Saturday, June 06, 2015

Long distance love: Why it isn't THAT bad

Perusing the pages of the April issue of Cosmopolitan, there was one article that really caught my eye. ‘Am I weird for keeping his toothbrush?’ asked Jameela Jamil. Yes, I thought, loopy as they come.
In fact, as I read on, I found that the odd title had been triggered by a recent love split. A love split from a guy who could trigger an hour long panic attack when she considered for too long the prospect of not waking up next to him. His dental products presumably eased the pain. 

The cause of the split was a career move to the US. In following her career stateside, she was faced with the prospect of long distance relationship – and ultimately decided that option was a no go. 

Having read such an emotive description of this 'king among men',  I was flabbergasted that they weren't even going to attempt to maintain a cross continent courtship. In fairness, she lays out some valid reasons. The act of navigating a long distance relationship is something she describes as a ‘tricky combination of pen pals and chastity belt’. Those couples ‘share anecdotes not experiences’, they lose their connection. And maybe she has a point. But it’s not all bad. 

I've done long distance twice. Most of the first three months of my relationship was spent 200 miles away from my new boyfriend. Two years in we were in the same situation again; the price you pay for meeting your partner at university. Granted, it wasn't the sort of distance Jameela and her beau would be faced with, but it was definitely not commutable.

While long distance isn't the most enjoyable thing in the world, it can be done. Having become a bit of a dab hand over the last four years, here are my top tips for making a bad situation a little more bearable.

Jameela likened video messaging to 'standing outside a closed patisserie' - being able to look but not touch. Personally, I'd prefer to be at least checking out the nice slab of cake I'd nabbed for myself than not at all. After all, who doesn't like cake?

Fill your calendar
Scribble the next time you're going to see eachother BIG in your diary and highlight the crap out of it. Plan something super fun and get excited counting down to it together. It'll come around before you know it.

Be normal - but not possessive
Check in with eachother and take an interest in what you're both getting up to - but not 24/7. Jameela notes that long distance you have to be careful talking about a new friend of the opposite sex, and I disagree. Be as normal as you would in person. If you are going out of your way to be shady on the off chance you might stir up a bit of jealousy otherwise, then you're really digging your own hole and jumping right in.  

Go shopping 
No I'm not suggesting you drown your sorrows in credit card debt after overdoing the retail therapy. Everybody loves a present. It doesn't have to be big or grand but unexpected post is a cute way of showing your other half they're on your mind.

Remember why you are doing it
If it was just a mindless fling you wouldn't be bothering. You obviously have enough faith in the relationship to know you want to give the long distance thing a bash. Let that be enough to spur you on at the difficult bits! 

Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder and one of the advantages of long distance love is it's hard to get complacent. You don't get accustomed to seeing eachother all the time, so the buzz is twice as big when you do. And on that note, I hope that's the case for Jameela and her boy. If anything is going to make the heart swell, my bet is a few months in the U.S. should be enough to do it!



  1. I was in a long distance relationship with my (now) husband for quite a few years. I lived in Poland, he lived in the US, we saw each other twice a year before I finally moved to the US. But it wasn't that bad. It was difficult but every time we Skyped or chatted ot sent each other emails or gifts was very special. I can remember counting down the days till we would see each other. Sure, it requires a lot of trust but if two people want it bad enough, they can definitely make it work! Me and my hubby just celebrated our 5th year anniversary so it does work!

    1. I completely agree and happy anniversary! If the relationship means that much to you, it shouldn't be that hard. It teaches you to appreciate eachother a lot more - which can't be a bad thing! Thanks for reading :)

  2. This is such a well-written post! I haven't experience long distance myself (for more than 6 weeks) but I can imagine these tips you've given would be great to keep in mind if I ever did.

    Laura |