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Love, distance and independence

I have been meaning to write about this for a long time, but I wanted to make sure I got it right. So for the past 3 and a half years, I have been in a long distance relationship. And in the entire time we have been together, we have never lived in the same city. Getting to know each other over the years has therefore been pretty different to how I’ve become close to anyone else before (probably applies to most people), but surprisingly nonetheless just as meaningful. 


I do actually find writing about my relationship quite difficult because I don’t really know where to start and I also don’t really know where to end. That’s because long distance really is a lot of things and it’s been such a big part of my reality for so long. I guess that’s why its also hard to write about as there is so much to encapsulate. I really do want to show though that it can and does work and even beyond that, it can be so special. Some people do however struggle with it more than others and don’t feel completely fulfilled from this kind of relationship, which I completely get. Others don’t find it a problem at all, but I do think that this kind of applies to a lot of things in life so likewise, don’t compare your experience of anything with someone else’s. If long distance doesn’t work for you and you don’t see why people would do it, then don’t! Everyone has their own choices and own lifestyle so just make sure you own yours.


The main thing I did learn though about being in a long distance is that wishful thinking never makes anything better. Wishing things were different and hoping the grass is greener still leaves you in the same situation. Accepting and being open to love and care does instead overtake all of that if you give yourself the space to do so. 

Obviously easier said than done because for a long time, I wasn’t always so accepting of everything and have often wished we could just be a ‘normal couple’. I’d love to be able to swing by his house whenever I wanted to, I’d love to be able to not book a flight whenever I was going to see him and I’d love to not count down the days until we would see each other again. I want to live in the same city, but wishing that more doesn’t change anything. 



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And then we see each other again and I’m insanely excited. I’m waiting for him to get off the bus from the airport with a racing heart and happy nerves. Seeing each other after spending time apart never gets old and makes me feel so grateful for the time we do share. 


But there are also many goodbyes. That too never gets old… because no matter how many goodbyes I have said to him, I almost always cry, as I know how much I’m going to miss him when I get home. It’s such a multitude of confusion to spend every second of each day with someone and then suddenly spend no time at all. The constant adjustment to being together and then completely not is still really difficult. 


But there’s independence. I have loved finding my own way in my own city separate to him. I spend a lot of time with friends and don’t rely on him too much, which has also made our relationship stronger. Within this independence though, there is loneliness and that very real. There are so many things you will miss out on in each other’s lives because of the distance. But at the same time, missing out on something 'in person' does not fully equate to missing out on something altogether. In this interconnected world everyone is everywhere with everyone else (we love word variety!) so remember how part of things you can still be no matter where you are.


I know I write a lot about how the online world doesn’t essentially work, which completely contradicts my entire belief in this relationship but let me explain that first. I believe that we live our lives through other people and the experiences we create with them. But in all of this experience, we still live our own independent life. The choices you make are inherently your own and although we live social lives with other people, these people are often different at different points in our lives. Friends change and we ourselves change so the people around us and that we are close will too. 

Despite my desire for close and connected humans, I have not let distance step in the way of someone I want to keep in my life. Because even in all my complaining, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Everything my boyfriend and I have done together and gone through has created part of who I am today. It has taught me about love and how I want to live my life. How I enjoy my time and which people are important. So if there’s anyone reading this and is either struggling or about to go into a long distance relationship, I want to tell you through my own experience that it IS POSSIBLE. But beyond just being possible it has also been awesome. You are so grateful for each other and the time you do spend is exciting and rewarding. Obviously, there are many many challenges and some people don’t want to face them anymore. Do not feel forced to be in a relationship if it is toxic for you and ends up bringing you down more than it builds you up. This sounds obvious but I think some people may need to hear those things more than they realise. 

Be open and accepting of the love in your life. Humans want and deserve love, so keep loving in your own unique way. 



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