The Truth About Long Distance Relationships
This post has long been in my "needs review" folder and its taken me a lot of courage to get this out. I am seeing such an increase in long distance relationships following our increasingly global and tech-powered world. It's more common now than most people think and I've only just realised it recently. That said, it is still something that most people see as a 'pity' or a 'sad excuse for a relationship'. Quite the contrary, I see it as an option and one that teaches you so many things.
I've been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for two years now. Before that, I was in another one for 3 years. It's not that I chose to be in one, life somehow pushed me there. It's not something to be pitied, nor do I feel like I've "missed out" or "fooled myself into a fake relationship" as most people make it out to be. Honestly, even writing this is hard because relationships are different for everyone, and I know LDR's aren't for most people–understandably so. But then I don't choose who I fall in love with or who I feel comfortable letting into my life.
Being in a long distance relationship has taught me many things. The absence of someone to support me means that I had to learn to "survive" on my own and become more independent. This is different to being single though, because to a certain extent, you still have to keep your partner in mind and keep them happy. It's easier said than done and is definitely something that varies between each person. It all starts with yourself. The happier you are with yourself, the easier it will be to make the other person happy. Happiness is, after all, very contagious. The same can be said with how comfortable you are with yourself. You should be able to be happy whether or not you have someone by your side–you control your own happiness.
Without getting too "I'm a motivational speaker, heed my words", I'm going to continue to the next thing that LDR has taught me–making the most of what little time you have with each other. I usually only have about 1-3 hours on Skype with my boyfriend. If I spend it getting angry over stupid, petty things, that's an hour gone out of the 3 that I have–and maybe even ruin the next two that I have left. It's taught me to be wiser and not get angry over something petty. It always makes me think, "is this worth fighting over? Am I going to spend the time I have with him arguing?"
Having time apart also gives you time to think. On days where an argument is inevitable, you're left with time to think things over before bed. It gives you time to calm down and really try to rationalise the problem. What's great about my boyfriend and I is the fact that we're both very rational people. "Can there be a compromise? Was the problem even a problem in the first place?"
I think the biggest perk of being in a long distance relationship, relating to my first point, is that I have time to find myself and figure out who I am and what I want to do. I am very blessed to always have the support of my boyfriend for whatever it is that I choose to do, but at the end of the day, you're the one who needs to kick yourself in the ass and get doing what you need to. Your partner isn't going to do it for you.
It's never ideal to be away from the one you love. Even after two years, I still find myself struggling and feeling an incurable miss for my boyfriend. We both have our bad days, yet we have no choice but to be strong for the sake of one another. It's a constant struggle, but at the end of the day, I don't think I would have it any other way. For now at least.