I have been in a few long-term long distance relationships in the past. My current long distance relationship has had the most longevity. We haven’t always had distance; we have lived together, lived apart, traveled together and traveled apart, every experience we have shared I feel has made us stronger as a couple.
I have to address questions about my relationship all the time. People always want to know our end game, there is a certain expectation of the relationship that in order for it to be long distance it has to be serious and have an end date. In my boyfriend’s current role he works on the road, so he is always away for work. He has a three weeks on and one week off schedule and his location changes month to month. It makes it very difficult for our relationship to make plans. On his days off I tend to be working, so it we have to strategically plan our time together.
Be Prepared to Spend Time Alone
I do get sad at times that we don’t get to function as a normal couple and living every day life together. Even though I am in a serious relationship, majority of the time I do meal prep for one, I attend social functions on my own and I rarely have a cuddle buddy. This is something that I am not completely used to. Sometimes I am okay with it and sometimes it is very unnerving.
I do value my independence so I have created my own routine. In every day life I am okay with having singular existence. I get to spend time with my friends. I have dinner dates, go to the gym or work on my blog. I think the separation really helps us preserve our individual identities, neither of us feels as though we are losing ourselves in the relationship.
Being the Bigger Person
Fights can go on for days. This is one thing I struggle with. Sometimes it takes seeing my love to help extinguish bad blood between us, and remind me why we work through the rough patches of our relationship. Holding a grudge and being bitter is easy to do when your boyfriend it not around.
Even if I am not feeling it, I try to do something nice to help alleviate some of the tension. If I think my boyfriend and I are fighting because he is stressed, I will order him take out to where he is staying, or help him with an errand that he has been putting off so his life feels more orderly. It is hard getting to a place where you want to do something nice for someone else when you are angry, but once you show your significant other you care, it removes all the tension.
Create Things to Look Forward To
I personally love activities and plans. I love weekends away and spontaneous day trips. I will drive to the states for a day on a whim or hop on a ferry just to get out of the city. My boyfriend loves downtime. He likes to sit and watch television and relax on his days off. We try to create a balance. On our visits I usually like to plan a few activities that we can look forward to, but also leave some down time. Our time together is limited so we always try to make the most of it. We know that eventually we will go back to building a life together, our situation is not permanent.
Trust is Key
I have been in long distance relationships before where I thought I trusted the person and I ended up getting burned. Sometimes in a long distance relationships, you only get to see the best version of a person’s self. In a regular relationship, you build relationships with the people in your significant other’s life and get to know more aspects of them. In long distance relationships, it is harder to do this. It took me a while to truly acknowledge how sneaky my ex was, and it made it very hard for me to trust men again. My imagination would go wild with the possibilities. The way I rationalized it was by telling myself that I did not want to be a prison guard, men are going to do what they want to do. If the person I am with wants to be unfaithful, they are going to do so no matter how controlling I am. I just have to trust my instincts.
It is definitely a case by case basis. My boyfriend and I are very honest and open. I never have my doubts about his fidelity. He has never given me a reason not to trust him. We don’t want to waste each others time, so if we were not feeling it, we would just end it. We discuss any issues we may have and work towards trying to resolve them. This is something that I think is key in all relationships.
It is not easy
The bottom line is that it is not easy. All relationships have trying times, but being long distance does add further complication. Being apart makes our relationship stronger. We enjoy the time that we can spend doing our own thing and we look forward to the time that we can spend together. I can’t imagine myself being with anyone else, so for right now it is the right place for us.