5 reasons why long distance is a GOOD thing!
Holly Walton is studying French and Spanish at the University of Exeter, and is on her year abroad as a British Council Language Assistant in a small town in the Spanish Pyrenees called Barbastro. She says, "I wrote this piece about the benefits of a long-distance relationship, because it's something that I've been talking to my friends about a lot recently, and I wish I had known it a year ago!"
I know that this time, exactly a year ago, I spent more time reading articles on TYA about long distance relationships than researching any other aspect of my year abroad, and I just want to say to all of the girls (and guys) who are doing the exact same: IT WILL BE OK. Just chill.
Every couple is different. There is no one set formula for "making it work"; there is no one set formula that will cause things to fall apart. All you know is what you have now, and whether you think it is worth trying. For me, I'm impossibly happy, more in love than ever, and I've been sooo surprised at how natural and easy long distance has felt!
Here are five reasons why:
1. My boyfriend and I really appreciate the time we have together. More than anything, you miss the small things - holding hands, snuggling up on the sofa, going to the supermarket... so when you can do those things, they feel more special than ever!
2. This year is the perfect excuse for amazing plans! So far, we've spent a week together in Paris, had an all-inclusive holiday in Lanzarote, a long weekend in my town in the Spanish pyrenees, and we're planning a ski holiday in Andorra next! Yes, juggling work and other commitments can make it challenging, but it's so worth it.
3. As my boyfriend told his friends "being in a long distance relationship is actually easier!" Don't take this the wrong way, of course we miss each other and at times it's really tough, but sometimes we both quite enjoy the freedom we have!
4. It's taught me to be so much more independent (I'M A STRONG INDEPENDENT YOUNG WOMAN, WOO!) My PC completely crashed, I rebuilt it myself (ok, with lots of his help through Skype). My lightbulb died, I fitted the new one myself... and I'm proud that I can now count those as skills!
5. Post, little Facebook messages, late night phone calls... they are all really special ways of letting the other person know you love them, in a slightly more creative way than normal!
These are just some of my experiences. I also know how hard it can be to say goodbye, and the stinging you get in your eyes as you watch his train/plane/bus pull away. And I know many couples who have tried it, and who decided it isn't working out.
Moral of the story: take it "one day at a time"
From the very beginning my boyfriend and I decided to take it one day at a time - that means no living in the past, no relying on future plans: instead we both live our separate lives and we share them with each other in the evenings or when we're free. And THAT is the best advice you can be given right now: live one day at a time. Starting now! Enjoy what you have! If you're happy today, and you think you'll still be happy tomorrow, you're doing something right, so stick at it. Don't worry about the future, it's useless, and you'll forget to live in the present.
"Don't count the days, make the days count."