Lesson 10: Long distance relationships

Long distance love is possible. 

A long distance relationship however, slightly more tricky. 

I think the secret to a happy relationship that will go the distance is to have your own life. Everyone has seen those couples that live in each other’s pockets and can’t bare to be apart for even a second. No. We all know that honeymoon phase won’t last forever. On the other hand there are those that go too far the other way, leading lives completely seperate from their partners who eventually become redundant. It’s all about balance, and hard work. Last year I left my boyfriend behind and went galivanting around the world for 9 months. It wasn’t intentional, and there was a whole series of events that led me to take that decision, but I did. And we survived.
The truth is we both had essential and separate journeys to navigate in order to truly know ourselves, and therefore commit to a well rounded relationship. That sounds really serious and complicated and boring – it’s simple really. We’ve been together since we were 15, and worked through pretty much every issue a normal couple goes through. With the added fact that essentially we were children, growing up within the confines of a long term relationship. That sounds bad, I don’t mean it that way and I certainly wouldn’t change a second of it. I just mean that all we knew was each other, and it got to a point where we just needed to get to know ourselves. Anyway this led to an inevitable break up, during which we both ‘found ourselves’ and realised that we are meant to be together. Unfortunately by this point I had already bought plane tickets and there was no turning back. That’s how we ended up in a long distance relationship. 

It was heart breaking, gut wrenching, tear jerking and soul destroying – but necessary. We had just been apart for 8 months, back together for 1 week and off I went. It was actually exactly what we needed, a test of our decision to commit to each other for the rest of our lives. Of course no one understood our decision, I guess it does sound a little crazy, but we were so sure. And people were so mean. Everyone just seemed to have an unreasonable compulsion to convince us that we would cheat on each other. How harsh is that? Well we didn’t. There are more important things than physical relationships believe it or not. We were committed, we are committed. 

He promised me he would accomplish 3 seemingly impossible things whilst I was away, and he did. Whilst simultaneously dealing with grief beyond explaination. He was strong when he should have crumbled, he continued on when he should have broken down, he excelled when he should have been defeated. And I wasn’t there. I missed Christmas; his birthday; Valentine’s Day; even his graduation. It killed me. But it was ok, (we justified) because it was only for 9 months and what’s 9 months in comparison to the rest of your life?. I had a countdown to Ritchie on my phone which helped endlessly with the pain. The letters helped with the loneliness. In America the communication to the outside world was a little trickier but I found sneaky ways to hear his voice everyday, and when I got to Austrailia it was twice a day. In New Zealand I was on the road a lot and sometimes we didn’t speak for days at a time – that was the killer. When we talked we talked of the future, which helped a lot I think. We made plans, updated each other, but we lived separate lives. We made it work. 

I never want to be away from him again. I will also never give up the person I found when I was travelling (me). Now we are living our lives as two strong personalities in a damn near perfect relationship with a limitless future ahead of us, instead of being one personality with two bodies. And that’s better I think. 

Lesson learnt: 

Relationships take A LOT of work, and distance means nothing when you’re committed. Love is worth it.

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One thought on “Lesson 10: Long distance relationships

  1. Loved reading your latest blog and you are a wonderful sensible girl and I hope you and Ritchie have a long and happy future together just like I had. Love you both so very much. This should be made into a book you are so talented. Good luck in all you do. Love Nan Sandra.

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