Thursday, 26 April 2012

Reflection - Long distance relationships

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world getting to wake up with my guy every day. Yet I wasn't always this lucky. It took two and a half years of living in a long distance relationship [LDR] and their challenges to get where we are today. Since overcoming those hurdles I've always wanted to write a reflective piece about LDRs and how we made ours work. I'm never going to say they are easy but their are ways of making them easier.
What I always found hardest are the misconceptions that everyone else apart from the couple seem to have about LDRs. These people become dead set on asking you about how you deal with trust, potential lying and the all too common belief that one person will cheat. I have always held  the belief that if a person is hell bent on cheating they will do so regardless of distance. As for trust - you choose to let someone into your world, it's your decision. Trust comes naturally - when you find the person you want to be with, you trust them no matter what. Predominately I think you can only understand an LDR and the mind set for living in one is to have experienced one personally.

We managed to have tonnes of fun together. We found ways of having fun "dates" by watching the same films together, swapping funny videos and playing games on MSN. You don't have to stop having fun because you're not together physically, and I always kicked butt at 3D tic tack toe. 

You should also come friends with your post office. I always loved sending Joe surprises in the mail, although trying to keep surprises for upwards of two weeks because of the slowness of international mail was testing. We'd send random things - books, postcards to Joe sending me flowers. Again I had to deal with negativity - my mother always thinks something has to be up for a guy to send you flowers. I despair. 


At the heart of an LDR is communication, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION. Which I know for guys is sometimes hard. You both need to be open and willing to talk about the situation and how you're feeling. Its OK to tell your partner you miss them, hell it's even OK to cry. We text'd constantly during our LDR, we talked on MSN daily and skyped every so often. But that's what we needed for us - I needed that level of communication. Some people need lots of communication, some people need only a little. You need to find the balance for you.

Ultimately you'll have to make plans for an LDR to end. Either one or both of you will move and you'll live happily ever after together. Although it's rarely that easy. For us, we had to make the decision who would be willing to move countries. It came down to money and practicality. I was in a job that I wasn't happy in and living at home, Joe had an apartment, a career, a cat and a car. Yeap I moved. We had the extra challenge of visas but the process of making the jump to living together is the same. 

Every day will feel like a holiday, I often felt nervy that I'd wake up and it was a dream. You'll feel the luckiest person in the world because you knew how hard it was being apart. But you have to learn to respect the other person and their space pretty quickly, being in an LDR we all become use to doing things in our own time, at our own speed, and to have someone jumping into your life is daunting. I knew all about Joe's gaming habit but being in his apartment and seeing how many hours he plays was a shock. You'll see their habits, how they leave their socks on the floor, ask you to always get his Pepsi. You'll either love their habits or you'll hate them. Luckily for me I see Joe's habits as part of him and I wouldn't change them - he spends hours gaming so I spend the same hours crafting.
It took us over two years to live together, at times it was horrid, I missed him like crazy and I was scared of loosing him to an American girl. Nevertheless I loved him and I was determined to get us to this point and I'm glad we took the risk. 

Now its your turn - have you ever had an LDR and would you like to talk about you're experiences here on my blog? What helped me was reading stories about other people who were going through what I did. Or do you have any questions about how to deal with an LDR? Leave them in the comment box and I'll do and answer post soon!

53 comments:

  1. the photos are awsome and so is the text! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, felt good just getting to finally write everything out.

      Delete
  3. Aww I loved this post :) I really enjoyed reading it and I'm glad you both managed to make things work :)

    Charlee
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It took us a while but we finally got there, always surprises me on reflection how darn determined we were in getting to this point.

      Delete
  4. im currently in an LDR, not over the same distance as you guys but from Newport south wales - Guildford surrey (about 120 miles!) I'd love to talk about LDRs on your blog if you'd like :)
    Congratulations on making it through! :D
    Rosie xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you hun! Sometimes I think it must be even harder being closer because I literally knew I couldn't just go and see Joe so stops you wishing you could a little, if that makes any sense at all! I'll get in touch with you shortly about doing a little piece.

      Delete
  5. this is such a sweet post! you deserve every second of your happy ending xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :D Thank you sweetie, I know you've been there and supported us so much.

      Delete
  6. Love this post..Being engaged and in a LDR myself Ive said the exact same thing to everyone who has asked if Im worried he will cheat and if I can trust him. If your going to cheat your going to cheat but I really dont worry about things like that because of our communication and the way we are together when we are together..its the little things for me like even if the day is hectic its the good morning txts and the bed time good night phone calls:)
    Sara xx http://beautifulworldoflennynb.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, I never worried about the cheating but everyone else was determined to try and make me worry about it. I totally agree with the little things like the texts, I use to always wake up to Joe's going to sleep text, made a great way to start the day.

