Monday, 2 September 2013

Some thoughts about long distance relationships

At the time of writing, I have just two days remaining of being in a long distance relationship. Yes, Wednesday is the day The Boy finally moves back to Leicester!

After a long period of singledom (which you can read about here*), I met The Boy at the end of October 2012 (which you can read about here: ever get the feeling I overshare on the internet?!). We started 'going out' at the start of December and just a fortnight later he moved back to The Netherlands for eight months. We have done almost all of our falling in love from a distance of hundreds of miles.

We are lucky, I know, in that our jobs and our financial situations have enabled us to see each other, on average, every three weeks. Our longest break was four weeks, our shortest just two days. But whilst at the beginning I found the long distance thing a bit of an adventure - all that getting on planes and having romantic rendevous in European cities appealed to my sense of drama - ultimately, after eight months, it has become nothing but a gigantic pain in the arse.

I had ten years to build myself a really happy, satisfying life on my own, and so adjusting to living without The Boy hasn't been much of an adjustment at all. It's the same awesome life I've always led: I have an amazing house that I love pottering around, a ton of hobbies that keep me busy, great friends, family I love spending time with, a demanding job. But I now do a lot of those things with a tiny nugget of sadness inside me. My life is still awesome, like it always has been. But now I know how ultra-super-duper-awesome my life is with The Boy in it, I kind of want him here all the time.  I've also quickly realised that no matter how happy I am and how much I still enjoy having my own space and my own company, as soon as I feel a bit shit or have a bad day, a long distance relationship is suddenly the worst because I just want a cuddle.

The reactions of other people have been interesting too. Lots of people seem to think they know how long distance relationship 'should' be conducted (The Girl touched on this very issue in her excellent post Long Distance), and some of those people also seem to think that The Boy and I are not doing it right. I've been looked at askance when I say that, no, we don't Skype every day, as if that somehow means that we don't really love and miss each other. Honestly, both of us lead busy lives with schedules that often fail to match. Not to mention that I am chronically phone-averse and The Boy not much better. We are so much happier relying on a constant barrage of WhatsApp messages and Facebook conversations (and yes, a Skype date once a week), than forcing ourselves into awkward chats every evening.

However, the people that really matter have been nothing but lovely about my mooning around and my absence one weekend in three. It must be quite an adjustment for those close to me, to see me go so quickly from perma-single spinster to head-over-heels in love, but they've been incredibly supportive. My friends love him, and I reckon his friends think I'm ok too. We've managed to entwine our lives and begin building a wonderful relationship from hundreds of miles away, and I'm really proud of us for making it this far with no bumps in the road. I cannot wait for how good things are going to be when he lives ten minutes away.

* Related to this post - which was called 'On Being A Spinster' - someone recently found my blog by Googling "can spinsters be happy", which made me laugh. The answer is a definite YES!


  1. Hurray! This is so exciting for you!!

    I always find the phone thing bizarre. People are obsessed with the notion that you should be speaking every single day. Why?! On an average weekday evening, the boyfriend and I aren't exactly bubbling over with conversation because, guess what, nothing really happens that's worth talking about!

    I always find that the people that have the most to say about long distance relationships are the ones that have never had them. Funny that.

  2. Wow that's really exciting that he's coming back! I was long distance for six months with my ex (I was in Norway). We had a week together in the middle of the six months, but apart from that we didn't see each other. It was actually quite good for us. In a way, I'd say we talked (properly) more when we were apart than we did when we lived together and had busy jobs and social lives!

    Liz xx

    Distract Me Now Please

    1. Wow, that's really hardcore long distance: we're so lucky that we've been able to see each other really frequently. But yeah, I think it has got us off on a really good start to the relationship, because any time we spend together is real quality time.

  3. I also was single for years so know how great that independence can be, but I'm happy for you and The Boy!!!! yay!!