Bah, relationships are tough aren’t they? Especially when it comes to long distance relationships. As somebody who is in a long distance relationship (which will be hereby known as LDR to save me typing it out repeatedly) – and I don’t mean one where you just say you are dating somebody out of the way so you look slightly less pathetic; I mean a genuine Iplantomarrythisgirl long distance relationship (last time I’ll say that) – it is the hardest feat of endurance you could ever do. You can shove your marathons, your Olympic training and/or your efforts to conquer the world’s tallest mountains (which are still shorter than that previous sentence) because being separated from the one you love most in the world is a hell of a lot harder. It doesn’t compare. It might not be on the same length when it comes to physical suffering (even though it can feel like it, love doesn’t hurt your body like hanging off a precipice or something) but the emotional loss can practically cripple you. You don’t want to do anything, you lose your motivation, you get depressed…it isn’t easy. And if it is, well clearly you aren’t meant for each other.
I’m sorry. Not for that last comment, but for dragging out my introduction. I’ve meant to write this for a while but I’ve never got round to it, so all these thoughts have just been building up in my head.
Now obviously you all know that long distance is going to be hard (or you can at least guess) because, well, you aren’t going to see your spouse most of the time. But (making a huge sweeping generalization here) I bet you don’t realize how difficult it actually is, and you never truly will unless you have been in this situation yourself at some point – though, looking back, my introduction has probably given you a hint towards my pain – and then in that case I’m hoping to have some understanding nods towards my plight. And for those of you who have never had a LDR then you should consider yourself lucky. Unless of course you don’t ever have a relationship, which I grant you is probably worse. Just, uh, keep at it champ.
Right. Where was I? Oh yes.
Now I’m going to cover some of the worst aspects of being in a LDR and hopefully open a few eyes as to what it is like to have your girlfriend on the opposite side of the world to you. Failing that this just becomes another blog where I rant about something. And you’re already used to that by now so it’s nothing new.
So let’s start with point one…
Skype Doesn’t Really Help
The adverts lie to you! They boast that it is a great way to talk to your loved ones but I really don’t think that it is. Even if I ignore the poor connections that inevitably disrupt our calls, Skype is just reminding me of what I don’t have any more. Sure, great to see your friends or relatives but your spouse? It simply doesn’t work for me. Granted it could just be me who feels that way but surely it’s something everyone suffers from? Yeah Skype is great for communicating but it makes me miserable because essentially I can see Vanna but I can’t touch her in any way.
I’m like a kid in a sweetshop but I’ve left my pocket-money at home and the owner doesn’t give out any freebies. All I can do is stare at all this amazing stuff while drool drips out my mouth, desperate to have a taste and yet I’m not allowed.
You get the point. Of course it doesn’t stop me from Skyping Vanna because I miss her too much to not do it but I can’t help but feel sad when I see her beautiful face and know that this blurry video is the best I’ve got.
It’s Harder To Show Your Love
It isn’t easy to voice your emotions in text, which is essentially the medium that Vanna and I use more often than not . Especially if you are an affectionate guy like me (shut up) who prefers to have a more physical approach to displaying love, I struggle to show Vanna I love her beyond saying it. Consequently there have been times where she feels unappreciated or unwanted because I’ve not done what she expects me to do. And it gets frustrating for both of us. If we were together I’m sure I would be able to show her somehow. Online I find it much harder. I’ve already used my one trick back before we met each other, when I filmed myself playing Gears of War 2 while I was spelling her name in the wall by shooting at it. It was the perfect combination of love, nerdiness and trying to be artsy without getting messy. Now that I’ve done that, what do I do next?
Unfortunately this isn’t the only disadvantage to an online LDR…
Arguments Happen More Often
Another problem of communicating mostly online is that arguments crop up pretty much all the time. And, once again, this is because it is very hard to voice your emotions in text. Quite often Vanna will misunderstand my meaning (not that I’m blaming her for this, I’m just giving an example) and get annoyed or angry at what I’m saying. Then she’ll get upset at me, I’ll be irritated that she’s not grasped what I was saying and we’ll spend several hours being mad at each other for no good reason. More often than not it’ll be over something trivial. By the time we run through it we’ll be fine but the day might have already been spoiled somewhat by the disagreement.
Now I’m not saying this doesn’t happen in real life, because it still does, but at least you have a better chance of solving the problem at its roots because a) you’ll be together and forced to sort it out and b) you’ll be able to interact with each other much easier so the odds of misunderstanding are lower. If I’m making a crude joke in person, at least Vanna can tell I was attempting to be humorous. Online and it’s a whole different story.
Of course being together isn’t easy either…
Long Gaps Between Visits Can Lead To More Problems
This has made things rather tricky for us in the past. You go from suddenly spending your time alone to having this other person with you twenty-four hours a day. Yes you love them but that is a huge shift in your lifestyle. It isn’t easy to react to that. I think this summer was particularly hard on Vanna because I was coming over there for a holiday but as we were alone in the house we had to maintain its upkeep and I wasn’t prepared for that. As a result she was bearing most of the work for a while and she got stressed out. We had the kittens to look after in addition to this…and well let’s just say it wasn’t easy for us.
But everything, even the most trivial of things (how we like to sit or our sleeping patterns for example) is affected by this. You get used to each other, then you separate, then you’re back together and really you have to learn everything all over again. You are like a goldfish. One minute you know, next minute you don’t (it’s more like months with goldfish; the short memory “fact” is just a fallacy but hey, it makes for a good analogy).
We’re not strangers as such but we do have to synchronize ourselves to each other and that takes time. Then when we finally do adapt, the worst, most dreaded part of LDRs happens.
I’m not lying when I say it gets harder every time. It is pure mental anguish, it really is.
Last time we were together, we had three months. I thought that would last forever but it went by so quickly I can barely remember it now. And ironically it has felt like forever since I left Minnesota…but it was only three months ago. Funny how it works isn’t it? By funny I mean horrendously cruel.
But that is just the old adage of time flying fast when you are enjoying yourself (I’ve already said funny so I needed a synonym). Saying goodbye after this super fast three months, knowing that it will be even longer before we see each other again, is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had to go through in my life. You don’t know how hard it is.
You finally get used to being together and you are tragically pulled apart again. Every time we spend time together it gets harder to leave. I thought it would be easier having all summer but it really really really wasn’t. It isn’t something you can just get used to either. You think you can but you can’t. The closest I can come to explaining the feeling is that it is like having your heart wrenched from your chest. But even that seems tame by comparison.
A Final Plea
So Vanna, you know what to do. Come live with me. Please. I love you.
P.S I know the title is a bit shoddy. I’m just too damn tired to fix it so you’ll just have to ignore how odd it sounds.