      Delete
  7. great post. i'm in an LDR right now and i can completely find comfort in your story as it's similar to mine. it's never easy but it is always completely worth the wait. i definitely want to talk to you about this more, just wanted to comment really quick :) thank you for sharing love xx

    -Jordan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll wing you out an email shortly. It really is down to comfort isn't it, and I know every couple will have a different level and it's just finding that balance.

      Delete
  8. I'd happily talk about my experiences, although they haven't had the fairy tale ending yours has.

    Spending 4 years long distance, then breaking up when he came home and we just couldn't make it work was hard. What was harder was him coming out as gay and moving to a different country with his new boyfriend after 2 months together. You know, everything is sent to try you and this is just one of my trials. I have a lovely new boy but I do still sometimes wonder 'what if...?'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow I was never aware that was how it all ended Dee but i'm happy that you've found someone new and lovely. I think I got into the LDR because I never wanted to get years down the line and not trying it. At least by trying you find out if it's right for you.

      Delete
    2. edit - lovely new boy is gone. He was bullying me.

      Delete
  9. This was such a great post and I am so glad you made things work!! Xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh! I read this and it looks like you are reading my mind or telling my story. I am now in a LDR (Miami-Bonn), however we are both Europeans. He is from Germany, living in Bonn and I am Spanish living in Miami. We met last year on July 3 in Niagara Falls -we both were travelling alone. We talked every day ever since. We definitely have plans to move together in 2013. In the meantime we travel back and forth. I invite you to read some of my post where I talk a little bit about our story:

    http://cafesocietyxxi.blogspot.com/2012/04/technology-and-social-media-paradox.html

    http://cafesocietyxxi.blogspot.com/2012/04/easter-trip-germany-2012-scrapbook.html

    I'll keep you updated! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a gorgeous place to meet! I'm glad you have plans too, I found it a lot easier knowing we were working towards a shared goal of making the LDR end. I can't wait to hear some more of your story!

      Delete
  11. Such a lovely, heartfelt post! I worked in the US for 3 months a couple of years ago and tried to make a relationship work when I got back - I can definitely appreciate how difficult it is, so I'm so pleased it's worked out for you :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's that trying to slot back into together that can often be hard. With us it was once thing being on best behaviour being on holiday together to jumping to living together. That's when all your crazy little personal habits see the light of day!

      Delete
  12. That's so lovely. It was a big enough situation for me and my husband living 100 miles apart for nearly two years.

    I wish you decades of happiness together.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Rachael, this is a great post and very timely for me as I'm about to be in this situation myself! My boyfriend is heading back to his native Canada next week, and we're going to be apart for a few months at least. I'm going to be emigrating later this year (awaiting Visa decision)so I've been reading your blog with great interest! I'm glad things have worked out for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with the visa, I know how much of a hassle they can be. Although I have heard better tales about the process and speed of the Canadian system then their American neighbours!

      Delete
  14. This is so nice and so true. Even though I haven't yet reached the end of my long-distance relationship yet it's nice to see such a happy ending to yours (: I definitely agree that people's misconceptions are one of the biggest problems because they put loads more pressure on you than necessary, when actually once you do it, you survive fine (: As I commented on your hellocotton message I'd be happy to share my own ongoing experience if you'd like me to (: x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its like because other people wouldn't do an LDR they think they have to try and make you not do one too. That's at least how it felt sometimes with me. When you're just in one you just get on with it and deal with the issues as they come along. I'll send you over an email shortly!

      Delete
  15. I've never been in a LDR, I don't think I'd have the strength to make it work, purely from a missing them point of view, though I suppose, what can you do if you're in love? You work it out. Still, I can't express how much I admire you for making such a huge leap, I can only hope I'd have as much courage if I was in a similar situation.

    http://thewoollenmitten.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its weird but while you never stop missing the person you learn how the handle it. Love makes us certainly do some crazy things doesn't it!

      Delete
  16. My husband and I were in an LDR during our engagement. For 9 months we were apart, and saw each other every 2 months, but it was still hard. and I totally agree with you on the communication bit. It's oh so important!

    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights
    the shop of worldly delights

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think without all the modern communications that are around lately an LDR would be so much harder.

      Delete
  17. aww heart this!! makes me think back to when my husband and i were just started dating and we were long distance!!! *teary eyed* hehehe :p i love your tips.. now that my hubs has a new job and we might be doing the long distance again i'll def take your tips into account!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It always amazes me how many people actually experience an LDR at some point - its a lot more then people think.

      Delete
  18. I love this post, although me and my boyfriend obviously aren't as serious as you and your husband are as I am only 17, we're now in a long distance relationship due to university and in september it will be an 8 hour distance between us so it's nice to read posts like this! i'm glad it all worked out for you :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ever need any advice or just someone who knows what you're going through free feel to drop me a line. I often found what really helped was just talking to some one else who was, or who had been through an LDR.

