January 29, 2011

IconHow to: survive a long distance relationship

Fact: Relationships can be difficult, writes Ellen Tout. But what if your sweetheart lives miles away? How can anyone survive a long distance relationship?

Those first few weeks of a relationship are blissful. Her smile, her laugh, the way she makes you feel on top of the world. Oh and not forgetting the long distance train fare, phone bills and of course your lack of sleep. Let’s face it: very few long distance relationships are simply ‘blissful’.

Lesbian and bisexual women seem to be all the more likely to be cursed with long distance relationships. Thanks to dating sites like pinksofa.com and lezza.co.uk your next love could be the girl next door, or she could just as easily live in the North Pole.

But fear not, this is your long distance relationship survival guide.

1. Prepare

The key to survival is preparation. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! Now you may not be hiking up Everest, but sometimes a long distance relationship can feel like it.

Here’s your shopping list: A webcam, plenty of stamps and envelopes, CDs for cheesy mix tapes, and unlimited access to your savings account.

If you think most relationships are expensive then you’re in for a shock if you try long distance. You’ll soon find yourself hopping on cross county trains at a whim, sending extravagant bouquets of flowers and racking up a phone bill worthy of ten entire families.

2. Trust
As with any relationship, trust is the key to success. Picture this: you ring her and get put through to her answer phone.

Which of the following is most like you?
Person A – No worries, I’ll ring back later, she’s probably working or on a train.
Person B – I knew it! She’s seeing the hot girl living in the flat above! I’ll hop in my car and catch them in the act.

If you’re Person B, a long distance relationship might not be right for you. Everyone can be a little insane at times, but without trust for your partner the relationship is destined to fail. Try trusting her and hopefully you’ll get the same in return.

3. Look on the bright side

If times do ever get tough, try to remember the hidden benefits of going it long distance.

Sometimes your own space is nice. You have the time to sit back in your PJ’s, watch a film and relax. Plus, if you’re running late in the morning you can simply not bother shaving your legs. As a result you arrive early at work and nobody is any the wiser!

And when she does visit every moment is precious. It’s like you’ve met for the first time all over again. You both look forward to it for weeks, plan every moment of the weekend and can’t get enough of each other.

Cherish those moments and start planning your next visit. It’ll be worth it in the end.

Good luck!

14 Responses to How to: survive a long distance relationship

  1. sj says:

    omg this is so true. i had a long distance relationship for many months but thanks to my webcam and trust we are still together now xx

  2. Julie says:

    Got the link to this off the forum – Good work lady :) very insightful and completely spot on lol keep up the good work x

  3. Ellen says:

    Thanks :)
    Pleased I’m not the only one who had a long distance relationship. Let’s hope the tips help! x

  4. Veronica says:

    My girlfriend lives in Chicago, IL USA and I live about 1100 miles south of her in Orlando, FL. She HATES it but I don’t mind. It forces us to be good communicators, which I know I need to improve. Planning is also key when it comes to expenses for airfare. What I love the most are the notes she leaves for me after she’s left. They’re never in the same place so I have to look for my love letter. Keeps things interesting and exciting.

  5. lin says:

    yea its all and good at first and these tips do work.but then its the distance not seeing their face not knowin facial expression.i’ve recently broke off my 1yr and 3months relationship im n cali and she was in va.we couldnt do it know mores and are love faded..sad but long distance hurts!!

  6. Ellen says:

    Auw Veronica, that’s such a cute idea leaving notes. :)
    That’s a shame Lin. I guess everything happens for a reason in the end. Trust me, I found long distancesooooo difficult at times! Can remember driving along the motorway and thinking ‘What am I doing?!’.

  7. cat says:

    Try the long distance relationship where one of us is in USA and the other in the UK!

    Some people think we are nuts as we only manage to actually be in the same country for 3 months out of a year.

    I remind people it is no different than having a partner in the armed forces, with an added bonus that our jobs are a lot less life threatening.

    And we can sit on web-cam and Skype all night long unlike our armed forces couples, who sometimes can go weeks without hearing or seeing their loved ones… I try to remind myself there is always someone worse off than we are. It keeps us both focused and committed.

