Monday, 2 March 2015

Long Distance Relationships (and how to thrive within them)



A bit of a different post today, but one that I've felt strongly inspired to write for a couple of weeks now. For those who know me personally, or just follow me on twitter, you'll know that my other half has moved away to complete his training for his new career and you'll also know that to begin with, I really, really struggled to adjust. When we first got together we worked together, and very quickly didn't even go 36 hours without seeing each other, so to go from that to barely even having time to speak on the phone of an evening and him having this whole other life that I was no longer a part of, was something that I didn't cope with very well, or cope with at all.

I'm not saying that if you follow these steps in a long distance relationship, things will 100% work and we still have our difficulties and it's still definitely not easy. But they're all things that have hugely helped me, and us, and kept things well in perspective.

1. Find your you time - I am one of these who is all consumed by a relationship and throws my heart and soul into it, so I had to adjust from being J's girlfriend and basing my whole life around his needs, and become Becka again, reaffirm what I like and enjoy. That has evidently mean throwing myself back into blogging, but also spending quality time with my family & friends and hitting it very, very hard in the gym. Obviously this would be 100% personal to you but in every relationship, it's important to remember who you are as an individual.

2. Find your together time - I'm lucky enough to have J Friday & Saturday nights, although I work most weekends we get every other Sunday together too and it's important to make the time count. That doesn't mean grand gestures and jam packing your time full of activities. J's always very tired on a Friday night and often I am on a Saturday if I've been working and to be honest, our favourite time together is swapping back rubs and then cuddling up to watch Breaking Bad. It's finding things that make you sit back and think "yup, I really love you" and doing those as and when you can.

3. Think of the long run - J going away to do this training will hugely help us in the long run, he's joining a fantastic career that will offer us a wonderful lifestyle in the future. Although it'd be lovely if we carried on working in the same department store on the same shifts for the rest of our lives, we wouldn't be able to offer our future selves the things that we want. So it's important to remember why you're/they're doing this.

4. Count down - When he first went away, him being all mine again was 146 days away and seemed like absolutely forever, now he's over a quarter of the way through, that seems like a lifetime ago and the end feels like it's in sight. I actually have a physical countdown both on my phone and one that I made to physically cross out the days as they pass. I find it really therapeutic and it's a little boost once a day that every day we get closer to the end goal.

5. Communicate - Something that I cannot stress enough is communication, tell them when you're feeling a bit wobbly and make time to share the little insignificant things about your day. I rambled on about something I thought I'd told J about of half an hour the other day before he interrupted me to say he didn't have a clue what I was talking about. It made me sad because usually, he'd know all of the details of my day and sometimes we forget to just say the little things. That so and so annoyed me at work or that Grandad got in trouble with Grandma, they don't sound important but it adds up to the bigger picture.

6. Communicate - Not so much in a small way now, but in a big way. I forgot to tell J that I'd managed to get a Saturday off one week and as such he arranged to meet his friends, thinking I'd be at work. Doesn't sound like a big deal but when you usually only get one day a fortnight together it can throw things off balance momentarily and spending time together is important in a committed relationship.

7. Oversharing isn't always caring - When J first left, I told him just how down I was constantly and how badly it was effecting my every day life. Big mistake. Not because he didn't care or didn't want to know, but because it put a huge pressure on him at a time in his life when he actually needs to focus on something else. Sometimes we have to accept that we can't always be the number one priority and we have to make ourselves take a step back for their sake. J needs to be able to focus and as much as he wants to be there for me if I'm having a rough time, if one of my friends can do it for him, it'll make his life a lot easier and also mine in the long run.

8. See things from their perspective - Okay so you've sat around all night waiting for them to call and they only do so 10 minutes after you've fallen asleep. Rather than go off the deep end try and think of a time when you've genuinely been too busy, phone calls generally aren't a quick thing when you're in a long distance relationship and half an hour or an hour probably needs to be allowed for. It's hard when the person you love has a whole other world that you're not a part of and being the one left behind is never easy, but they need their own downtime to go to the gym or just mindlessly watch TV just as much as you do and more often than not in my case, J is genuinely working late into the night. Are they really ignoring you or are they just helplessly busy?

9. Small gestures can mean the most - So I'm the one whose been left behind and also the one who only works part time, meaning that I have a big J shared hole in my life and a lot of time to ponder on it. It's vital to fill that time and what better way than by doing something to remind both of you how much you love each other? For instance I generally have Thursday's off and as I see J on a Friday, it's a good day to prepare for his return. De-fuzzing, manicures and even silly things like baking him his favourite sausage rolls, it all makes me feel like I'm close to him and doing positive things for our relationship without him actually behind here.

10. Big gestures aint bad either - J doesn't read my blog so I think I'm safe in saying, I'm spending these last 3 months to create a scrap book of our time together so far, it's a lot more time consuming than you'd think and will no doubt keep me busy! I'm also on a huge health kick, I'm utilising the fact that he goes 5 days a week without seeing me to my advantage as he usually notices my weightloss progress each week. It makes me feel loads better and hugely spurs me on to carry on the next week - and it doesn't hurt to keep him on his toes either right?


You can also find me at:
Share:
© Becka Shepherd | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig