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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Long Distance anyone?

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Author Topic: Long Distance anyone?
Member # 38302

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Hi There,

How have you dealt with being in a long-distance relationships?

My boyfriend and I are about 2000 miles away from each other and will be apart for all of summer. Our friends joked because our relationship seemed to be a whirlwind romance but we both have never felt so certain that we are truly in love. There really aren't any problems besides being apart. I know it will be a testament to how strong our relationship is to maintain such strong feelings this far apart. I visited him once (the first weekend in June) but other than that we have not seen each other since May 9.

He has been supportive and confident all along, I'm just unsure of how to keep things interesting so far away. We try not to gush about how much we miss each other because it gets really depressing and wastes the time we share together. What have some of you done to keep it lively and exciting? Some friends have suggested talking over webcam so that we can see each other but he doesn't have one, only I do. I have offered to get him one and send it to him but I don't want it to seem kinda creepy by doing so. He has also jokingly mentioned me talking to him online in my undies. (so that he can see me- as he does not have a camera) As soon as I hesitate he blows it off. I wouldn't have a problem doing this but it seems like we speak primarily at night time and we both get so worn out.

How do you deal with knowing that you won't be able to see each other for so long? Before I had something in the near future to look forward to and it was encouraging and kept me motivated, but now that we are both so far apart, working, and taking classes it is impossible for either of us to see each other until probably late August. [Frown]

We are committed to make this work but i've noticed that we have started irritating one another and arguing over the most worthless things. (We have had maybe 2 arguments since march and they both were resolved very quickly). We both don't want to be glued to a computer during our summers, but our cell reception is so scattered because of our locations, and he has also had to limit his text messaging which neither of us enjoy for communicating. We really only talk for about 10 minutes at a time because it either disconnects, or we are exhausted, or busy.

I just need to somehow reach out to him. I feel like I could be doing more, and I don't know how to approach any new ideas...I feel like I've tried everything but I know that we are not willing to give up just because things have gotten boring...

I'd love to hear any suggestions or experiences you all have..

Posts: 48 | From: USA | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 38302

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Not sure if it helps any but we have been together since March/about 4 months. While there isn't really a time-frame or agenda of how relationships "should" develop I do feel more committed and compatible to him emotionally and physically than I felt in a previous 3-year relationship.
Posts: 48 | From: USA | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 37835

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First off, I totally bought my boyfriend a webcam and microphone even though he insisted that that was a bit over the top. He really appreciates them now, in part because those things also allow him to talk to other friends who are scattered on different continents. Skype is a wonderful thing for long distance relationships of all types. Another thing I've done is record video messages with my camera and emailed them to him when I don't have access to skype.

Some things that you can do... there are plenty of sites where the two of you could do something like play chess together or another game. Have you talked about how you feel things have gotten boring? I've felt, with my boyfriend, that our conversations are more interesting and engaging when each of us is separately doing interesting and fun things on our own. Essentially, the happier we are with our separate lives, the better the relationship feels.

And sometimes a long distance relationship will feel like it's a relationship with the pause button pushed. That's okay so long as you talk about it and both feel okay with it. So long as you two talk about how the relationship is feeling for each of you, I'm sure you two can make things work.

I hope some of that helps!

Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
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You could also maybe put together a little care package, and mail it to him. Make a mix tape, or bake his favorite cookies. Something that'll be a nice surprise in the middle of a busy day.

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Posts: 1152 | From: New Hampshire | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 38302

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Thank you guys! Ugh, I made a huge mistake that I didn't see coming. I didn't realize how destructive I was being to our relationship and kept reiterating how important it was for us to communicate. I felt so confused and unwanted because I was hurting so bad physically and while he was supportive and loving like he always is I took it to far. My boyfriend has a super busy life right now and I kept getting frustrated that we weren't talking enough... what I didn't realize was that by getting frustrated constantly I was taking up all the time we used to spend talking about our day... I almost lost him tonight because of that, he mentioned he would be having dinner with a friend, and I've always been ok with him hanging out with girls, it's who he is and I love that we have the trust to do that.... but I need help and I know now that I need to fix a few things so he regains his confidence in our relationship. It's difficult right now because aren't most long distance relationships BASED on talking and communicating? Well our schedule overlaps on a daily basis, I have class from 9-6 and he has class from 6-9, by the time we are both done we're so exhausted that wanting to talk is just like BLAH but we still average 10-15 minutes normally. I stupidly blurted out that I was having trouble living without him in my life :-X Such a stupid thing to say to someone who wants space to breathe... ugh

How do I show him I care without pushing him any further away? I'm going to give him his space and promised him i'd be the person he fell for the next time we talked, but I need to find a way to accept how far away we are and deal with it. He has always been supportive and loving and I don't know if it's my medicine or what but I'm just a mess :-X

I don't want to be clingy so right now I think he needs time alone, but for those of you who have dealt with long distance relationships how do you deal with something like this? I feel so silly for questioning his feelings and I just want to be the same girlfriend I was when we were together.. I need help.

