I was recently talking to a darling butter-scented friend of mine about surviving separation (her hubby is working abroad for 3 months) and realised that I am currently in a long-distance relationship and have been for some time.
Since January The Boy has been away for 3-6 days of every week of this year so far (excluding the week we went to the Lakes on holiday of course) which means that at best I see him for 2 days a week, and we live together!
And it's hard, it's so hard because whilst I'm obviously greedy and I want him home with me, I am also 100% behind his new job which is a great challenge for him. I'm so proud of how hard he works and it's nice for me to be with someone who understands my drive and commitment. It's not uncommon for me to work 12-14 hours a day though I have been a lot better at sticking to 10 lately. (mainly because I've needed every second of my free time to work on the house and get it ready for The New Zealanders, but also because work/life balance is important and there's only room for one stressed person in our house and that's The Boy!)
I have some advice on how I personally survive this long distance relationship.
Work out together how much contact you would both appreciate, how much contact you can feasibly commit to and meet in the middle if necessary.
I'm not insecure about our relationship, I have no trust issues and so for me I don't NEED him to keep in touch regularly for me to feel reassured or comfortable about our relationship.
I know plenty of people who do have these problems and communication is the only way to get through it in my opinion. If you're insecure then a long distance relationship will be absolutely horrible, especially for the person you're in one with.
In our situation the contact between us is frequesnt purely because I miss him and want to talk to him. We didn't need to really plan how often we would speak, it just sort of happened! The Boy calls or texts me every morning and calls me every night and I am aware that from 8am - 8pm he is rarely available to speak to.
2) Don't resent them or punish them for being away from you.
Yes it's frustrating when you don't have a date to family events or social engagements and when you miss out on doing things together that you both want to do but remember that you signed up for this, you accepted that this is the way the relationship is whilst they're away and it's every bit as hard on them as it is on you. If you can't deal with it then you shouldn't be in the relationship.
3) Take time for yourself.Don't sit around at home moping, use the time that you have at your disposal to do something constructive, to spend with friends and family or to just do the things that you always wished that you got time to do but never seem to manage when they're there.
Now is the time to paint your toenails, apply fake tan (because they're not there to complain about sleeping next to someone who smells of mouldy biscuits!), curl up in front of a chick flick that they would never want to watch, dance around the house in your pants and sing along to bad music without feeling self-conscious.
If like me you have a sufficient streak of crazy then this is also the time to spend 4 hours lovingly scrubbing the tile grout in the bathroom with a toothbrush soaked with chemicals, or to colour co-ordinate your wardrobe or alphabetise your CDs.
Cook the things you like to cook, have hummus on toast for dinner or the peanut butter, honey and banana sandwiches that make them retch.
4) Stay positive and make the best of it.
Surviving time apart makes you appreciate the time that you have together. I miss you best beloved. Only 2 more sleeps!
If you're in a long-distance relationship, or have ever been - how do you survive the time apart?
Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.
Title: The Cynic by David Bowie