The other week, in Johan’s letter to me, he wrote about how things could be different if we were a “normal” couple. I used to think of us this way, and I still do at times. Long distance relationships are different, but a lot of the time I like to think that we aren’t too different from your everyday couple. Yes, there’s the distance… and the screen-kisses. But there’s plenty of things we still like to do together. Of course, we wish we were physically together to do such things, but when you don’t or can’t have that connection, you have to make do with other ways, to make it feel normal. It is a way of coping with the distance, turning the negative feeling of missing someone into a positive by doing what you can with them. Here’s some examples:
Getting To Know Each Other
When we first started dating, it was always “How do you know he’s not 40 years old?”; “How do you know he’s not an axe murderer?”; “What if you meet him and you don’t like him in person?” The thing is, with both of us unemployed at the time, we had a lot of time to get to know each other. We started dating approximately one month after we started talking, but we had talked daily for hours on end. In fact, I bought a webcam just so I could Skype him before we started dating! In time, we discovered not only each other’s interests and passions, but our thoughts on world issues and future aspirations. I think the amount of ideals we share in common has certainly helped to create a strong and lasting bond. We didn’t just bump into each other whilst drunk at the pub, we communicated with each other, and that’s one of the most important things in any relationship, distance or otherwise.
Okay, so it’s not the same as going out to the cinema or hiring out a DVD and cuddling on the couch, but we still enjoy watching movies together at the same time whilst in a Skype call to see the other’s reaction and still comment on the goings on. Our first ‘movie date’ was within our first month of dating, and we watched the ever cute Wall-E, a movie Johan had seen but I hadn’t. That’s how most of our movie watching comes about – something one of us has seen but the other hasn’t, but suggests that we would like to watch. The same goes for TV shows; where I introduced Johan to Supernatural, he introduced me to Doctor Who. It simply is another way of sharing each others passions and connecting with one another.
Falling Asleep Together
It was perhaps one of the things we longed for most before meeting, and one of the things we miss most in our absence. To be able to wake up and fall asleep at the same time as one another, in the same timezone. It’s about cuddling, and holding each other close, stroking hair out of their eyes or simply waking up of a morning, knowing they are there to greet you, or comforting you after a bad dream. Before I got my iPad, there would be a few nights where I’d fall asleep on my computer chair, just thinking about the arms that I wished were wrapped warmly around my body. But then, I did get an iPad, and at least up until Johan started school, we were able to fall asleep together almost every night (as best we could, minus the timezones). Often times of a morning or night when waking or saying goodnights, we’ll get needy for love and attention, whilst the other person is usually wide awake and distracted by daily tasks. A kiss goodnight on the iPad is not nearly the same, but it’s the best we have.
We’ll still have our silly moments together – the cute things, the sickeningly sweet things, the crazy things – the things everyone does. We take screenshots of our Skype calls at funny faces we’ve made either on purpose or by accident. We scribble drawings together when we’re bored, or sing loudly and badly to our favourite songs. We haven’t had much time to do these things as of late, but it’s something that will always be there to come back to – that piece of immaturity and childishness people use to embrace fun and forget about bigger troubles. We have become so comfortable with each other that we’ll burp in each other’s faces and call each other names, all in good fun.
A good relationship cannot exist without trust, and this is especially important for a long distance one. You need to trust that person who you don’t get to see every day. You need to trust them to be able to go out with their friends of same or opposite genders, without becoming jealous or suspicious at every moment. You need to let them go out and enjoy themselves without being tied to a Skype call. Yes, there will be times of loneliness, especially when apart, but you’ve got to trust in each other and in that relationship that one day, things will work out and that distance between you won’t be there. You both have to believe in the end result.