The majority of you already know about my relationship by now. I Tweet, blog, talk and post about Matt 24/7. This, I believe, is something I’ve entirely earned the right to do. Despite the fact that Matt is actually my first boyfriend, I’ve had plenty of experience in getting to know guys. The wrong guys. The narcissists, the arseholes, the middle-aged nomads, the commitment-phobes, the emotionally stunted… to name a few!
So, yeah. My first relationship has, so far, been a real eye-opener. Five months ago, however, Matt and I were thrown entirely out of our comfort zone… he ventured off into the big city. Uni happened. Long-distance, therefore, became our only option.
It’s hard, I won’t beat around the bush (not that there’s much of that involved, nowadays), long-distance is super. F*cking. Horrible. Throw in the fact that mental health struggles are incredibly present in our relationship, and you’ve got yourself a stinker.
Or… do you? I’ve learned a lot over the past few months, enough for me to know that we’ve got a damn fine shot at surviving this. I thought I’d share my wisdom with you all; in case any one of you is going through the same thing right now…
ACCEPT THAT IT ISN’T GOING TO BE EASY
It sounds completely obvious, I know. But it didn’t really hit me until a month into him being gone. The cold, hard, solid fact of the matter is; it’s not always going to be surprise dates and flowers waiting at the door. You’re probably not going to see each other ‘every other weekend’, as you planned to do. You’re going to get tired of not seeing each other. You’re going to take that out on the other person. You’re going to bicker. A lot. You’re going to be up at three in the morning, sobbing your heart out because it’s been a month since you’ve seen them. Obviously the bad times amp up the goodness of the glad times, but you need to be ready for that.
DO YOU TRUST THEM ONE-HUNDRED-PER-CENT?
You’re either all-in or all-out with this one. Your partner is hours away, you haven’t seen them in over a month. They tell you they’re going clubbing. How do you feel? If there’s even a shadow of a doubt, it’s not going to work. You’re not going to physically see them enough to get the true closure and reassurance you need. You need to put all your faith into the fact that they love you. Your own happiness and mental stability is worth a million times more than a person you can’t trust.
Is a bit crass, but essential if you’re enjoying a physical relationship. Long-distance is shitty, but the element of anticipation always helps! Let yourselves go, remind yourselves of your desire for one another; the very thing that bought you together in the first place.
“YOU USED TO CALL ME ON MY CELLPHONE…”
I’m dying to say ‘give each other some space!’ here. Obviously that’s an understatement, I assume the very reason you’re reading this right now is because there’s too much space in between you! I’m going to say it anyway, though; GIVE EACH OTHER SOME SPACE! I learned this the hard way! If your day hasn’t been particularly eventful, and you talked yourself out the night before; what’s the sense in ringing up now? There’s going to be a lot of dead air, a.k.a. the perfect environment for overactive brains to start ticking. ‘Why aren’t they talking to me?’ ‘do they hate me?’ ‘am I about to be dumped?’. NO. Just call up when you’ve got some juicy info to talk about. You’ve probably been texting all day anyway!
MAKE SOME AMAZING MEMORIES WHEN YOU DO SEE EACHOTHER!
Go on a romantic date, cook together, watch Netflix together. Talk. Really talk. Talk about how you’ve been feeling while they’ve been away, talk about what you’ve been up to, talk about that one week where you couldn’t stop crying because you missed them so much. Clear the air. This is where you get your reassurance. Make amazing memories, so you can look back on them during the down days and think; we did it.