I’m trying to type this with my fingers crossed because I don’t want to jinx it, but I have been in a successful relationship for over six years. It’s crazy to say that out loud. I Sandra, 24 years old have been in a relationship for six years. But you know what? When you know, you know. I never quite understood what people meant when they said that, but it wasn’t until it happened to me that I realised that it isn’t something you can comprehend unless you experience it yourself.
I met my boyfriend through mutual friends on Hi5. Remember Hi5? Good old days. We started messaging each other and became really good friends. Conversation between us was so easy, we used to stay up until ridiculous o’clock on MSN and we would sometimes only go to bed when the sun started to rise. We were online friends for a year and a half and had never met each other in person as we lived in different countries. We finally met in person when I went for a quick trip to Portugal with my brother. We met at the airport which is funny because we’re now both in the aviation industry, and I still remember what he was wearing; a black and grey striped jumper, dark jeans and brown boots. I’ve kept his jumper ever since despite his best efforts to throw it away. It’s really old but I can’t part with it, it has too much sentimental value to me.
As soon as I saw him I felt safe. You know that feeling you get when your mum or dad gives you a hug? That feeling of security, that no one can ever harm you because that person will always be there to protect you? That’s how I felt. And I still feel like that today. We were in a long distance relationship for two and a half years, crazy I know. Looking back now I can’t believe we made it. Long distance is hard work and it’s definitely not for everybody. You really have to give it your all and be 100% committed to that person. Last year my boyfriend had to go away again and we were apart for almost a year, so it’s safe to say we are pretty much experts when it comes to handling long distance, so today I’m going to be sharing my tips on how to make a long distance relationship work.
Make sure they’re worth it. I know we all look for different things in a partner and the idea of a ‘perfect’ relationship varies from person to person, but no matter what kind of relationship you’re in your partner should always treat you right, make you feel loved, show their affection towards you everyday and should always respect you. I honestly don’t have time for these little boys who think that having every girl under the sun is attractive. No, it’s embarrassing! This whole ‘lad culture’ is something I don’t entertain, I don’t find it appealing and I wouldn’t want this kind of man in my life. What I’m trying to say is listen to your gut instinct. If you already knew this boy/girl had a reputation and they’re not willing to change for you, move on. Trust in relationships is already hard work, but being in different cities or countries can make it even harder. Make sure this person is someone who you can trust 110% and that never makes you feel like you’re less than amazing.
Skype. Skype. Skype. Anything with a camera really. It’s hard not seeing your other half in person, but Skype or FaceTime is the next best thing. I can’t tell you how many hours me and my boyfriend spent on Skype. We used to Skype every day without fail for at least an hour - it was usually more like five though. Personally I think it’s crucial that you see your partner everyday through a camera, it helps you catch up with each others life making you feel more connected in return. Also, long distance is something not everybody takes seriously, so seeing each other on video regularly reminds you both that you’re in it for the long run.
Keep in touch throughout the day. The less you talk, the more you drift apart. Don’t let that happen. Life can get pretty hectic, so it’s of the upmost importance that you send each other texts throughout the day. We’re only human and forgetting things is easy when leading a busy lifestyle, so texting throughout the day even if it’s just a simple ‘I miss you’ lets your partner know that they’re on your mind.
Save up for flight tickets. I was still in college and he was still in uni, so getting money was no easy task for us. He had a part time job and my parents were wiling to help me out, but it can get a little expensive. Me and my boyfriend tried to see each other every month. We’d take turns, so one month he’d come here and the next month I’d go there. It showed commitment from both parts which I believe played a huge part in how our relationship worked out.
Be transparent. Tell them everything that’s on your mind, any insecurities, any doubts, any questions that are unanswered. Being truthful and transparent is key in any relationship but especially in a long distance one. If someone tries to make a move on you, tell your partner. It’ll show them that they can count on you to tell them absolutely everything. It’ll boost their trust in you and it’ll also probably cause a little jealously. Jealously in moderation is always healthy. Muahaha.
Be ready to move. Living in a different city or country isn’t the ideal scenario, so be ready to pack up your bags and move. My boyfriend moved to the UK for me and that’s something that I can never thank him enough for. It takes courage to leave your friends and loved ones behind but if you’re serious about making a relationship work, then you need to be ready to move. Moving to a different country doesn’t mean you need to start living together right away, it just means that you can see more of each other and see if there’s potential for moving in together.
These were some of the things that helped my relationship massively and I hope it helps yours too. Of course every relationship is different and what worked for me may not work for you, but just remember that if things don’t work out for one reason or other, it’s ok! As long as you know that you gave it your all and tried your best, you won’t get any ‘what if’ questions playing on your mind down the line. To be completely honest I got to a point where I wanted to give up, all the hours on Skype, all the texting, all the travelling was starting to get to me and I wasn’t enjoying how time consuming the relationship was. Like I said, long distance isn’t for everyone. I can understand why some people give up after a while, but I am beyond happy that we stuck through it. I am the happiest I’ve ever been and he was definitely worth waiting for.
What are your thoughts on long distance? :)