My top tips for surviving a long distance relationship

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…

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

A year ago, I moved away.

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! ❤

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