Friday 11 January 2019

10 Tips to Deal with Long Distance Relationships

Hello all!

(Shoutout to Friday Night Dinner ayy)

I met my boyfriend, Sam, on a ski season 13 months ago. We've always been long distance; he lives a 3 hour drive away from where I am, and when I'm at uni that grows to 7 hours. But none of that compares to now, Sam is in France for 5 months on a ski season and I'm at home, going about my day to day life.

I wanted to write today about some of my 'tips' on coping with long distance relationships. Although every relationship is different, hopefully some of the experiences I have had and things I have learnt will help people doing the same thing.

1. Communication

I know this is the number one of every relationship guide but I have learnt recently just how important and different communication is in a long distance relationship.  Whether it's over the phone or texting, things can be so easily misinterpreted. Tell them if you're having a bad day or if you particularly miss them. Let them know if they're doing something that annoys you. If you cope by distracting and busying yourself, tell them you might not be around much during the day. I found it particularly hard in moments where Sam and I had not spoken and he's not replying and I'm just overthinking. By just telling me that he is working and will be around to call at 8 pm, I instantly felt better. 

2. Talk before hand

For those that are just beginning the long distance journey, use your time together to talk about any worries, boundaries or ground rules you may have. As I said, talking face to face is so much easier for those kind of conversations and that way you'll have all the harder stuff figured out before. Try to be optimistic though. Talk about the things you're going to do while they're away, talk about what you can do when they come back. Start planning visits (if you can), to break up the large chunk of time. 


This one we're still working on. I don't mean just calling everyday, I mean setting aside times when you're both free and can concentrate on each other. That might be everyday, that might be every 4 days, whatever works for you. I make real effort to not be on social media or doing other things while facetiming, although I know it's something I need to work on. Even when Sam was in England, we would facetime mostly at night so it's nice to set aside time so we can chat as long and openly as we would at home.

4. But give space

When you are so far away, on such different schedules, it can be hard knowing when is a good time to talk. If Sam's having a chill night with the boys, I consciously give him space. Sometimes that means not even telling him I'm around because I know that might make him leave early so we can call. It's pushing each other to appreciate the people that are around, whether that's friends or family. Some nights I just want to spend the whole night on the phone, especially if I know Sam's free. But I have had better nights when I've invested in a family card night. I always say to Sam, you're on a season for a reason, so commit! Don't spend the whole time on the phone with me. It's hard to say sometimes but it makes me feel better knowing he's making the most of the opportunity he's had.

5. Get a bit soppy 

It's hard to show someone how much you love them over text or just over the phone. So use your imagination and get a lil bit romantic and mushy. Write letters, send presents (even if it's just a fiver to buy a pint on you), take pictures and sentimental things with you. Just after I got home from university, I was having a really bad day. Sam ordered roses to my house that arrived after the work the next day. Gestures like that mean so much and make you feel so much closer.

6. Understand privacy 

I'm used to having a private relationship, we talk for hours and hours just the two of us and I tell him things I wouldn't share with anyone else. One of the most important things is finding somewhere in your new location (or your partners new location), that you can talk in private. Not * necessarily intimate conversations but to keep your relationship special and between just you. If you find you're suddenly sharing a dorm with 5 girls, find somewhere you can talk away from everyone else. There's nothing more annoying than trying to facetime your partner and being bombarded with strangers who 'want to see you'.

* But clearly! privacy is important for intimate conversations and whatever you chose to do. That seems more obvious though.

7. Engage in each other's lives, even if they are separate 

Making friends with your partners room mates at home or their colleagues at work do's is one thing. Investing in their new friends you may never meet is another. I did a season last year and watched a big 'them v us' situation occur with people in relationships. The partners at home were perceived as the people that were stopping them from going out or spending time with the group. Balance is key here, but there will be a time where you (or your partner) don't go out so you can call. I have chatted to some of the guys Sam is living with and am on friendly terms. I try hard to invest in his life abroad, even if I'm not really part of it. This is especially important if you're going out to visit them.

