Long Distance Relationships Suck
In October 2015 I started dating my first serious boyfriend.
I had dated guys before but never anyone that I thought this could go somewhere or that I was particularly excited to gush about or better yet sacrifice cosy movie nights in with my best friends for.
But all this changed when I met Frenchie (you've probably guessed he's French hence the nickname). Funnily enough, our relationship followed the old cliche of when you're not looking that's when you'll find someone because when we initially met I wasn't in the boyfriend mindset, but before I knew it a relationship and new best friend had creeped up on me that I couldn't and to be honest didn't want to shake.
To cut a long, cringey story short being with Frenchie has been great... we've done so many things together and pulled each other out of our comfort zones... He took me on a snowy holiday to Vienna where we watched the opera (anyone who knows me knows that I hate the cold and always thought the opera would be a snooze) and I showed him around London, booked us tickets for cool events and we Netflix binged together. I couldn't have asked for a better addition to my life, at the age of 21 I think he came into my life at the right time when I knew what I wanted and expected from someone and in turn was able to give part of myself back.
But to me, it aways remained really important to maintain a friend/boyfriend balance because I always vowed to never become one of those girls that abandoned her friends in favour of her new man. Plus, my friends are one of the key things that kept me busy and going home Frenchie decided to move back to France this year... with no set return date.
That brings us up to now and why I think long distance relationships (LDR) suck. I can list a number of reasons why LDRs are possibly one of the worst things any relationship has to go through (from the time difference to not seeing each other to feeling like you're losing touch with each other), but I think the worst thing for me is the fear of getting used to being without that person. As much as we may hate to admit it the age old saying 'out of sight, out of mind' really does apply, maybe not for weeks or even months but there does reach a point when you find yourself adjusting to a life without that person. When you're forced to spend months apart, you begin to adapt to a lifestyle that is no longer so dependent on them and that's what scares me the most.
I know some people will say that regardless of the distance, if you love each other everything will work out, but life isn't a fairy tale. Things aren't always that easy. Just because you love a person doesn't mean that life doesn't sometimes get in the way and things won't be tough, all you can hope for is that your relationship is trying enough for you to want to persevere to make it work and talk through the challenges that you face.
Luckily our relationship is at that stage, but it has been challenging. Not having seen Frenchie since Christmas, his most recent trip last week was such needed. Although it was tempting to sweep my worries under the rug and just focus on the bliss of his visit, we spoke all the things that scared me with our new long distance set up. From us not talking as much as we would like, the fact that seeing each other will only become more difficult as his business picks up and I get a full time job and of course the most difficult of all, when will he come home or even more scary - will he ever come home?
Whilst the answers weren't all ideal, e.g. the fact that we are looking at doing long distance for until the end of next year sucks pretty badly but the fact that we got everything out in the open and spoke things through really helped and put some of my worries aside. Luckily we are still in a happy place, finding time to Skype each other see other as frequently as possible and still feel the butterflies when we are together, while we are still at this stage and make each other happy, the issues that come along with our current situation (which won't last forever) are worth it to me.
In a way, long distance has made us more appreciative of each other. We spend more time creating experiences that will create fond memories, we take more time to appreciate each others bodies and taking the time to find out what makes us tick and we make a huge effort to talk to each other about everything and anything whenever we can, we don't sweep things under the rug or have the ability to distract ourselves by just 'hanging out'.
It's easy for your mind to wander and question and compare yourself to others when you're in a more unconventional relationship but, I think the most important thing is stay open minded and just try your best to make things work... and things either will (fingers crossed) or there will be a point where you just can't try anymore and things come to a natural end which you don't have to be sad about but instead recognise that it was an amazing, invaluable chapter of your life where you met one of your best friends.