Earlier this year, my boyfriend announced to me that he had successfully got a job – but it meant him moving to Preston, which is about 250 miles from where we both currently live. As you can imagine, I was devastated. Obviously I had to be happy for him because it was the job he had worked so hard for at university. But it had never occurred to me that he would have to relocate for it.
I cried and cried for ages. In my head, this was the end of our year and a half long relationship. I had it in my head that it would never work with him being so far away so I was preparing for the worst. However, after we sat down and talked about what the plan was, we both decided that there was no harm in trying a long-distance relationship. Plus, at least if we broke up, he would be miles away from me so I would never have to see him again.
It’s been four months now since he moved up to Preston and I must say it’s taught me a lot about myself and our relationship. Here are three things I’ve learnt about being in a long-distance relationship:
- Communication is even more important than ever. The biggest takeaway from being in a long-distance relationship is the development in communication. My boyfriend and I speak most days via text and social media. However, we make sure to FaceTime/call each other throughout the week as texting is not enough of a conversation for me. While it’s not like having him with me, talking to each other over the phone is a great way to feel close and connected. Also, I definitely feel as though being away from each other has strengthened our communication skills. We are more open and honest with each other than we were previously. We share all of our thoughts and feelings with one another – despite how stupid they may seem. I believe it has helped us build a stronger foundation than what we had previously.
- Expect to feel doubt and uneasy about the status of your relationship. I must say it hasn’t always been positive living so far away from my boyfriend. I am an extremely anxious person who overthinks everything and being away from him for long periods of time is not good for me. If I don’t physically see him for a while, I end up making up stories about how he is definitely cheating on me or that he doesn’t love me anymore. It has created a number of FaceTime conversations where I end up bawling because of how I feel. This may not necessarily impact everyone in long-distance relationships. However, this is definitely something I am dealing with and it sucks.
- Make sure you’re both putting in effort. I believe long-distance relationships work but only if both of the parties are putting in enough effort. At the start of our long-distance relationship, I was making most of the plans when we were to see each other. And it really started to annoy me! My boyfriend is so laidback and relaxed that it felt like he didn’t really want to see me. I mentioned this to him and so I started letting him make the plans. When he didn’t ask to see me until the weekend before he wanted me to visit, I told him all of my weekends were booked up. I think that’s when he realised the importance of booking in our visits in advance. It may feel clinical but it’s important for both parties to feel like they’re wanted and so booking days to see each other is important. If you begin to feel your long-distance relationship is one-sided, bring it up with your partner and raise your concerns. Should things not change then maybe it’s time to start questioning whether this is going to work or not!