Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Photo taken somewhere along the Great Ocean Road on our first break from long distance

Long distance almost over

Its less than a week to Mr T arrives and i can barely contain my excitement.

Which means we survived 18 months of long distance with only a couple of very short breaks in between.

When i first left HK i told Mr T quite surely that i didn't think i could handle the distance for longer than 3-6 months.

Prior to leaving i was even questioning being a in a long distance relationship relationship at all.

But unfortunately due to financial reasons 6 months turned into 9 months, 9 months turned into 12 months and then eventually 18 months.

People say to me all the time 'i couldn't handle a long distance relationship' and i can understand it.

Now though i realise that no one walks in saying 'oh yes i want a long distance relationship'. For us it was a simple choice, either stick with yucky long distance or break up and for the first time in my life breaking up was not a option.

Thats not to say that long distance is not hard though, it is!

There are so many moments when you go i wish he could see this, or be here with me now, or meet ... or whatever.

And of course there are arguments, its a big transition going from seeing each other to long distance. It also tends to highlight any problems in the relationship.

You do have to work hard to make it work. So i thought i would write up my thoughts for others in or about to start a long distance relationship besides from what I have been told the long distance memory will soon be a thing of the past that i will struggle to remember.

The success of our long- distance relationship is mainly due to:

1. Having an amazing partner
2. Having an amazing bond/sharing a lot in common

Beyond those things though I do have some advice:

Communication is the key!!!!!!!

* which means talking as often as possible
* honesty
* being able to talk about the not so pleasant things (I'm fortunate in that Mr T doesn't run away from conflict and instead will say to me 'we need to talk about x so it doesn't happen again')
* learning to argue fairly
* talking about the everyday/tiny things in your life

Before Mr T and I were together I was in another long distance relationship which didn't last very often (a couple of months despite being together 2 years before that) and one of the traps we fell into was not talking about the little things because its a long distance phone call and you don't think its worth it and ... Which led to two things happening, one us having nothing left to talk about because after all life is made up of lots of those tiny moments and most days just aren't that exciting. That of course let to the second thing: us growing apart.

It really is all about the little things. The co-worker bugging you, the cat scratching you, what you made for dinner etc etc.

Other things i found helped:

* trust (although as long as you 100% honesty shouldn't be much of a problem)
* packages (Mr T somehow went from Mr unromantic to Mr romantic with his thoughtful packages including a beautiful special mix cd). I really enjoyed making packages for him too.
* international calling cards (thank god for those)
* MSN-with webcam, its nice to be be able to see each other from time to time
* visits (as often as you can afford it)
* text messages (really not sure if it would have survived without all the text messages).

Having said all of that, i do have to admit there is perhaps one main benefit of surviving a long distance relationship. You end up with an even deeper emotional bond and lets face it you know for sure its not just the physical stuff keeping you together ;-)


shamash said...

This post says it better than I could have... and the cool thing is that you have a "happy" story: you're still together.

Over the past 6 years, my three major relationships were long-distance relationships, and with varying degrees of success, we somehow made them work. I've recently given up on long-distance; it's just too tiring.

I especially like your suggestion to tell each other about the little things about your day, and aren't "care packages" just the best thing ever??

I'm happy that you will soon be reuniting with your honey! I remember that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling after a long time apart, and the anticipation of seeing my beloved again.

There's nothing like it in the world! :-)

ann said...

Cheers to you and your loved one. 18 months is no small feat. I found that time drags on exponentially with each month. Best wishes.

kristy said...

shamash, sorry to hear they didn't work out in the end.

One thing I have learned is never say never.

Ann, thanks it sounds like you have been through it as well?