All relationships can be difficult at times - constantly thinking about your significant other, planning your week around when you can see them and speaking to them daily. However, long distance adds another obstacle into the mix with the factor of separation.
Not being able to see your partner on a regular basis can sometimes be disheartening, and might lead to feelings of uncertainty and loneliness. Though video calls and messaging is enough to fulfill an emotional connection, it may feel like a physical bond and closeness is absent. On the flip side, the times where you are able to meet in person and spend even a couple days with them can be some of the happiest memories, making the time apart seem worth it.
My experience of long distance was an equal amount of feeling confident in my relationship, whilst also feeling low and questioning if the person that I was with was right for me. The thought that my boyfriend was over 200 miles and a flight away often left me feeling lost and empty, knowing that there were no 'quick visits', no comforting hugs when i was upset, no watching films together or falling asleep in the same bed. All of these things were luxuries in my mind, only possible in the short stays we would have together every month or so.
During the 5 months that I was in a long distance relationship, I learnt the importance of communication and telling my partner exactly how I was feeling and why I was feeling that way. If you are in, or thinking about going long distance with someone, I cannot stress enough the importance of being completely open with them. Though I admit it isn't easy to tell your significant other if you are having doubts or worries, if you keep them to yourself they will only grow and manifest in your head. Also, your partner can tell if there is something off even through texts - trust me, I know.
I found that whenever I had an honest chat with my boyfriend, whether to tell him that I needed space, or to tell him what I was struggling with, I would always immediately feel like a weight had been lifted and conversation would flow much easier again.
Long distance definitely has its differences to a normal relationship; it can create the strongest bonds that can prepare couples for anything life throws at them. Having said this, it is important to note that long distance relationships don't work out for everyone and it's okay if you don't realise that straight away.
Looking back, I wish I had known this going into my last relationship. During the weeks separated from my boyfriend, I could feel myself growing more distant from him. Though my feelings were intense when we were together, I couldn't maintain the same level of emotions when we weren't. I felt like I was an awful person because of this, however I now know that it's okay to feel that way as some people need physical intimacy in a relationship.
My biggest advice for long distance would be to try; see where the relationship goes. If it's your first time in a long distance relationship, ensure that you both are aware that there will be hard times mixed with the good. Most importantly, communication is key - always stay honest with your partner and don't try to shut yourself off from them.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.