A boy meets a girl. They obsess over each other, despite the fact that one of them is leaving town in less than a month (or a week, or a day!). It's a story that never gets old.
The dreadful day has arrived. They've arrived at the airport, and time is running out. There are tears, sloppy kisses, and endless promises that they will make it through whatever comes their way! One of them departs. One of them remains. But keep in mind that “dating” will not prepare you for a long-distance relationship. It's a completely different ball game.
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Before moving to France to be with my partner, I spent over a year in limbo of visa paperwork, lonely nights lying awake, and meticulously crossing out days until we met again.
Long-distance relationships are the worst! I'll say it again: they're the worst!
Except for someone who has already done it, no one will tell you these 14 things about being in a long-distance relationship.
1. Congratulations! You've won a free ride on an emotional roller-coaster!
Some days will be perfect. You'll just go to work, meet up with friends for drinks, walk your dog, and work out every day to look fit when you finally meet up again.
But there will be bad days as well. Days when you don't want to get out of bed or do anything meaningful besides accept your pain and loneliness. Days when you seriously consider your decision and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” “What am I doing?”
On the night before your departure, you'll go from moments of great joy to hopelessly depressing thoughts: “Will I survive another separation? I'm not sure how many times my heart can be ripped apart before it finally breaks!”
2. There will be many difficult decisions to make
So, where are we going? How do we see our future as a couple? Should I drop everything and relocate to you? Is it worthwhile? Who will pay you a visit? When?
Get used to the never-ending barrage of complicated questions that you and your partner must answer truthfully.
3. Your laptop is the real love of your life
At least for the time being.
With your beloved's face on the screen, you will fall asleep. Your laptop will be the first thing you grab in the morning to see if they've already sent you a sweet “Morning, sunshine!” email. You'll place your laptop next to your plate so you can eat together.
You'll also learn about the most recent video, chat, and photo exchange apps, all of which are designed for separated couples.
4. Your main adversary will be time
When you're together, you'll savor every moment. You'll make plans to do all of those amazing super-romantic couple things, or you'll simply enjoy the warmth of actual hugs for as long as possible. However, you will never have enough time.
But once you're apart again, you'll just wish the clock would stop ticking: “Is it Friday yet?” So I only have 24 days until my visit. “Could you please wake me up on day X?”
5. You will become more inventive in order to fill your time
Have you ever wanted to learn French? Play tennis, take a Japanese cooking class, or learn ink drawing. This is an excellent time to pick up new hobbies and try new things. Keep your mind active and focused on learning new skills. After all, isn't it a great way to impress your partner when you finally catch up?
6. There will be a slew of memory triggers that will cause you to cry at random
I considered myself to be emotionally strong. I was proven incorrect. Several times.
7. It will not get easier with time
Even if you believe you can get used to being apart and are now patiently waiting for things to improve, they will not. You always miss your significant other no matter how long you've been in a long-distance relationship.
Return to and accept points #1 and #6.
8. You become accustomed to living in a twisted reality
They're never present, but they're entirely yours. You spend far too much time in your head replaying all of those sweet moments spent together, daydreaming and conversing.
That's strange. I understand.
9. Your friends will not be as helpful as you expect
“OMG! So you've been in a long-distance relationship for a year? “How do you deal with… desire?”
- “Does your boyfriend exist at all?”
- “Why don't you go out with someone else?”
- Why can't a cat turn into a dog?
10. Long distance travel is taxing
Your partner will not always be available when you most need them, especially on one of those “bad days” when you are on the verge of another mental breakdown. Not on days when you fail and require more support than a few sweet words on Skype can provide. You eventually learn to deal with a lot of things on your own, and you grow stronger and more mature as a result.
11. It is difficult to find a convenient time to visit
You won't be able to come and visit every weekend or month, as you had planned. You are still hampered by various and conflicting commitments. (Or you'd be sitting next to each other by now, right?) Flights are expensive unless booked months in advance, and they get even more expensive during holidays and vacation seasons. Those are the times when you are most likely to be able to pay a visit.
12. When you finally meet again, you simply pick up where you left off
When you're together again, it's as if those dreadful weeks apart never happened. As if you finally pressed “Play” and resumed living your ideal life. At least until it is time to return home.
13. Eventually, you develop this strange sense of certainty
You'll start to wonder why you're bothering so much if you're not soul mates. Your relationship is most emphatically not about sex. Most of the time, you're more like friends without benefits. You can talk about anything — hopes, fears, dreams, insecurities, and so on. As you gain complete confidence in your partner and yourself, jealousy becomes an empty word.
14. You know that if you both stick it out until the end, your relationship will be fine
As a couple, you will form this impenetrable, bulletproof bond. It will see you through all kinds of disagreements and difficulties in life. After all, if you can get through the long-distance thing, everything else will seem easy!
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