Since September 2016, long distance dating which then led to a long distance relationship, became a huge part of my life. When the mister turned up on my doorstep to surprise me on my 24th birthday my world completely changed… for the better! The whole dynamics of my days, weeks and months shifted and I would like to share my experiences and advice along the way to making a long distance relationship work.
I feel that the most important thing is mindset (for all aspects of life in fact). If you think it will work, or you think it won’t, you’re probably right! With respect to long distance relationships, if you think ‘this is so hard, I miss him so much, I have to travel sooo far’ you are going to see your relationship as a sacrifice. A relationship should enhance your life not be a hindrance. Quite often in the ‘honeymoon’ stage of the relationship the distance is novel, new and exciting and therefore, can be tolerated. For many this feeling can wear off but you can maintain this honeymoon experience purely with a positive mindset.
The travel time, for me personally its a two hour journey without traffic and up to four when they decide to close the motorway on a Sunday night! For the mister, he has a four to six hour journey now his work placement is technically in a different country…. Wales! I make the most out of these journeys with podcasts, audio books and my favourite music playlist blasting out for a good old sing song. In our busy busy lives driving can actually become a therapeutic place to relax, enjoy the ride and have time to be alone with your own thoughts (positive ones only!). I have listened to numerous self care, personal development and business focused audios and even started to learn Spanish! Without the travel time I wouldn’t make the time for these activities that will make a difference to our lives now and in the future.
The working week can be hectic especially when you need to cram everything in including washing, ironing, and cleaning before you disappear for the weekend. Even though your long distance relationship is based on a weekend, you still need to make a commitment to time on a daily basis to catch up with one another. The beauty of a mobile phone ey! Even though we both have busy lives we know each others schedule to find the best times to catch one another. We used to have the same travel to work times so a morning hands-free call on the way to work was the best way to start my day. Even with a change in working hours, he now rings me during my morning self-care routine (blog coming soon on this). This again is a great way to start my day hearing him sing down the phone at 7.00 am.
Technology offers so many ways to feel closer no matter how distant you are. WhatsApp voice notes I particularly like as it gives a personal touch that a text message and emoji often cant portray. Video calls, again through WhatsApp are perfect for bed time. Balancing your phone on your bed side cabinet, in the perfect angle to make you feel like you are side by side is as close as it gets to the real thing. I have also noticed the quality of the conversation is much better too… as you can tell if their not listening, scrolling on Facebook or checking the football score as you speak…so it tends not to happen. I don’t believe in multi tasking … our brains can’t handle it and I much prefer to be in the present moment but I too am guilty of being distracted during these calls. Don’t do it …be present!
Skype dates are a new thing for us too… a great idea that we still haven’t tried. The mister had this great idea to get dressed up for our virtual dinner date, cook our own meals but sit at the table with the video call set up for a virtual date. I loved this idea and even poured some Schloer (it was a school night) and candle lit the table. Ready and waiting… he surprised me at my door step, it was Valentines day after all. As amazing as this surprise was I’m still waiting for our virtual date.
The relationship review… a concept a friend of mine introduced to me too at the time made me giggle. Sitting in the bath with no distractions while you talk through the positives and the room for improvement elements of your relationship was an interesting idea that we have adapted. When life gets stressful and too much we often sit back reflect and try find solutions to move forward. It may be that your finding that you never see your close friends for guys or girly nights out, or that the quality shopping time with your mum has disappeared and this is playing on your mind. Whatever it is, discuss it when together in the bath or on a long drive I think are the best places. Express how you feel and open the question up to your partner to suggest solutions… you will find that they are more than happy to support you and may be experiencing similar things.
A balanced life is important and often other aspects of your life will fall on a weekend. Instead of moaning and groaning at one another find a way for it to work for both of you. If I have to work on a weekend for a few hours, the mister will sign himself up for a free trial of a local gym and use their facilities for hours on end. We both make the most of this time. The mister also volunteers at a local community garden centre as a way to escape the corporate world which is extremely important to him. So what do I do… I come down to watch him at work, chill in the sun, with a cuppa and a brownie and actually write this blog!
There are many perks to having a long distance relationship. The majority of long distance relationships work on a ‘get your shit done working-week’ and ‘weekend romance’ schedule. It is amazing with a bit of organisation how much you can get done after your working day in preparation for a free weekend. This gives you quality time together, something that is often missed in the ‘normal’ relationship. You find yourself, dressing up and looking your best, soaking up each others presence and appreciating every small gesture in a compressed amount of time. You savour these moments, that can often go unnoticed, until the next weekend. Wherever you see a potential negative to a long distance relationship, turn it in a positive. Be grateful for the tough times that come your way as they will only make your relationship stronger. The patience, commitment and appreciation for one another that you will find in a long distance relationship will prepare you for the future when you eventually live under the same roof.
Go the distance in your relationships,