Long-distance relationships are difficult and increasingly common as we travel more and settle less. The Internet is stuffed with article after article about what it’s like to be in one, how to handle it, and fun long-distance dates you can take with your boo. But what about the “before” of the LDR?
I’m moving abroad in a month, and in between getting all my documents ready, packing, and saying goodbyes, I’ve spent every day so far anticipating being in a long-distance relationship. I’m following one of my biggest dreams of teaching abroad, but in the midst of doing so I’m leaving one of the best things to happen to me behind for a while. It’s been anxiety-inducing, bittersweet, and hope-inspiring in a way I would have never imagined.
Obviously, being in a long-distance relationship is a lot of work. It’s planning when you talk; I won’t be able to simply vent to my boyfriend via text and expect an immediate response with the six hour time difference. Skype will replace the dinner dates that are so near to my heart. It’s planning visits and phone calls and knowing when the other is busy with work or travel or other obligations.
But anticipating it is all about that and more. It’s been squeezing in every moment, every snuggle, every kiss goodbye that we can muster; it’s been planning the day at the airport to the minute details; it’s been sharing fear and questioning “Who will we be when I come back?” in both a personal sense and in terms of the survival of our relationship. It’s not missing him yet, but knowing every day how much I will.
My partner and I can talk every day about the challenges we’ll face, but we can’t say anything for sure. What we can do for sure is live every minute together to the fullest and strengthen our relationship so that distance is just another function of the day and not a barrier to our success. I know I’ll come back to the States as a different person, and our relationship will change as well.
Most of all, though, it’s hope. I have hope every day that not only will I make it through a better person, but through Skype, visits, and mutual trust, respect, and love for one another, we’ll make it through as a couple. I have hope that this relationship can and will work, even before I get on the plane.
Anticipating long distance is a ride of mixed emotions I never thought I’d have to think about, but it’s made me stronger in myself and in my relationship.
Guest Blogger: Danielle Moore
Born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs, Danielle is an aspiring writer, activist, and global citizen. She’s been working in politics in various forms since graduating college, but is spending the next year in Spain teaching young minds English. Danielle’s talents include cooking up a mean buffalo chicken dip, finding the best thrift shop deals, and making friends with dogs faster than with people. She looks forward to contributing to Dirty and Thirty and being known as more than “that girl with red hair that really likes posting political things on Facebook”.