Saturday, 8 August 2015

How to survive a Long Distance Relationship

Hey everyone!
I recently started a relationships seres on my YouTube Channel. I've decided for this one I would write a blog post along side it so let's get cracking! To watch the video you can click here.

The Background 

As you might know I went to Brussels in Belgium where I studied for 3 months as part of an Erasmus programme. This of course meant that I was apart from my Boyfriend of a year and half(at the time of leaving). Although some of you are probably rolling your eyes thinking 3 months- that's nothing! Well then good for you and I'm glad that you think so but for me it was a really scary thing. Seán and I live very close to each other so it's very easy for us to see one another on a very regular basis we also met through mutual friends so our nights out with friends would mean we were both there too not because on a plus one deal but because they are both of our friends. Basically, we spend a lot of our time in each others company. Oh and did I mention we are madly in love so believe it or not we really enjoy being together?
At the end of the day this was an experience I couldn't pass up so I decided to put 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' to the test.

Tip One:
Have open, honest communication. This is a must for a relationship full stop but for long distance it's the key to succeeding. Before you or your partner go make sure you talk about how you're feeling about the pending separation. Is your partner supportive of the change? I don't think I could have gone if Seán hadn't been so encouraging of it. I would have felt guilty for leaving him behind which I did anyway to an extent but knowing that I had a cheerleader at home made me feel so much better.

Tip Two:
Skype. Skype became my best friend while I was away. Viber is great for phone calls(so I've heard I don't use it) as is Facebook calling which we used when the internet wasn't as strong in my apartment but nothing beats seeing each other. Seeing the smile you love and not having to imagine their body language and facial reactions. We had dinner dates over Skype and we watched TV shows over Skype(timing to press play proves difficult with time delays!). It's the closest thing you're going to get to being in the same room so take advantage. I personally hated using my phone for Skype/Facetime. Having your laptop sit open in front of you means a bigger screen and if you're like me free's up your hands for those grand hand gestures you need for telling stories.

Tip Three:
Make plans. Whether this is plans for when you/he/she returns makes plans as to what you're going to do. Are you going to move in together? Are you going to go for a weekend away together? or if they are coming to visit make plans for that trip. Seán came over to me for a week during Easter break and we spent the entire time I was away up until that point planning it. His flights were booked before I even left for Belgium so straight away we had something to look forward to.  We organised day trips we would take, over night trips, what we would do on Easter... the list goes on! It was fun planning it together and even more fun doing it all together when he arrived. I also loved being able to show him around where I had been living, what I had been doing and the people I had been hanging out with.
After I picked him up in the airport

Tip Four:
Make time for one another. Of course don't sit at home all day on the phone to your partner but you have to set aside a time that is dedicated to talking to them, replying to an email or whatever it is you plan on doing to communicate. It's easy to let your schedule get too busy and miss out on time with your loved one. Long distance is not easy and it takes work so make sure you clock in your hours. Also if you are living in different time zones you need to plan a lot more, I was lucky because I was only an hour ahead of Seán but someone I know that was over 8 hours ahead said what she did was email when she went to sleep and he would get it when he woke up as a first morning smile. Something like that anyway!

Tip Five:
Have an end goal. For me this was obviously coming home at the end of the 3 months but I wanted to just quickly add this one because if you are in a long distance relationship with no end in sight what really is there to look forward to? Long Distance Relationships can go on for years but ultimately you can't have one forever you will have to be together at some stage so really think about where it's heading. Will one of you move to the other? If not maybe you need to reconsider a few things.

I can now testify that absence does make the heart grow fonder or at least when it came to my Relationship. It was the most difficult 3 months of our relationship with tests and trials but ultimately the reason it was so hard was because we missed each other a lot because we love each other a lot. I am so glad I went away for many reasons but believe it or not I being away from my Boyfriend is one of the positives because now I know I don't want to be without him and if that's not love I don't know what is.

If anyone has had an experience with a long distance relationship, how did it work out for you? What are are you tips that I didn't include and do you disagree/agree with mine?

Make sure you check out my YouTube video on this topic incase you didn't already read enough!

I hope you're all well,

Alice X