  8. heather says:

    So so so true i am currently in a relationship that i have to drive to like an hour but my cell phone oic.s and much more is handy so we stay stronge!!

  9. nikki says:

    Not always easy to have a long distance relationship but the web makes it easier. I met someone via soulmates.net across the globe but it became more of a holiday relationship and that not the best way to find a lasting relationship as we’re all different on holiday.

  10. nikki says:

    Not always easy to have a long distance relationship but the web makes it easier. I met someone via lesbiansoulmates.net across the globe but it became more of a holiday relationship and that not the best way to find a lasting relationship as we’re all different on holiday.

  11. Caroline says:

    My long distance relationship with my partner is about to end. In three weeks time I will be reunited with her in the US (I’m Australian). When I return home she is coming with me and we will begin the process of a same-sex partner visa application — another long and expensive process but one we will journey hand in hand.

    We have been apart since 1 May last year. Skype has been our saviour. I know we are lucky in that our separation had an agreed end date and a plan for being together permanently. The time also gave us the chance grow in our relationship, to work hard at communicating (because we had only phone and email), and to work ourselves out.

    It’s been an incredibly difficult and challenging year. My health and work have suffered but both can be repaired.

    Things that got me through was having a keepsake of her that I could hold and cuddle. It was a soft toy that had her scent. She also left clothes here in her side of the wardrobe. I kept the door closed so that I could catch her scent when I opened it.

    ‘Date nights’, where we would eat the same meal together and then watch a movie or play an online game.

    We read to each other and we fell asleep together. There is nothing as beautiful as falling asleep to the gentle sound of your girlfriend breathing. Skype on a app-enabled mobile phone handset made this possible.

    We shopped together, cooked together, drove places together, again, a Skype-app enabled mobile handset and headphones. She was in my ears and I was in her pocket.

    We are lucky that we are bookish-nerdy types and introverts. I feel deeply for extroverts who fall in love and live half a world apart.

    Three weeks!! I can hardly believe it!! The one thing I know for sure is that when we are together again it will be as though we were never apart and the pain of the 482 days we were apart will be forgotten.

    It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

  12. Kyra says:

    So, my gf and I just split up last night for the second time. Our entire relationship has been long distance.
    We first met in 2007 in NJ at gay nightclub. She was so mysterious and beautiful I could not keep away from her. We exchanged #s and that was it for us. She lived in the town we met in and I lived an hr north of her.
    The first two yrs were amazing. She would show up to where I was an surprise me. We would talk on the phone and text all day every day. For two yrs there was not one day that past where we did not say good night or good morning to eachother. We fell in love with eachother hard.
    I remember this day like the back of my hand. Oct. 2008 she made a decision and the 31st was sworn into the U.S. Navy and was planning to ship off to bootcamp March 25, 2009. Six months later we split for a yr cause there was no comunication, no more letters nothing.
    We reunited in Nov. 2010. spent the last 9 months back together. She is being deployed at the end of the month for 18months. You hope that these little tools and LOVE will keep you strong and holding on. There is only so much you can do over a phone or through a screen. It’s not having them physically there infront of you. It’s like you wait for so long and it feels that the waiting is just never ending.

  13. kat says:

    Thanks for this, I will be apart from my boyfriend for 9 months soon and I need all the encouragement I can get! :(

  14. terri rowell says:

    I live in edgewater FL and my girlfriend is in Ohio. It is hard doing the lond distance thing, but we are very much in love and manage to see each other every few months. Saying goodbye at the airport is so hard!! We always make plans ahead of time when we will get to be together. This knowing when we will be together again helps a lot. We look forward to the times we are able to be together and try not to dwell on the time we have to spend apart. We talk every day and got to know each other through hrs of phone calls. I would rather be with someone I am very much in love with that’s 1000 miles away than live my life without her. I am planning on moving to Ohio in a few yrs. We can’t be together now because of our jobs and she has 3 kids and can’t leave Ohio. We live for the days we get to be together and always enjoy our time together so much. I don’t want to be with anyone but her!!!

Milly Shaw

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