NB: Below is a guest blogpost from my long-distance partner (who, incidentally, is about to marry her domestic partner – impending congratulations!). It is part 1 of a series on long distance relationships.
For me, being in a long distance relationship (LDR) feels like I’m constantly being torn in half.
No one chooses to be in a LDR. It was never part of my plan, but when you meet someone who you value so highly you decide that the distance is something which you can live with.
I feel a sense of guilt that I have no plans to end the distance part of my LDR. I love my job and my quality of living and I don’t want to uproot my life when it’s starting to settle.
So I’m torn in half. By what I want vs. what’s practical. It’s my heart vs. my head. I wonder if this is how Spock felt with his Vulcan half conflicting with his Human half.
The practicalities dictate that when I see my long distance sweetheart it’s at weekends. This means there’s constantly a sense of unreality to our time together. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily; the short time means that the vast amount of it is quality time and we cherish it. However this isn’t the stuff of real life and that’s what our relationship will never have. It’s like being on holiday; it’s great, but after a while you crave normality.
We can never just pop over to each other’s places at short notice for an evening. We can never meet for lunch during the working day. We will never get the opportunity to live together. We will never be able to share childcare in the future.
All these ‘nevers’ do make me incredibly sad, so I try not to think about them. These are the things my heart wants but my head can’t resolve a plan to enable these to happen. I chose to live with these things and the pros outweigh the cons. I feel hopeful and hopeless, happy and sad, incredibly high and incredibly low all at the same time. This was the choice I made.
There will be no traditional ‘happy ever after’ – this is real life and I live with my chosen compromise. The challenge is to stay focussed on the positives and to keep my heart in line.