Life is sometimes like a film script. I think it was the happiest point of my relationship, Saturday morning, the sun was shining through the window, I couldn’t stop smiling, and then my boyfriend told me that he was moving to Gibraltar for his work. Great, thanks for that Mr or Mrs Screenplay writer. I know you have to mix it up a bit, make it more interesting. I realise that happy ever after is a lazy device to end a story. But couldn’t you mix it up with my boyfriend announcing he had bought me a Labrador puppy or a Mulberry handbag, or even just breakfast?
I went through all the stages: I swore, leapt out of bed, decided to brush my hair because of some vague notion of facing bad news looking presentable, dropped my hair brush in my tea, swore, then cried. I am going to cut a long couple of days short by saying: we decided to give long distance dating a go. Splitting up is always an option in this situation however much a couple cares about each other, but thankfully that didn’t turn out to be an option for us.
So in a couple of months I will be officially dating long distance, again. I do have some hints and tips on how to make it work, and also make it seem like a fun and exciting prospect.
- Have a viable and concrete plan of when you are going to see each other. We have an advantage over our travelling forbears that technological advances such as Skype, email, picture messaging can quickly bridge long distances. However there is no substitute for cuddles, chatting face to face and skipping hand in hand slow motion through picturesque countryside.
- Having said that, Skype, email and picture messaging will be invaluable. Make sure you use these options, whatever works for you. I already have a webcam inbuilt into my laptop and my boyfriend intends to invest in one. We already email and text each other every day and there is no reason why this will stop once he starts living thousands of miles away.
- Carry on doing the things you love in common and share them. For example Sean and I are already both on Good Reads, a website on which you can record what books you are reading. I want us to play chess and scrabble long distance online as long as he doesn’t keep on beating me.
- Start new hobbies or set new goals either individually or together. Sean is starting to learn Spanish and I will soon be starting training for walking a marathon later this year. The point is here is to find something new to share with each other directly or indirectly.
These are things that I have already started thinking about. A thing to remember is that this will be (often literally) a journey and you might as well enjoy it. I am already excited about regular trips on planes, trains and automobiles to sunnier climes to see the boy I love. I have started my sandals and bikinis shopping lists already and have a regular fantasy of long walks holding hands on golden beaches with a little puppy and the promise of cocktails and fresh seafood to come (the puppy thing is most likely not going to happen, but I can dream…).