a lot of strength. Emotionally, long-distance relationships are difficult. You’ll have to be tough and resilient, and be prepared to make the most of any time together you can get.

The Hardest Parts

  1. TRUST…

    You need to be prepared to trust your partner. Openness, honesty and trust is fundamental, but this can be hard when you have no way of knowing what they’re doing. You have to trust that they won’t wander or cheat, and that they’ll be honest about their feelings.

  2. NO PHYSICAL CONTACT…

    You go to bed alone. You wake up alone. There’ll be no hug or kiss goodnight, or a morning snuggle. You can’t hold hands in public, or dance together at your friends party. Skype and FaceTime can never replace these acts of physical affection, and this can really take a toll on you. Especially if you are a cuddly person.

  3. ‘WHAT IF I’M WASTING MY TIME’…

    Be prepared to have a nagging feeling of doubt every one in a while. Relationships can quickly deteriorate, or change direction. But this is more than just a normal relationship. Long-distance relationships take up more time and effort to sustain, and you’re bound to feel concerned that it might all boil down to nothing. Keep being honest about your emotions and feelings, and you will avoid any surprises/shocks.

  4. THE COST…

    Visits can be expensive. Especially if you’re travelling internationally to see your partner. It can really put you out of pocket. Working those extra hours to give you the funds can also be exhausting, and can impact how much time you have to offer to your partner.

  5. ARGUMENTS& MISCOMMUNICATION…

    We’ve all done it. It’s easy to interpret a text wrong, or feel the wrong tone from an instant message. Digital media is great for keeping in touch, but it’s easier to misunderstand than physically being with someone. You’ve got to be prepared for some miscommunication, be ready to apologise, and try not to take everything at face value. Talk it through, and work it out.

Why it’s all worth it…

  1. HEARTWARMING HELLOS…

    Saying goodbye to someone you love can feel like losing your arm. The daunting thought of spending more time apart is far from nice. But, you’ve got to focus on the next hello. Imagine that first embrace at the airport or the bus station, and how happy you’ll be. Focus on that feeling. Fill your thoughts with the good times you have yet to come, and a future without goodbyes.

  2. MAINTAIN YOUR INDEPENDENCE…

    Being apart has its difficulties. Being alone has its benefits. You can still spend time with your friends and family, and you stay truer to yourself. Most couples tend to merge together into a single identity once they get together. But you, you have the best of both worlds. You have someone who loves you very much, but you also still have your independence and individuality.

  3. YOU CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING…

    If you can get through so much time apart and come out of the other side, you can probably face pretty much everything. Your relationship doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it’s worth it. And if you’ve pushed and pulled each other through months or years of a long-distance relationship, you’ve clearly proved how much the relationship means to you both.

  4. TIME TOGETHER IS MORE VALUABLE…

    When you don’t have much time, you’re pushed to make the most of it. It’s like a mini-vacation every time you are together. Expect treats, extra romance, little gifts, and romantic trips. Make sure you take lots of pictures, but also live in the moment and experience it all first hand. The time you have will feel extra special, because it’s so rare.

  5. CLOSING THE GAP…

    One day you will be together permanently. No more goodbyes. No more absences. You’ll be there for every birthday, Christmas and party. Look forward to those morning kisses, and after work cuddles, the cute weekly date nights, and movie nights in. Handholding, laughing, smiling and being present. In the end, you’ll find it to be worth it. One day, you’ll be together.

 

What are your experiences?

My friend (who kindly provided the photo used) has been in a long-distance relationship for over a year. He lives in the North-East of England, and his partner lives in Michigan, USA. It’s been a tough ride for them both. Daily Skype calls, several flights out to America, missed birthdays and important occasions. It all seemed like a lot of heartache and sadness. So without sounding cynical, I had my doubts. But, never have I been happier to be proven wrong. I can announce that my friend is just waiting on his visa to move out to live in Michigan, and they’re now engaged to be married. I love a happy ending!

What are your experiences with a long distance relationship? And have you got any tips on how to get through it? Drop us a message in the comments below to let us know your thoughts!