I wanted to share the truth about how it feels to go back to long distance after months of living together. And to be honest…it has the potential to break you up.
I want to make sure that doesn’t happen, though. In our lives, it is to this day, the hardest part of our relationship; and I’m not ashamed to admit that I had my share of doubts. I can’t speak for K, but I know that moving apart after nearly a year of living together was heart-wrenching.
We lived together in Antwerp, Belgium for 10 months; and it was incredible. Not that I knew it at the time, because I made a huge mistake when I focused more on how much I missed my life in Canada instead of enjoying my life in Belgium. After 9 months of living together, I realized my bank account and my visa status only permitted me to stay a few more months.
We mutually decided that the smartest/best thing for me to do was for me to retreat to Canada (even though it was a few months before my visa expired). The plan was for me to make some more money and give us some time to figure out our next more. As a whirlwind, romantic adventure; we decided to head to Paris for a weekend before I left.
And then the move. The move that could have destroyed us.
I fell into this pit once I returned to Canada without him. A while ago, I read an article from Migrating Miss (entitled More Than Just the Post Travel Blues: My Story of Travel Depression) and I felt like I was reading about my life at that time. I felt like I was numb, and I felt more alone than ever – even with the 6 hour Skype calls. I felt like I had pissed away what sweet time we had together and now we had no idea when we could be together again. I felt broken.
TIPS FOR PUSHING THROUGH THE DISTANCE ONE MORE TIME:
- REMEMBER WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE TOGETHER.
There are nights where you will (despite of your love for each other) want to give up. There are times when you’re just done; done with attending weddings alone, done with eating Valentine’s day dinners over Skype, done with waking up by yourself after sweet dreams of Netflix and cuddles on a Saturday night.
- MAKE (A LOT) OF PLANS WITH EACH OTHER.
Time passes quicker when you’re busy making plans. Plan day trips, nights in, visits to each others’ countries or states. Plan trips you might not ever be able to even afford to take. Make plans and some-day you will be able to keep some of them.
- BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS, NO MATTER HOW HARSH THEY SEEM.
It wasn’t until after I moved back to Belgium that I told Kevin just how much damage our time apart did to me; and I wish I would have told him sooner. I wish I would have told him that even though I couldn’t imagine my life without him; it wasn’t much of a life together when we were apart. I wish I would have told him about my doubts, because he’s really the only one who knows how to re-assure me anyways.
- KEEP BUSY…BUT NOT TOO BUSY TO SKYPE.
This may sound obvious, but distractions are a Godsend. Working a lot allows you to save money, staying busy with your friends allows you to spend time with them while you can. BUT – don’t ever say “I’m too busy to Skype.” Make time for each other, and when you’re not making time for each other; get busy doing something fun or productive.
- DO SOME SOUL-SEARCHING.
It wasn’t until I was basically forced to move back to Canada and away from him that I realized how much I loved our life together. When I was in Belgium, I focused on missing Canada and how difficult it was to assimilate. During your time apart, really search your heart and figure out just what you want. If you want them to move to you; figure out how to make that happen. If you want to move back to them; prepare for that big change.
- ENJOY WHERE YOU ARE.
A few months after I returned to Canada, a cross-Canada road trip re-vamped my love of the country and pulled me out of my post-travel, missing-him slump…(and spending two weeks on the road with my sister/best friend was a bonus!) Travel within your own country, spend time with your friends…make it worth your time there.