I was having a conversation with a friend/former coworker this week when the topic turned to my relationship and my annual visits from the cold of Canada to the heat of Florida. I have to thank her for giving me a topic to blog about that I’ve been considering since starting this little blog. And no, this is not some handy how-to guide on long distance relationships. These are my opinions based solely on my own experience.
Yes, my relationship is a long distance one. My boyfriend and I have spent the majority of the past nearly 5 years communicating over the phone and on Skype daily. We arrange visits every year where I travel down for a few weeks during the colder months and he visits me in turn during our breezy summer. So, suffice to say, despite the distance we have a good, strong, fully communicative relationship.
Of course, people make assumptions. Other coworkers would often ask me about the one issue that tends to crop up: Trust. Conversations tended to go like this:
Coworker: “How can you trust each other when you’re living so far apart?”
Me: “Um… Because we just do.”
It’s really that simple. We come from completely different backgrounds: Him growing up with divorced parents, me with my parents together even now. Cheating is a topic we’re both familiar with and have seen the toll it takes on people respectively. With the level of communication we have, there’s a level of love and respect that goes with it. Distance is never going to make things easy in any long distance relationship, but it takes dedication and trust to make it work.
Speaking of which, I’d like to address the two things people don’t seem to take into account with this kind of relationship. One, it DOES take dedication. A whole lot of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a half hour or 14 hours away from each other. Both people have to commit or it will fail. With my boyfriend and I, we’re aware of the fact and have had to cope with the bad things distance brings. You can’t just say, “This is too hard and it’ll take forever for us to be together.” Both people have to be committed and willing to put in the effort to MAKE it work, just like any relationship.
Two, sometimes the hardest part isn’t the time apart, but the time spent together. The times we’ve been together, we’ve dealt with the hardships of family, grown accustomed to being in the same room together, had to deal with our own bits of bickering, and felt the painful blow of having to say “See you later” once our time was up. All of these, however, have helped us both grow as people and as a couple. You always have to take the bad with the good. But it is always hard to leave, and that will never change no matter how many times we do it. We may fall back into a routine of chatting on Skype a couple days later, but it’s only human to miss someone once you’ve seen them. That, in my opinion, is the absolute hardest part about all of this. Well, that and waiting for the day we CAN be together. So, patience is also important as well and is something I keep in mind day after day.
Granted, long distance relationships are definitely not for everyone. Not everyone realizes how much effort goes into it until they try it, and it can really mess things up if they’re not willing to keep up that effort. Whether you end up in a long distance relationship or know you’re going into one, know what you want and your level of commitment before you attempt to continue it. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but for me, if it means getting any time whether online or in person with the man I love more than anyone, it’s definitely worth it. 🙂
*Dedicated to my wonderful boyfriend, Richard.*