Posts: 48 | From: USA | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 33665

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It's understandable that you are wanting more attention and support right now given the illness you are just getting over and being so far away from friends and family, but it's also understandable that he needs his space, too. Communication is important, but there are many ways to communicate with a person. Think about the old days when people lived far apart or one of the people went off to war and the only communication they had was letters, snail-mail letters that took days, weeks, and sometimes even longer to reach the person. Yet the feelings often remained.

Now we have the internet, emails, instant messengers, text messages, phones, cell phones, webcams, the works. The only thing missing is holograms. So you can't communicate with text messages or phones too much, he doesn't have a webcam, and you're both too tired to IM each other when you both are done with school and work. What's left? Emails. And don't knock them just because they aren't as instantaneous and responses are a bit longer than with phones or IMs (remember the snail mail). You can write some very beautiful and deep feelings in your e-mails that you can't over the phone or instant messenger. You can give yourself time to think about what you want to say and edit to get the words just right. And think about how great it is to open your email and see a letter from someone you know and not an advertisement for penis enlargement!

So maybe try writing him an email explaining how you've been feeling lately. You might also try spending some time enjoying yourself, too. You said in another post you're spending the summer in the Carribbean, right? So there must be plenty of things to do there. Maybe you can go with a few people from your class and explore a bit? It might help you get your thoughts together and feel better about the separation. When you are in a different place by yourself then you do tend to get pretty lonely and anxious for the comforts of home, so do some things around town to take your mind off of home and your boyfriend.

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 27045

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I agree that emails are a GREAT idea--they are a medium where you can communicate any and all of your feelings each on your own time. I know it feels like it won't be the same to be communicating in real time, but that doesn't make the sentiments any less real. Also, I find that it's really nice just to write a real letter to my bf-not only is it a nice (and rather novel, in this day and age) feeling to get something in the mail, but it's something tangible that you can have from the other person (you could even be cheesy and spray your perfume on it or something : ) )

As for you feeling like you're not communicating enough... I've been in a long distance relationship with the same man for three years, the whole time we've been together except for the first month or two and some summer months. Our communication has really evolved over that time, so I hope you will benefit from some of my experience. I think the most important thing to remember is quality over quantity. It's ok if you don't talk every day; sometimes, especially, perhaps, in your case, it's better if you don't. That doesn't mean that you two are any less close, but you will have more to say to each other when you do talk and I've found that it actually makes you feel closer to the person. Trying to make yourselves talk every day tends to breed resentment (i.e. 10 is the only time we can talk, so I can't go out to do this because we HAVE to talk, etc.). I'm not saying that that is necessarily the case for you, but it does happen quite frequently.

Also, I would STRONGLY encourage you to either buy him a webcam or a webmike, especially if your cell phone service is spotty. My boyfriend and I proclaimed a complete moratorium on IMing about 6 or 7 months in because we found we were fighting about stupid, petty things simply because we couldn't put things in context; we couldn't tell when someone was kidding because we couldn't hear the humor in their voice, etc. We have never IMed since. It may also help you both feel closer and miss each other less if you can hear each others voices and see each others faces.

Finally, be spontaneous! You don't have to have full conversations via text, but an "I love you" every now and then can't go amiss. Send care packages, send letters, emails, teddy bears, mangoes, you name it! It will make you feel better to be doing something for him that you know he will like and that he won't be expecting.

Sorry about the novel, but those are all the words of wisdom I can think of right now : ) Good luck, feel better, and get out there and make yourself happy! When both of you are happy, your relationship will be happier too, promise.

"We all have wants and needs and desires, strange as they may seem. If you stop to think about it, we're all pretty creative, cooking up all these fantasies. It's like a kind of poetry."

Posts: 48 | From: Los Angeles, CA, USA | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 39159

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I've spent the past year or so in an off-and-on LDR. Ladygirl is right - it is quality, not quantity. We used to talk on the phone about every night, and on a few occasions we would both be so tired or have had such stressful/uneventful days that we wouldn't have much to talk about, and at first it made me feel like there was something wrong with the relationship. LDR (like short-distance relationships) is a commitment - don't let one day get you down, and don't feel like you're obligated to talk every single minute of every single day. It's not always romance and fireworks, and it doesn't have to be.

