Friday, 10 February 2017

The Pros & Cons Of Long Distance

In January 2016, Matthew and I accomplished what most people think is damn near impossible - we started a long distance relationship. However, I can't say that we are your typical 'LD' couple, we essentially grew up together and were best friends as teenagers, so there was no mistaking I'd ever turn down that 5am Face Time where I became M's girlfriend - I can remember just how excited we both were, it was the beginning of a new chapter for us.

At present Matthew and I live 486 miles away from each-other (that's 10 hours and 7 minutes by car according to Google Maps), so you're probably scratching your head, wondering how on earth there could be any pros when M's in England and I'm living my regular little life back home in Northern Ireland; don't worry I'll get there.

Long distance is definitely not all the shits and giggles it's cracked up to be, it can be hard and it can be very lonely at times, but it's also exhilarating. For instance; Matthew has whisked me off to England on several different occasions and we've even explored Northern Ireland a bit together too - somehow long distance makes us adventurous and more open minded when it comes to trying new things, but it really helps that Matthew and I have mutual interests.

So, I've compiled a list - the pros and cons of long distance:

Pros - 

1. The Test Of Love:
I mean this when I say it, but long distance can be hard work - it's like walking up 60 flights of stairs as an asthmatic and trust me - that is not fun. However it's a great way to test if your partner will be able to deal with you in the long term; I mean it can be pretty difficult to show you love someone when they are 486 miles away from you, but we still do it.

2. Time:
You will never take time for granted again, I can assure you of this. I don't mean jam-packing your day with the most exciting things to do, as nice as that sounds... but I mean really enjoying your time together. For example; Matthew and I love snuggling up on the sofa, so we can binge-watch Modern Family, but we also really enjoy having a good midnight natter about all things life.

3. Communication:
Long distance really teaches you the value of good communication. I mean good communication will make anything work; but this doesn't necessarily mean a text every 10 to 20 minutes, or a Face Time every hour. I mean the type of communication where you really connect with each-other. Talk about your aspirations, hopes and dreams as a couple - show interest.

4. Individuality:
We've all seen people get into relationships and suddenly they disappear from the face of the earth (I'm one of those people), but long distance relationships ensure you remain an individual. Since you can't physically spend all your time with the person you're dating, it's much easier to keep and maintain other relationships you might have.

Cons - 

1. Alone Together:
One of the hardest parts about being in a long distance relationship, is that you aren't physically with the person you are dating. Whilst you are essentially "together", you often aren't. Sure, cooking the same meal and eating it over Face Time sounds adorable, but in reality you'd give an arm and a leg just to be eating from the same pizza box.

2. Network Connectivity Problems:
Technology is a wonderful thing isn't it? - at-least until it stops working. Slow Wi-Fi and Poor Connectivity make this one of the most frustrating parts of dating long distance and I know Matthew will agree. There is nothing like talking to a pixelated version of the person you're dating.

3. Money:
This really depends on how far away you live, but it can get expensive. You've got flights to book, train tickets to buy - never mind the cost of petrol. On-top of this you have dates, groceries to buy in, maybe a new top to get - basically the entire visit just ends up being one big expensive date, one that you probably can't afford.

4. Saying Goodbye:
As much as I adore Matthew coming home, I hate the concept of having to say goodbye a week later. It leaves me feeling deflated, when I should be happy my partner's at home. According to my Mum we already act like an old married couple - but you know what... I'm actually okay with that. Who wouldn't be upset that their partner is leaving for another 2 months?

Now, I certainly don't want to tell anyone what to do. This is just a list of things I've pieced together, in order to compare and contrast the positives and the negatives of dating long distance. This is by no means a definitive guide or recommendation, all relationships are hard - long distance just happens to be a different kind of hard...

Have you been in a long distance relationship before? What was it like for you?

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