      Delete
  19. You are so right... it doesn't matter the distance, if someone's going to cheat then they'll cheat. My husband cheated and we lived under the same roof.

    Izzy and I were 5 hours away for never once did I even question anything he did. Because we've always been super open with each other and I've always had 100% trust in him. And yes, communication is absolutely key.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Distance never should equate to being darn sure someone will cheat. I never questioned Joe, I believed in him and I really think you have to in this kind of situation.

      Delete
  20. This is a such a heart-warming post, I really do feel a lot of comfort in knowing that LDRs can work. I haven't personally had to go through one, but I am sure there will always be someone going through one at some point in their lives. Wise and true words, I am so glad you got through it and I am so happy you found the man of your dreams xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to try and make the assumptions of LDRS being more positive, I guess that is why I wrote this. I'm glad I stuck with ours and we got through to the other end.

      Delete
  21. I just popped over to Hello Cotton (where I found your blog) sad because I had just helped my boyfriend pack up his house to head back to his home town. Today is his last day & while I am at work right now (shh! I know I shouldn't be reading blogs!) it's taking a lot for me not to cry.

    I am so glad that I found your post on the front page & really just needed to know that LDRs do work. I just needed to know that. I am glad you shared your experience! Hopefully we can end up in our happy ever after too!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Another crazy part, I just popped through your blog, looking to get to know you better & you are living where my bf is moving too & where eventually I'll be going....must be a sign!

    Again, thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so crazy! My boy moved here for school and stayed so that's why i'm here too!

      What really helped me with LDRS is reading other people's real life experiences. It's all to easy to read something but if they are actually talking about their own experiences and shown how they got out the other side it really empowers you. I felt at times the only person in the world apart from their guy and the people around me really didn't understand but I managed to find some people in the same boat and it just helped so much.

      All the best for your own LDR adventure and moving to Michigan!!

      Delete
  23. Awww- so happy that you made your way to him. I'm sure all the time away from each other will make your relationship a very strong one.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This post is amazing!! I'm currently living a LDR since 2 years now, my bf has moved for studies. I swear communication is our best weapon in LDR, we skype everyday unless there's a problem, we have many misunderstandings that I think the long distance created but we always find a way to communicate and fix things. He got my back and I got his, we support each other and of course there will always be this fear that he cheat on me but you know what? I don't care and I don't even want to know because he proved me so many times how much he cares about me and that's the only thing that matters!
    Your story inspires me a lot, I hope I'll be able to wake up by his side soon.
    Btw I'm from a french country so I apologize if I made some mistakes or if my english is weird :/ I found your blog by hellocoton and I think I might come more often!
    Have a nice weekend
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're English is far, far better then my French! I think Skype is brilliant, especially that it is free too!

      Delete
  25. Lovely post darling. I too was in a LDR however not as many miles as yours, we are now both very happy living together after 3 years living many miles away from each other. Communication is key, but also spontaneity, I regularly would surprise him with visits, I even once flew from France and managed to keep it secret until I needed a lift home from the airport. It takes extra effort, but as long as you communicate and have trust there is no difference to other relationships, I think its even more special :D xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always love hearing how LDRS work out and i'm glad yours did for you too. I love your story about the surprise visit to him - that's so romantic!

      Delete
  26. Long distance is quite difficult but when it is truly meant to be its is worth working for. Glad yours worked out.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I also did a LDR. I lived in Norwich and he lived in Scotland, with 500 miles between us it wasn't across Oceans but it was still a fair distance. We had ups and downs but after nearly 3 years of going up and down the country I took the risk and left my life in Norwich behind including a secure well paid job and my family. Financially it was a struggle but love really has no price tag and it was amazing getting to be with my special some one every day.

    Sadly we are no longer together as I changed a bit too much with going back to education and feeling a bit more like a friend but we had 6 awesome years together and we still remain friends and I'd trust him as much as I trust my mother.

    LDR are great, I say kudos to those that give them a go. What can be bad about getting to visit a new place and create ties with new and friendly folk :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Funnily enough I just posted a LDR survival guide as well! My boyfriend and I are on our 3rd long distance stint and are stronger in our relationship than ever - I hope one day we'll have our happy ending like you guys!

    Here's a link to my post if you're interested: http://theartofwandering.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-valentines-ldr-survival-guide.html

    Grace
    theartofwandering.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  29. Followed the link from your Valentines Day 2014 post, so I'm late to the LDR party discussion.

    I don't have a lot to add; my husband and I were in a LDR for 18 months, with 10 weeks spent physically together before we married and I moved to his country (U.S. to Norway). Our compatibility over email and phone calls (Skype wasn't really known to us back then) was so strong, but those little quirks of living with someone were magnified once we were together. It hasn't been easy, but it's been so rewarding and we've both grown so much ... and since we're in our 50's/60's, that's saying a lot! :)

    ReplyDelete