As I reflect on my relationship and think about all of the good times that we’ve shared together so far, I have to take a minute to remind myself that this is probably one of the hardest times in my life; we have been in a long distance relationship for a year and nine months. The distance is soon going to close; that’s guaranteed now, we have a date, but a conversation that we had whilst I was last in Lisbon last month had me wondering: am I contributing to the negative side of social media, whilst only showing the good times and rarely talking about our arguments, struggles and disagreements, am I contributing to the comparison culture?
I actually think the hard answer to that question is an easy yes. I once had a very toxic relationship which I spoke about a lot online, I didn’t touch on how toxic it was or how abusive he was, but I had my faults too, every time we argued I’d make a dig at him on my social media or he’d change his BBM tagline to something equally as passive aggressive and everyone we knew also knew that we’d fallen out over something.
I then vowed that I’d never talk about my relationships online ever again. Which for a few years I didn’t, I dated and met people but I never spoke about it nor did I want to, it’s only with this relationship where I feel like I’ve met ~the one~ where I feel like I can comfortably express myself, talk about our relationship and the nature of our relationship, but I don’t talk about when we argue or our differences, not because I don’t want to or because I have anything to hide but also because I like privacy too.
But upon a discussion we had where we were reflecting on our relationship, I asked myself if I could open up about the truths of being in a long distance relationship and honestly express how I feel.
If I’m being completely honest, to begin with I liked the distance. Well, liked is the wrong word but I didn’t mind it. It never played on my mind and I didn’t go months feeling sad that we’re passing by time so often without one another, as our relationship has grown and we’ve been together longer, I find myself feeling more sad and eager for the next visit, I also feel like when we’re apart from each other for long periods of time, it starts to wear on us and we argue a bit more frequently or we both start to feel the emotional grip.
I also tend to say that 99% of our arguments are because of the distance, every couple argues and has their moments so us arguing every now and then never worries me, but what does is the fact that when we do argue, I’m completely aware of what is causing the argument. You do become a bit exhausted with all of the travelling and the back and forth, and the long periods of time without being together do start to take their toll, which is the honest truth.
As our distance comes to a close, I’m also reflecting on what life has been for the past almost two years. We’ve had Skype calls nearly every day and we’ve spent endless hours in them, we’ve seen each other every four months for either a week or two at a time and we have an almost two year Snapchat streak which we’re both very proud of, it would be longer had I not broken it the first time.
I’m feeling the weight lifted from my shoulders and the emotional burden that is the distance is something that I can finally see shortening, I definitely wouldn’t tell somebody not to go into a long distance relationship because they are great, they have their pros which I speak about so regularly, but I also feel like it’s important to be self aware and understand what you’re getting yourself into. The travelling and regular visits have cost me probably thousands of pounds, and I definitely feel like I’ve been living the last two years counting down constantly and haven’t had a chance to actually appreciate the moment as much as I normally would.
There’s also the matter of one of you is always going to cope better than the other. I feel like Pedro copes better than me, mostly because he is more fixated on the future and securing a life for us both to be together, he doesn’t dwell on things as much as I do and he is more determined to enjoy this life with me despite the distance, I spend a lot of time wishing there wasn’t a distance and bringing it up probably too often, I hate the fact that I’m like this, but I also feel like this is always the case with these relationships, one if you will struggle more than the other, for varying reasons.
To be completely blunt though, I appreciate the nature of this relationship because it’s forced me to grow up a bit. I’m definitely still somebody that feels very insecure and has to get over a few faults of my own, but I feel like this relationship, and spending time single before this relationship, have been a great combination for forcing me to grow up a bit and be more independent. I feel less scared about doing things on my own, sitting next to a stranger on a plane doesn’t bother me and I can navigate Manchester Airport perfectly.
I also feel like Pedro has helped me to grow too, he’s more headstrong and determined in life, he’s smart and insightful, he answers all of my silly questions even if I shock him most of the time by even asking the question, but above all he’ll support and push me to be my best self. I’m grateful to have somebody around who is well, him.