As you may (or may not) be aware, my boyfriend and I partake in something which is painful, lonely and that we wish wasn't happening ... we have a long distance relationship.
It all started in early 2010, we started "dating" I actually don't know when we officially got together. I say it was when we went to London. The first time he called me his girl friend. That was probably why I say it was that point. I wasn't ready to be a girlfriends again before then. After what, 7 months of dates I think it was time to make it official.
We know from the go that it was only going to be a short term thing. I was going to University and leaving Glasgow. Alan then completed his masters and got accepted to do a PHD in at Cambridge University. Meaning that he was moving too. We both decided that once we started uni that that would be it. We are both very career focused people and I think our careers had always been our number 1 priorities.
Then it came to it, the move. We couldn't do it. I have no idea the events that caused us to decide to try long distance, I just remember saying "lets try it" and thinking that it would work out for us! Perhaps it was the fact that I was hating Uni and realised that home wasn't really home anymore without him. It still doesn't feel like home now. When hes not around nothing is fun.
I haven't been 100% single since I was 15, "Maybe I just can't cope without a boyfriend?" I thought. I'll happily admit it, I hate being single. I love having a boyfriend. But never in my life have I put someone before my career, but with this boy, I'm happy to support him for a little while. Not that he has ever asked nor would he ever expect me to, if I ever put him before my career he would throttle me. He knows and appreciates how important a career is to me. He would never even question if I put a job before him, nor I him ... to an extent. We both respect each others careers and respect each other. We both want to work hard at our relationship, this involves mutual respect and equal sacrifices.
Its very hard. Long distance is very lonely. I miss him all the time and its worse when you have a bad day and all you want is a hug to make everything better, but you have to make do with a text or call or skype, but its not the same.
Its expensive and stressful. You have to annoy your boss constantly for time off work, which ends up meaning you only get to see them for one whole day after travelling for 6+ plus hours. By train which costs you an absolute fortune or by bus which makes you 99% sure that you are capable of killing someone.
There is also the task of having to constantly defend your relationship to people. "Are you sure its worth it?" "Will you not be lonely when you move?" "What happens if you move and then split up?" "Are you sure your not just running away from Glasgow?". Eh YES! NO! NO! NO! These are good questions. These people care about you and only want for you to be happy. But why do they have to ask the questions 50,000 times after you have given them the answers! Leave people to make their own choices and maybe mistakes, and just be there if it falls through.
Its not all bad though.
You get the best feeling when you book your train to go see him! You get excited for days, weeks even! It makes you cherish every min because you know you don't have long until you have to leave again!
You can keep the spark in your relationship. 2 years in and Alan and I still feel as if we are in that honey moon phase! Its all smooches and dates and making an effort ... no granny pants! (lookin at choo Lydia Bright!) yet we are still comfortable enough to sit and watch TV in slobby jammies!
You also get lots of you time! I enjoy this! Whenever we are apart I concentrate on me, my work, my friends and then when we see each other its 100% no distractions ... he will dispute this and say there is a third person in our relationship ... my phone. I say he needs to deal with it.
I know there are a lot of bloggers and other girls/boys doing long distance, so a lot of you out there know exactly what its like. I just thought it would be a nice thing to share on the blog in case anyone out there is unsure about giving it a try or just wants to see how someone else going through it feels or deals with it.
Me? I just take it a day at a time! Counting down the days until I move down with him and finally start my real life! Its not going to be easy. I know that. It will be hard and I will cry and we will argue. But I know it will work out, and more importantly, its what I want to do! I can't wait!
Paula ... x