Coping with a Long Distance Relationship

As many of you may already know, Mitch and I endured a long distance relationship a couple years ago. As I was attending Queen’s University on campus in Ontario, Mitch was residing back in my hometown of Lockport, Manitoba. Mitch and I had been best friends prior to my move to Ontario, and I wondered how the move would affect our relationship.  We both always knew there was something more than friendship between us; in fact, we had previously dated a few years back. I didn’t realize the feeling then, but now I know that what I felt was love towards him.

It wasn’t until after my move to Ontario did Mitch jump on a plane in hopes of making me his girlfriend (he succeeded).  Starting a relationship off long distance was far from easy.  The craving for each other’s presence left us both in tears a lot of the time. However, through my year living a province apart from Mitch, we were able to find strategies to cope with the emptiness we felt. Below I’ve listed various feelings that I had felt during my time away from Mitch, as well as the coping strategies I used to handle these issues.  In no way, shape, or form am I an expert on long distance relationships- but I did successfully live through one! What I can positively state is that whether you’re in a long distance relationship or not, make the most out of the time you spend with the one you love.  Oh! And appreciate all the little things- because I heard those are the big things in the grand scheme of it all.

Feeling Distant from His Life 

Of course I wanted him to enjoy his life away from me, but I couldn’t help but feel isolated from him every time he made memories without me.  I wanted to be the one he created memories with, and I was insanely jealous of everyone who was able to spend the time with him that I couldn’t. This is where communication becomes vital. Each evening we ensured to speak with each other either on the phone, or through Skype, and tell each other every important (and semi important) detail of our day.  This way, we felt as if we had been right beside each other.  Hearing each other’s voices was a very important aspect of our relationship.  When I’d have a bad day, just knowing that I’d be able to go home and hear his voice later gave me all the ambition I needed to pursue the remainder of the day. We also constantly texted one another.  Now I realize that this may not be the most appealing strategy for a lot of couples, but it did help our relationship a lot. I’m solely shedding light into my personal experience, I recommend doing whatever you’re comfortable with.

Missing “Normal” Dates

Considering we formed our relationship whilst living in separate provinces, we really missed out on the new relationship excitement.  I can remember just longing to hold his hand; unable to due to the kilometres between us. How often I just wanted to jump on the next flight out, or drive all through the night and day to simply see him. In order to conquer these urges, we came up with multiple ideas to replace the average “date night”.  First, we would still have date nights, I mean why not! We would both get all dressed up to have dinner with each other. But, instead of Mitch coming to pick me up, we would sit down and Skype with each other. I especially remember the Skype dinner date where Mitch had flown out and surprised me at my apartment door.  I will cherish that memory for a lifetime. Second, we would send each other surprise packages through the mail.  Whether it was delivered flowers, letters, or football shaped toasters (yes, I thought I was clever sending Mitch a football toaster); receiving those little surprises made our countdowns pass quicker. Third and lastly, we would often Skype during movies or t.v. shows.  Thus making it seem as if we were an ordinary couple having a movie night.  By keeping up with the same shows, or watching movies “together”, we had yet another topic to chat about during our lengthy phone calls.

Unable to Comfort Each Other in Person

I remember just feeling helpless when Mitch would have a bad day, and it really took a toll on me. It’s not that I was incapable of happiness without him, but no one wants to see their loved ones upset.  All I wanted to do was be there for him. Be the person to give him a hug and bring him some of his favourite goodies, but I couldn’t.  Not physically anyways.  For me, that was the toughest challenge in our long distance relationship. We came to the point where we would fall asleep with each other over Skype every night.  The white noise silence was comfort enough, just knowing that I wasn’t alone.

Fear of Infidelity

To be completely honest, I was never once worried that Mitch would be unfaithful to me. As his best friend, I knew him for the person he was before we seriously started dating. I would never be with someone if I didn’t trust their morals. I understand that jealously is a normal trait to carry, especially in a long distance relationship.  But, with proper communication, reassurance can be obtained. So be completely transparent with each other; tell each other all of your concerns. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Thanks for reading!

Xo, Quinn

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