As Valentine’s day is next week I wanted to talk about something that has been happening more and more with relationships. That’s right, I’m talking about the dreaded “long distance relationships”! Now there’s a stigma that long distance relationships are doomed to fail and that you won’t be able to survive one. But I say nay to that ideology! However, this may have something to do with my own personal experiences.
My partner, Ryan, and I have been in a relationship for nearly 4 year. It’s not been entirely comprised of long distance but half of it has. As some of you may have read before I studied languages, French and Spanish to be precise, and I had to live in France and Spain for around 6 months each. That was the first time we were separated by distance as Ryan was living in Germany as well! (He studied German at the same university as me). I won’t lie, it was difficult the first time around as we were barely able to speak. He had the worst internet in the world and I didn’t know what was happening with him, and it turned out afterwards that some things had been going on with him that he hadn’t been able to tell me, or perhaps he thought he had told me as he can be quite forgetful at times!
But despite the lack of proper communication for those 12 months we were able to have a somewhat decent relationship. We used to just leave each other messages through Facebook because we knew that at some point we would be able to access them. And no, whatsapp would not have been better as Ryan didn’t have it and he’s not great at look at his texts never mind an application that he has to remember to use internet with! Sometimes I do despair of his less technologically-inclined mind, but I wouldn’t have him any other way.
After the year apart, we were back together in the same place for 9 months to do out last year at university, which might as well have been another long distance stint as we had to spend more time on studying than being able to see each other. Whoever thinks that a relationship at university is cute hasn’t had to contend with the horrors of 3 essays due in the same week that all require extensive research! There is no time for socialising! Or anything other than sitting in a library and crying at the way your life has suddenly turned out.
For the past 5 and half months we have been back in the long distance thing, and not just because we live in different parts of the UK (which is only like 2 hours apart or so and a lot more preferable than the current set up.) In September Ryan went back to Germany, Berlin to be specific, to teach in a school and a month later I headed out to Madrid to do the same thing. And since then we have only seen each other twice in person. Once in October for a week when Ryan came to visit me in Madrid and once at Christmas for a couple of days. This time round it’s been easier as he’s had better internet and we’ve been able to actually have Skype conversations! Such luxury!
A friend once said to me that “a long distance relationship is like being single but with none of the benefits” and I have to say that I completely agree. You do not get the best of any world in this type of situation! There is nothing worse than having a bad day at work and not being able to talk to your partner about it. Or sending them a message that they won’t be able to see for a few hours or even a few days.
For anyone who is in a long distance relationship, or a relationship that may have to change to a long distance one, don’t give up hope. Yes, it is more difficult to keep the relationship going and yes it means having more patience but in the end it is so worth it. You appreciate the other person so much more and the time you do get to spend with them is made so much more worthwhile. There will be days when you feel like giving up but I suggest that you talk about all of your problems together and try and not keep things from each other. As with any relationship trust is key, but it is even more important for a relationship like this.
If you have any questions on long distance relationships then leave them for me in the comments! I answer all the comments I receive.
Hasta la fuego
Lauren 🙂 x