One skill that I have in life in which I have unwavering confidence in my abilities is my ability to make a long distance relationship work.
My (now) husband and I lived 5000 miles apart for about a year and a half, with me in the US and him in the UK and then in Turkey, and we came through stronger than ever so I’d say I’m pretty wise on the topic at this point.
That being said, here are my top tips for making a LDR work…
Have an end date in sight. Now, I’m aware this isn’t 100% possible in some cases. But if possible, try to at least have an idea of a time frame around which you can close the distance. Or brainstorm a list of plans that you could take to aim to close the distance. For me, knowing that living apart was temporary and that I only had to make to to x date really helped me to feel closure on the situation (even while I was still going through it).
Always have plans for your next visit. This is second to having an end date and especially important if you can’t determine an end date at the time being. Every time I visited YG or he visited me, we’d come up with a plan for the next visit – whether it was over Christmas break or summer holidays – just having time together planned out on the horizon really helped.
Communication about everything. I know, I know, really cliche, but when YG and I were apart, I never tried to hide how challenging the situation from me, I never tried to pretend I wasn’t serious about our relationship, none of that. I was straightforward and raw the whole time. Being able to face all of the emotions brought by the situation allowed us to face the situation head on and push through it, bringing strength to our relationship with each other.
Take advantage of technology. Obviously facetiming is not the same as having a cuddle, but being able to call internationally for free on whatsapp and either skype or facetime effortlessly makes it a lot easier to feel like you’re in tune and in touch with the other person.
Don’t let other peoples’ opinions or anecdotes get to you. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me a story about their failed long distance relationship, seriously… For some reason when you’re in a relationship that isn’t as cut and dry traditional as most, everyone has an opinion. Don’t let them change your mindset! Only you and your partner know what your relationship is like, and only you two have the power to make things work if you so desire!
I feel like people gripe too much on resolutions and forget the reason that resolutions were started in the first place. It’s great to have a set date where we step back from the way we’ve been living and hit the reset button. Figure out what’s working in life, what needs improvement, and how we can reset our goals, aspirations and habits to stay on track towards what we really want long term.
The new year is a good reminder that stepping back and looking from the outside at where we are and where we want to be needs to be done from time to time. And sometimes having a set date such as January 1 looming over us is the kick in the pants from the outside that we need to do some self reflection.
This year, I’m approaching the whole resolution thing with the goal of starting new productive habits from the top of the year and aiming to continue through the end of the year. Yes, January 1 is a fairly arbitrary date, but I’m hoping that by the end of the year, keeping up these habits will have paid off in some way or another.
That said, these are the habits I want to maintain for the whole of 2018:
Put consistent work in to the final two courses of my Computer Science degree and finish up by the end of the fall semester.
Close all three rings on my Apple Watch every day (that’s a hard one!)
Go to 4 gym sessions a week (or at least 3).
Read a chapter of a book every day.
Complete 3 CLRG grade exams in Irish Dancing over the course of the year. This will include preparing a plethora of dancing steps and practicing consistently.
Keep putting money into savings
Write in my one line a day journal every day.
So there you have it. I suppose some of these things are more “goals” than “habits”, but I’d like to think putting consistent work into each of them is the mindset I’ll shoot for.
Today timehop informed me that I am one year on from my move away from London.
Just seeing photos on the app of this period of my life brought back memories of how stressed and hopeless I felt last summer, facing an expired visa and subsequently, a long distance relationship.
I thought that leaving would be a death sentence to my relationship. For the next ~7 months (to be honest, until we discussed marriage), I thought that being apart would be a death sentence to the viability of our relationship. It wasn’t a lack of faith in myself or in YG that discouraged me, it was this feeling of being out of control. This feeling that even if we worked hard to cultivate our bond from a distance, the separation would take over and we would be forced apart.
But now, here we are. We made it. (Well, as long as our visa gets approved). It’s been damn hard; it probably has been the hardest transition I’ve ever made in my life. We’ve had the opportunity to reconnect in London, Chapel Hill (with visits to Asheville, DC and Charleston!) and recently, in Bosnia and Serbia!
I feel that at the end of the day, the cards that we have been dealt in regards to our relationship have been really positive for us. I know that we can survive just about anything as a couple. I know that I can bring up any concern in conversation with YG and it won’t be awkward or anything. I also know that we can be apart for just about any period of time and we will be right where we left off when we meet back up.
But yeah, that anxiety that I felt….timehop won’t let me forget that pit in the bottom of my stomach fear of losing YG to reasons beyond my control.
Anyway – here’s to being in the same place in 2017! ❤
I’m pretty sure that I did not have the typical college experience. Pretty every white girl in America must say that, but Asheville really is something else and I (like to) think it was less touristy, and therefore less tainted, 6 years ago when I started undergrad. I can’t visit Asheville without feeling nostalgic about five billion things (also, I’m writing two posts in a row about cities, so there’s that, but whatever). I graduated from UNCA two years ago but it feels like 3 months ago. I have done a whole lot of nothing and also did a masters degree in the meantime but a large bit of my friend group are still living in WNC so I feel like some sort of time warp has happened and I’ve missed out on a lot of exciting stuff but at the same time everything is exactly the same.
Every time I head up to the mountains I realize how much I have changed in the past two years. I still connect with my closest friends, I still like a lot of the same things and we still get up to the same shit when I come for a visit but I guess my priorities are just so different. I’m so much more sure of myself, so much less eager to branch out at EVERY OPPORTUNITY POSSIBLE (this is both a positive and a negative thing).
Most of all, I realize how damn special my entire experience was in Asheville. I met a huge spectrum of super unique people, a bunch of which I am still close to and to live in a weird and beautiful mixed up place that isn’t recreated anywhere else.