‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for nearly four years now. We went to school together but we barely spoke until the last year just as we were preparing for GCSEs. During the last term of school we decided to see each other and here we are now!
So much has changed in our relationship over the years but in the past two so much has changed and we have both been challenged. We both sat our GCSE exams together, we went through the move to college together, we sat our AS levels, then our A level together. We both had part time jobs, he played football…just a few things which might have made others let go of their relationships but not us!
It was a struggle but not as big as a struggle it has been since he was accepted on a sponsored degree programme working for a well known accountancy firm. The course is not local and he has had to move away to university about four hours drive away from our hometown. He studies for about two months and then comes back home to work for a couple of months alternately so although we have now become a long distance couple, we get the privilege of seeing each other much more often every two months rather than being separated for a whole year.
When he first moved away I went with him in his car the whole drive there I remember fighting back the tears, trying to be optimistic listening to the loud music in his car. I survived the car journey which seemed to take FOREVER and only highlighted to me the physical distance that would become a part of ‘us’. We spoke very little, I think because we both were feeling nervous, perhaps for different reasons.
I helped him unpack, settle in and saw who he would be living with. When he said hello to the people on his course I automatically just felt sick and felt like my heart had been physically broken. I couldn’t talk much or make much eye contact with him because it hurt to see his future ‘without me’ before me!
We went for lunch with his parents where, when we left I completely broke down making it harder for everyone else I am sure but also bringing everyone else’s emotions to light! I am good at being emotional. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life to this date. I didn’t really know what to say, how to act, where to look, what to do…I could only cry and pretty much had to be pushed into the car and driven away by his parents!
It still makes me tearful to remember that day. The emotions are still there from that day!
So we embarked on this new journey and it was and is still hard. We obviously didn’t get to see each other like we did at home (nearly daily), he was building a new life away with people I had never met and didn’t know, living independently which is something I desperately wanted to do myself, experiencing a life where I was no longer a prominent ‘feature’. My emotions were all over the place and I felt so many things in one time. I was happy for him, proud, nervous, sad, worried, relieved that the move had gone well and the hardest part was over.
Things have become easier for us in some ways. We see each other every two weeks or there abouts. We can look forward to spending the weekends together when I go and visit, they are precious but seeing each other after mini breaks apart can be awkward sometimes as there are just so many emotions flying about. I also want to tell him every little detail from the past couple of weeks however we need to fit so much in in such a short space of time!
We have phone calls, text, Skype (when the connection is good), use Facebook and see pictures of each other and what we are up to. Somehow though it never is enough and it’s never the same as being with each other and just having that company next to you or in your arms.
I have met his friends and that made me relax more, I try to make an effort to get on with them and to make it fun when we go out together, although sometimes I really dislike them and hold the silly opinion sometimes that they have STOLEN him from me!!
It is harder too though, although saying bye and looking forward to the next time we see each other is more manageable, as he progresses in his course his work load gets heavier (he would probably argue it’s the heaviest work load EVER), and this means keeping in touch is harder.
I have become so used to constant communication it’s been the hardest thing for me. We communicate but to me it isn’t enough, I guess I am still finding it hard to adjust. I feel we are missing out on so much of each other lives daily that we are lacking an actual relationship. He tries so hard to communicate, it really can’t be easy for guys!
When he is home working he is tired out from commuting or he stays away in hotels if his clients are further out. So when he is ‘home’ I sometimes still see him only at the weekends or late evenings.
You might read this and think why go through the emotional journey? But I know that how he makes me feel is such an important and special feeling that I just could not bear to lose. I admit we have doubted our relationship many times for various reasons, mostly due to miscommunication or lack of understanding each other. However we have pulled through so many times and I believe this is because we can get through the struggles and changes happening around us.
We both are changing individually but in my eyes he is only changing for the better. He is an inspiration to me, how he handles life and all that it throws his way so well. His morals are so well presented through what he says and does, his attitude to life is so positive and something I aspire to pick up myself. He is friendly, funny, caring, he genuinely wants to make a difference and tries his best to make everyone around him happy whilst trying not to sacrifice his own happiness.
My boyfriend has moved me in a way no other has and ever will. He introduced me to his world and I am noticing a slow but positive change in me which I never thought would happen.
I want to be a better person because of him and he is helping me do this, I don’t know if he even knows!
Long distance relationships are worth the time and effort, mine has been and I really hope we can continue what we have. Although it isn’t perfect it’s us and we can only work together to make sure we both can be happy.
I would say the most important things are for us to communicate, be open, be a good listening, never give up on what we care about, compromise and enjoy the time we spend together.
This post came about because last weekend my boyfriend went back to university and I have struggled so much unexpectedly. I have not been kind, I have not been happy, I have been argumentative and envious, recorded his wrongs. I really have been the total opposite of a good supportive girlfriend and I really do not deserve such an amazing person in my life. The quote from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 is not just for those who are Christian, it applies to any relationship and I have not been doing this. Our struggle this week has come from my poor handling of emotions and it has made me realise what is important to me.
I love my boyfriend more than anything in the world, I choose us and love over arguing and struggles. I hope he does too!