I was a bit of a shit in my first year of Uni. See, I went fro being quite reserved in high school, to being a bit wild all in a short space of time. It could be blamed on numerous things I’m sure, and if someone analysed it I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to deduce why but basically no one would have predicted that settling down would be on my cards. I drank too much and started smoking within that time too, proving that Uni may be good for the brain, but it ain’t so good for the health. Every encounter I had during that time was crap, meaningless and left me with a disappointed notion that I may just be one of those women that couldn’t commit or enjoy physical pleasures and generally left me feeling empty.
Now honey boo boo, you may be asking yourself what this has got to do with long distance relationships. Am I right? Well calm down and I’ll tell you. You see, I had really cared for someone before I left for Uni, but I let someone I called friend influence me and I thought I really fucked things up. However, (and I’m not sure the person even knows some of this…) during my first year, I still checked up on their facebook to see how they were doing, and looked at all our old messages, had a few dreams about us, and thought about if they’d talk to me ever again. I just couldn’t shake the notion that there was more there than what had happened. I was right. In the Summer before I began second year, I text them and low and behold the gods of curiosity, forgiveness and teenage wondering, they text me back. Two weeks later we officially met for the first time and I was crazy about them. Everything that I had been missing, suddenly had been found. In a short space of time, I realised that I had found my absolute soulmate, and they took me on and we fell in love. The problematic thing was that this person was from my hometown, and my Uni was 121 miles away. Not as bad as some have it, but still pretty shitty sounding.
To put the spoiler in early, this isn’t a piece about how long distance relationships can’t work. This person and I are still happily together, but that’s not to say that it was never difficult and that we didn’t have to struggle a lot to make it work.
You see, we had grown accustomed to being so close to each other, that was what we had known in our relationship, and then suddenly we had to be so far apart. Oour lives were no longer synonymous, and we were both trying to feel involved in each other’s lives. My other half was better at this than I, she would tell me everything she was doing, no matter how small and I didn’t include the little details thinking that they were insignificant. However, things like that make a difference. So do little things like phone calling as often as you can, and skyping whenever possible. It’s not the same, sure, but it really does help to bridge the difference.
We were lucky that we could see each other frequently every couple of weeks or so but that still required time and money. We had to book buses, I sometimes found myself on buses at 6 a.m. to be able to spend more time with them and if I decided I wanted, or needed, to see them the tickets were something like 62% more expensive. It all added up and I must have, like they did, spent about 20% of my student loan a month on tickets. Then there were the elements like our social lives that had to be ironed out.
We naturally had different ways of being social. They preferred to see people and do social activities, where as the student alcoholism culture was all I had ever known. Combine our total honesty policy, with the fact of my past escapades, and that naturally made them uncomfortable. We had to work at toning my nights out down. Especially after a scalding due to an unfortunate incident resulting in me fracturing my cheekbone after falling off a twelve food concrete statue. It took mutual effort to keep the relationship kicking and interesting, and we both were crazy about each other so it worked for us.
This will be our second year as a long distance couple, and after an amazing summer together, we will wind ourselves back to what is unfortunately our norm for now. However, we both are set to change this year, I plan to focus on my studying and pad out a lacklustre C.V., where as they will be focusing on themselves, activities and their grades too. I also find reassurance in the fact that I know long distance relationships are difficult, they can be frustrating and I miss my other half more than anything everyday we’re apart, but I know it can be done, and we go into this year wiser than we were last year.