(Disclaimer: the above is only really applicable in certain situations. Ski seasons have a certain reputation and culture that relationships don't fit into. Not every situation will be the same and a lot of the time, people will be a lot more respectful about other people's relationships!)

8. Busy yourself and self care

I know it won't always feel like it, but I found this a really good time to focus on myself. Invest in relationships at home, spend more time with your family, read more books, try learning a new language! The list goes on.. Use this time to develop yourself in any way you want. If you have exams, use your partners presence as time you can really focus on studying. Maybe go and see a friend at the weekend that you haven't seen in a while. There's so much you can do to fill your time. I have honestly had the best days when I really work on myself, clearing out my room, having a day with my mum. Admittedly, they may be days when my communication is not the most frequent but always makes me feel better, especially if I'm a bit down.

9. Allow yourself to be sad

Long distance relationships are tough and extremely testing. But if what you have is worth it, then it is worth it. Let yourself cry, it's okay to feel sad. I felt pathetic at first, crying over a boy?! But it's normal. The mistake I made was spending the first week of him leaving pretty much alone. Surround yourself with friends, family (or just people).

10. Be Positive!

I wanted to leave this one till the end because it's probably the most important. Don't get bogged down by the idea of a long distance relationship. Approach it day by day and learn to appreciate how amazing it is to have something so worthwhile and amazing in your life. Talk to your partner about what you want to do together in the future. Plan holidays for later in the year! Don't over
complicate things. Be positive and let them know how much you love them.

I know every relationship is different, but hopefully some of these tips were helpful! I didn't want to approach the subject of trust and cheating, it's so personal and not something I could really write about. I trust Sam completely so couldn't advise for any other situations properly.
Long distance relationships are tough, but they'll be back soon, I promise.

Have you got any other advice? I'd love to hear it, just leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

Thursday 3 January 2019

New Year Resolutions: What Do You Think?

What are your new years resolutions this year? I know there has been a lot of talk recently about them being meaningless, but I disagree!

I've got to say, I absolutely love this time of year. I know people can be a bit bitter on twitter but in general it's positive time of year full of reflection and resolutions. I felt overwhelming pride watching friends and people I've met throughout the year sharing their successes in 2018 and their plans for the new year. Although they can be cliche, resolutions are positive. Whether it's feeling happier, healthier, creating stronger friendships or working towards a more material goal, it can't be a bad thing!

So how do you make a successful new years resolution? My mum has always compared them to school targets and revision. It has to be specific, manageable and measurable. I'd find turning vegan all of a sudden very hard, but one of my new years resolutions is all about cutting down on animal produce. I also try and have resolutions in different areas. Whether it's work related, health related or environmental goals, it is easier to focus on little things in a lot of areas rather than putting all your time and energy in one area.

Lacking inspiration? Here are mine...

  • Read 24 books this year. See what I mean about specific? I love reading and would happily talk to anyone that would listen about the books I'm reading. But I haven't read much for pleasure in the past few years and there's a list as long as my arm of books I want to read. 
  • Go to the gym twice a week. This is for mental health as well as physical health. At university I'm definitely lacking exercise, and it seems such a shame because I get it free as a first year. 
  • Cut out all beef and buy only dairy free milk. This is environmental more than anything but eating less meat is always a good thing. As a student, I have struggled cutting down meat in general while still eating a good diet but beef and pork I'm going to cut out as much as possible. (Well, always for beef hopefully.)
  • BLOG BLOG BLOG! I absolutely love writing and I love reading blogs. I went through a phase of writing on the blog a lot but lost the time and motivation about a year and a half ago. But now I'm feeling much more inspired and ready to dive right back into writing. But to stick with my 'specific' criteria, I want to write 4 blog posts a month minimum. 

Let me know what yours are, I love hearing new resolutions and goals! 
Happy new year!!

Laura x