Sunday, March 30, 2014

Learning to Cope With Long Distance




So this is going to be something a little different from the norm (though, to be fair, I only started this blog this past week, so there isn't really any "norm" yet). I knew when I began this blog that I would like to have a post about something that is constantly on my mind: my relationship with my (amazing) boyfriend. He and I have been long-distance for the majority of our relationship, so I've had to learn a thing or two about coping with the harsh reality of not getting to see him all that often.

I should start with a little background on Jake (that's his name, if that wasn't clear) and I. He and I met in our sophomore year of college, and actually tried dating early on. Neither of us were in the right place for dating at the time, so we decided we were better off as friends. It ended up being for the best, because Jake became my very best friend. He was the guy I could trust with anything, and for three years we saw each other nearly every single day. I can't speak for him, but for me there were almost always underlying feelings, but I also knew that I would rather have him as a friend then not have him in my life at all. Anyways, a lot happened in between, but long story short he graduated college (I had an extra year to complete) and a few months later we finally confessed our feelings for each other.

As fate would have it, once we finally began our relationship we became long-distance, as Jake got a job working in the city. After three years of seeing each other constantly, it was heartbreaking to finally be in a relationship and only be able to see him once or twice a month at most. This became even more difficult when he was accepted to a graduate program in Ohio, where he has been ever since. Now seeing him once or twice a month seems like a great option in comparison.

Anyways, I still haven't even gotten to the point of this post! Obviously, being in a long-distance relationship is not ideal for any couple. However, if you want to make it work you need to make the best of it. And while I am certainly not an expert on the subject, I do believe that I've gained some perspective on methods of coping through my own experiences. So a few pieces of advice. I think the most important thing I've learned is to always make sure to end a conversation with an "I love you", even if you're in an argument. When you and your significant other live in the same place, it can be easy to just go your separate ways after an argument and get some space, knowing you'll be able to see that person the next day and (hopefully) make up. Being far away from one another makes for a slightly more difficult situation. All healthy couples have some arguments, and I will be the first to admit that I will hold on to the emotions felt in an argument even after it ends. I give this piece of advice as someone who has repeatedly ignored it, but I truly believe that after an argument you should always tell the other person that you love them. You can still be angry, it's only human. But, especially when you're far away from one another, you want to make sure that person is going to bed knowing that you love them even when you're feeling upset.

Another important thing I've learned is that technology is your best frenemy. I am forever grateful for my iPhone, because without talking on the phone, texting, Facebook messaging, or what-have-you, I would rarely speak with Jake at all. However, I'm also a firm believer that using technology takes away some very important aspects of communication. I can't tell you how many times that I've received a text message from someone and taken it the wrong way because of phrasing, or use of capital letters or whatever. It's truly silly, but it's due to loss of social cues that one would experience in a face-to-face conversation. Because of this, in a long-distance relationship (or really any relationship, or friendship) it's important to always be honest, and share your feelings if you are hurt or confused by something. So often it's because something has been misconstrued, and so there's no reason to have to feel resentment for something that has been taken the wrong way.

This has become a far longer post then I originally intended, obviously I had a lot to say! I've only shared a few things that I've learned thus far throughout my relationship, but as I learn more each day I'll try and continue to share my thoughts on this blog. If it wasn't clear already, I miss Jake quite terribly but writing about it certainly feels therapeutic.
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2 comments

  1. This is an absolutely lovely post! My boyfriend and I are long distance too and it's so difficult, so I really empathise with you on this one. Also, I can't agree with you enough about saying you love them at the end of every conversation. Not being able to make up at the end of an argument with them is the worst!

    Ellie xx | http://theleobeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aw thank you so much for reading it and for the kind words! Long distance truly is tough, but it's honestly good to know there are other people going through it and making it work. :)

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