Lots of people have asked me recently how my long-distance relationship works and why I committed myself to one. So I decided to try to answer a couple of questions which I often get asked and maybe they will help you if you are in a long-distance-relationship too or are about to be in one. I have been in a long distance relationship for some time now. I will share my personal experiences here which doesn’t mean I am an expert at it and also do not want to be one.
Why be in a long distance relationship?
Being in a long distance relationship can have various reasons. Lots of people meet their partner while they spend some time abroad while studying, doing work and travel or doing a community service. Other couples may have met at school or university and one of them or both move to a different city or even another country and will therefore be separated for some time. So here is a little guide which should help you to form an opinion about your current situation.
When you meet someone from a different country or a different city and you already know that one of you will move in the near future then the question of “to be or not to be” is, sooner or later, unavoidable. First, the key is to talk to your partner: About your fears and wishes, your hopes and worries too. My point of view has always been that you should not leave someone you love just because of distance and that trying is always worth it. So don’t think about it too much, if both of you really want it, you can definitely make it work, even though not seeing each other often sounds terrifying first
How often do you see each other?
My boyfriend lives in England and I live in Germany. We try to see each other every three to four weeks on average. Although there are exceptions like exam season for example. How often you see your partner depends on various reasons, first of all probably on money and time. Getting on planes, trains or busses to see each other can be expensive. Therefore, invest time in your research on cheap offers which almost every company has from time to time. My favourite website for flights is Skyscanner, because it compares different offers and shows you the cheapest ones. Also, talk about how you finance your trips: If one of you happens to travel more than the other, think about sharing the money, so one doesn’t have to pay all the time. If you are not in a long distance relationship yet, think realistically about how often you will see each other and if both of you can imagine to spend several weeks apart.
Does it work?
Well, yes. First of all long distance couples are just like normal couples: That also involves arguing, being jealous and all of the nice things of course too. Everything might seem to be a bit trickier and more difficult and lots of things actually are. Poor internet connections can be very annoying and differences between time zones too. Even agreeing on a time when to talk can be difficult. We usually refer to our time zones with “your time” or “my time”. Also you have to bear in mind that you only have each other when you Skype or talk on the phone. That means that you can talk loads to each other, but actually doing stuff together is obviously more difficult. So bear in mind that sometimes you will run out of things to say, but I consider this as completely normal, because at one point everything you currently want to say will be said. And, when you think about it: When you are together you also don’t talk all the time. However, don’t think that you can’t do stuff together or even go on a date. There are quite a few websites where you can play games together for example. One of them is Pogo which offers a range of multiplayer games. Some couples like to watch films or even cook together. So just think about what you and your partner like doing together and maybe you can even do that while skyping.
Do you not miss each other?
Yes, of course and quite a lot actually. But this also depends from couple to couple and also a lot from women to men too probably. We found that keeping busy is the best killer for any crying-your-eyes-out-situation. Being busy also helps you to really live your own life and to feel “whole” even when you are on your own. Think about it this way: Each of you can still do everything they want to and doesn’t have to feel guilty for going out with friends rather than going on a date with your partner (this should actually never be an issue in a non-long-distance-relationship either). However, do not be afraid to talk about missing each other. Communication is key (as always).
How do you work around any sex-related issues?
Obviously you can’t just cuddle or have sex when not being together. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t wish you could. Thanks to modern technology, there are ways to work around that. But be very careful here: Talk to your partner about this topic and how you want to deal with this issue. Some might feel very uncomfortable sending any provocative pictures or even videos. Maybe you just want to text about any thoughts you have and whatever both of you feel comfortable with is fine.
And as a conclusion …
As mentioned earlier, being able to do what you want and when can be a very nice thing, especially if both of you are very active people and have lots of other friends or hobbies. Also you get way more excited to see each other and I would also say that you value the time you have together much more when simply you are not able to see each other that much.
After all I do not like to think about which form of relationship is better than the other one. Each has pros and cons, but I think the most important thing is that you and your loved one play a very important role in each other’s life after all. And a long-distance-relationship is always temporary since it’s not the ideal, you will move together sooner or later. So keep going and believe in both of you.