I never thought I’d be in a long distance relationship. Throughout college I had friends who were in LDRs because one partner was doing a semester abroad, or going to a college in another part of the world. Some of these couples are still together today, but for some the distance tore them apart. From what I had seen and heard it seemed like a really, really hard thing to do. I always thought the idea of a long distance relationship was sweet – that two people were willing to go through anything for each other, but it was never something I saw myself doing. That is, until I met Seán.
We didn’t have much of a choice whether or not we would do long distance, seeing as he is from Ireland and I’m from Canada. It was either do long distance, or never see each other again. I’ll admit it – I was extremely nervous at first, never having been in an LDR before. Would you think I’m crazy though, if I told you that my LDR has been the easiest, most fun, trusting, loving, and fulfilling relationship I’ve ever been in? I thought I’d share a few of my tips and ideas for any of you in LDRs, or for anyone thinking about beginning one.
My number one piece of advice is to communicate everything. Your partner can’t read your mind, and the fact that they’re only getting you through text messages, phone calls, and Skype makes it that much harder for them to realize something is off. If something is bothering you – tell them! They won’t be able to work through it with you unless you speak up. If you miss them – tell them. They’re the only other person who is in the exact same situation as you and likely experiencing the same feelings as you. Another important issue to address with your partner is when your “end date” will be, when you will close the distance. Even if it is far off in the future, you need to have a plan. At the very least, always know when you are going to see each other next – even if it’s months and months away.
In an LDR you get to talk to your partner a lot. Essentially that’s all you do. You talk through text messages, Skype, phone calls, letters, and even Snapchat. You talk for hours and hours each day, and because of this you get to know your partner so well. LDRs do not rely on physical love, they are based on emotional love and loving someone for their soul, and for who they are.
Being in a long distance relationship has made me reevaluate what is important in a relationship and what is not. Suddenly things that may have once started arguments become trivial. Simple things like hearing your partners voice on the phone, or seeing their smile on Skype, become everything.
Seán and I have so much fun with our relationship. We’re always sending each other things in the mail. He is so sweet and thoughtful, I have no idea how he comes up with all his ideas. The first package he sent me was a leprechaun teddy bear with a green top hat and bow tie, so I’d have something to cuddle with at night! On Valentine’s Day he sent me a message me a in bottle. A big glass bottle with a scroll inside – how adorable is that? On the scroll was a heartfelt letter and some Irish poetry. He also once sent me a beautiful white and gold dual faced watch – so I could have one face set to Vancouver time and one to Dublin time. His gifts are so sweet and always have me in tears (the good kind). I’ve sent him many things too: countless letters, postcards, photographs, and sentimental things I’ve crafted (I live on Pinterest). It’s so much fun sending and receiving things in the mail, and I find it helps the time between visits pass by faster too.
When you finally do get to see your partner again, after many days, months, or years apart, I think you will appreciate them and your time together so much more. You start to notice and love all the little things, like holding hands, seeing the dimples in their smile, or in my case finally getting to properly hear their amazing Irish accent. It is the absolute best feeling in the world seeing your partner at airport arrivals and getting to run into their arms. When you’ve waited for something for so long it feels so amazing once you finally have it.
Good luck to everyone in an LDR!