More advice: Get creative! All the regular forms of communication are great, and very important, but try to think of different ways to stay connected. Watch the same DVD at the same time while on the phone together. Send each other little surprises. Read the same book at the same time. Take turns trading a notebook back and forth - when one person has it they can write whatever they like, love letters, random observations, anything, and trade with the other person when you see each other next, who can't read it until the first person has left. Takes the edge off having to say goodbye, if only slightly. Try to think of things you'd want to do if he were close by and think of ways to adapt it to long-distance.

Also - the song Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie. LDR anthem.

Posts: 13 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Anna Karina
Member # 39520

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I know this is an older post, but since I'm new, I just saw it- in case you still wanted the suggestions...I think I can relate to how you feel now, or felt when you posted this.
I have been with my high school boyfriend for the past 5 years, 3 of which have been long distance- he goes to Uni in Texas and I to go Uni in Illinois. During high school, we were the kind of people that were joined at the hip; we had classes together, studied together, played video games together, exercised together...etcetcetc (our brothers were friends too, so often times the 4 of us would hang out together on top of the time the two of us spent alone). So, when college rolled around and both of us were heading off to school, it was a bit of a weird shake to our relationship.
At first it was alright- we missed each other, but we were on the phone a lot of the time, and our conversations were peppered with lots of reassurances of our feelings towards one another. After the first year though, there were some tougher times- being that we werent actively part of each others' lives, a lot of times there were scheduling conflicts (when I wanted to talk, he was busy and vise versa) and sometimes for the same reason, if he or I was irritated about something unrelated, it would sometimes chafe our conversations. We started fighting a lot over the phone, and there was a period of time that we didnt talk at all.
Through it all though, I find the best way to handle long distance is- outside of seeing them in person- to create ways to be a part of their life. My boyfriend and I found that playing games together online while webcamming was a really fun way for me to meet his friends/roommates and also be able to talk liek we see each other everyday. I know from his perspective, it felt like all of his friends had girlfriends that they could kiss and hold,and all he had was a voice on the phone. We ended up subscribing to an MMO and playing together while webcamming, and setting up scrabble dates on yahoo games every so often.
Its a great way to feel like youre doing something with your boyfriend again, and avoiding the "how are you" conversations that can get kind of dry, no matter how much you care about a person.
I also find that marking on a calendar the next time you will see him helps, as then you can remind yourself of the next time you will see him- maybe its cuz I'm dorky, but when the countdown passes 15 days I get really excited.
I'm a rooter for long distance relationships. Theyre tough in their own way, but if they work out, I promise you'll feel closer to each other.
Good luck!

Posts: 8 | From: San Francisco, CA | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Anna Karina
Member # 39520

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I forgot to add- since I had this problem before- TRUST HIM. and dont think too much about his friends that are of the opposite sex. A lot of times, I felt myself being jealous because I was just thinking too much about it. I sometimes would bring it up to him, and it irritated him because he wasnt doing anything- this ultimately can be a strain on a relationship and also sometimes create a problem when there was none to begin with. A friend of mine ended up leaving his gf of 2 years because she used to accuse him of liking other girls at his uni.
Hang out with your friends- go out and meet people; it will keep your mind off of missing him AND you'll have fun stories to tell him on the phone.

Posts: 8 | From: San Francisco, CA | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 39619

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I live in Maine, and my boyfriends in Turkey right now. Webcams are really great, we both have them. It's not anywhere close to actually being able to touch him but it's better than talking over the phone. Things happen sometimes, I've taken my shirt off before. We talk for at least 3 hours every night, sometimes longer. I convinced him to stay all day once, it was great. Sometimes it's about how much I wish he was here. I've gotten upset at him before, but it's hard to stay mad at him when he looks so sad about it. He actually gets up at 5 in the morning where he is so we can talk.
It would never work if I didn't trust him though.

Posts: 24 | From: Maine | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Evienne M.
Member # 39629

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I live in Winnipeg and my boyfriend has PERMANENTLY moved to Toronto. I'll never see him again and he loves me like crazy, right now he's still in the process of moving to Toronto. Like he's at his grandparents house. We've only been dating for like 2 and a half months, but he calls me everyday and once he gets to his house in Toronto, he has a webcam and those are like having him with me. There's no way you can physically contact them, so webcams, MSN and phones are as good as it's going to get.
Posts: 13 | From: Winnipeg | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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