I am having a hell of a writer’s block for one of my final assignments ever for uni and thought “what’s a better way to kick away writer’s block than procrastinating?”.
There’s been a weird gap since my last post, so here’s the obligatory recap. Brad and I have been tackling ‘long distance relationship’ since September 2014 and…well…it’s something else. In the last 8 months, I’ve cried buckets of tears (literally — you can ask people and dogs), have thrown my phone across the room and have been revitalised by snail mail. We knew it was going to be an arduous trek to get through this and, being the weirdly fond of ‘preparing’, I read a figurative mountain of books and articles to brace myself. But there are just a few things that no one ever tells you, and here are a few that have been most frustrating to realise.
There are couples everywhere — it’s awkward.
I have never noticed this before, even when we were dating ‘regularly’ or when I was single. Somehow I’ve become more aware of other couples on the streets. It’s like I have a radar. It’s as if everyone is giggling or feeding each other in a disgustingly loving way. I have become so aware that if someone is talking on the phone to their other half, I know it.
And the reason for having this super-enhanced couple radar?
Besides the fact that your brain is actively trying to crush your heart, I very obviously miss Brad all the time. I miss doing the normal things couples do. A heap of relationship articles have sung the “physical aspect matters more than you think” melody too many times, and this is not that. I miss being able to get off work, call Brad up and tell him “We need to do something about my intense craving for Max Brenner” or “8PM, Avengers”. I think all the things we could do if we were in the same space and time when I see every other couple hanging out. I seethe with jealousy. This is where my origin story for my supervillain alter ego begins…
Not knowing if you’ve become “that” clingy person.
I like to think I’m a pretty chill gal. Never the clingy type. In fact, in a relationship I really need space for a bit of me-time. There’s just nothing like lounging around alone and just reading for hours, or getting your paint pots out and pampering yourself. But being that chill gal is a massive struggle for me in a LDR. Maybe it’s because we just don’t spend that much time with each other like we used to (however we do talk a lot more than before), or I’m just really shitty at reading minds. Whatever it is…I find myself being too overwhelming at times. But #BlessBrad, he has never said a word to discourage me and so I never know for sure if I’m hovering around “that crazy bitch” territory. Still, it’s important to keep in check with yourself just to make sure Lady Sanity is still around.
Everyone constantly tells you “it’s hard”.
Yes, I know.
This wasn’t so bad when we first told people we were heading into this shitstorm. Friends and family looked on with concern while we showed them our hopeful and brave faces. I know it just means people care and all those lovely bits, but there are some days where it’s not that hard or really too fucking difficult and a simple “it’s hard” doesn’t cut it. Be sure to have that one person that tells you to pull up your big girl panties and deal with it. I thank my mum on the inside each time she does this.
You will constantly look like a bum on your “dates”.
There’s no getting ready for a fancy dinner date or even just a regular movie date.
Brad and I are literally on opposite sides of the globe and that means when it’s night for me, it’s day for him. We only get to see each other over FaceTime when one of us is about to catch some Zzz’s and one of us is about to tackle the day. Besides that, when I actually find time to leave him a few messages or send him a picture, it’s usually when I’ve taken my face and pants off (side note: I hate pants). This isn’t necessarily bad as it gives us a chance to see each other in our most natural state, but it does make things a little strange.
You forget how to hold hands.
Some LDRs are closer in distance and this might not apply. I feel like this one is for the couples on each side of the globe.
Brad and I have been really lucky to see each other every 2 or 3 months despite our distance. It’s still a bit of time, and being so far apart for so long, you kind of get those first date nerves over and over again. I pretty much got use to our “bum dates” and forgot how to be a regular couple. Seeing him again for the first time in Hawaii after 80ish days was incredibly weird and you have to re-learn how to act like a regular couple: “Oh hey, you don’t look like a bum!”. You have to get used to holding hands again and everything. It would have been nice to know about this before starting LDR so I could prepare each time, but I guess no one can ever completely prepare for a ‘first date’.
End game is not recommended — it’s a fucking necessity.
So this one is practically included in all the articles and books I’ve ever read; when you’re in a LDR, you need to have a plan. You need to know why you’re both committed to doing this and when it will be over. Although it’s everywhere, it cannot be stressed enough. I think if Brad told me right now that there wasn’t an end date to this, I would flip my sofa and turn into She-Hulk. Cue the second possible origin story for my supervillain alter ego. Counting down is one thing that really helps when days seem to get long or when I see the 8th couple holding hands in the span of three minutes. Most of being in a LDR is making promises. You need an end date to kep those promises. You need that countdown. You need to look forward to something. You as in both of you. If you can’t decide on a specific end date, then at least plan the next 2 or 3 steps.
Enough brain babbling from me. Surely my writer’s block has been destroyed now. ;)
Always keen to hear about how other peep’s are doing with their LDR, so leave a note if you’d like.