Now the first thing that I’ll say, is that distance isn’t easy. It takes dedication, love and lots of time and effort, but if you truly love that person, then I assure you that it’ll be worth every goodbye and teary eyed kiss at a train station. That’s not to say that couples who can’t make distance work are weak, or that they failed, some things just aren’t meant to be, but here’s how me and my love make it work for us.
A bit of backstory, I met my wonderful boyfriend Thomas on a film set for the first time in 2016, where he played my love interest in a feature film version of Wuthering Heights. The first thing I thought when I saw his picture was 1) he’s the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, and 2) I just know we’re going to get on. On New Years Eve 2016, as the clock struck midnight, I don’t know why I did this but I just felt like it was important that I did, I messaged him ‘Happy New Year. I can’t wait to work with you’ and got a reply back. And somehow, from that day on we never stopped talking, I felt like I’d known him forever. When we met in person for the first time for shooting I had the BIGGEST butterflies. I was so nervous and excited, I was scared that the chemistry we had online wouldn’t be the same in person, and what if he didn’t feel it too etc but from the second I met him I genuinely think I fell in love on the spot. The night before filming, we stayed up all night talking and laughing, and making future plans to hang out. I just knew. We were inseparable, and I will never forget that day. It just so happens that it’s captured live on film forever too which makes me feel so funny.
Me and Thomas live 5 hours apart from each other. I’m currently studying in York, as well as acting/work, and he’s in drama school 9am-6pm Monday to Friday in Birmingham. Yes we miss each other all the time and yes it’s hard, but at the moment there’s no other options, I never want to be without him. Here are some tips that we compiled together about how to make long distance work:
EFFORT AND SACRIFICE
Long distance takes a LOT of sacrifice and effort from both sides. For example every morning I wake up at 7-7:30 in time to make sure we have an hour to talk before Drama School, and Thomas always stays up late at night if I’m working to make sure that I’m safe. Every morning we always send a good morning message, and a goodnight message, without fail. But one thing I should say, is that it should never feel like a chore. The ultimate goal of Long Distance is to keep and cherish this person, no matter how far away you are. It’s exciting, and it only makes the moments in person even more appreciated.
LET THEM FEEL INCLUDED
One of the hardest parts about long distance is sometimes feeling like you’re not included in their lives. This can be really lonely, so one of the biggest tips I can give is to always make the other feel involved in your day. We always send each other pictures, rant about our day, tell each other funny stories etc, the key is communication, to let them know that even though you’re not together, you’re thinking of each other and wishing that they were here. Technology can also be an amazing thing, we are constantly on the phone, messaging, or FaceTiming each other. In a way I think we probably talk more than couples who aren’t long distance do, but it’s such an important part of it. Another example is that we watch certain tv shows together, like couples who live together would, except we just wait until the weekend. It becomes a real couple activity, and plus who doesn’t want to watch Making a Murder whilst getting spooned??
We’re fortunate that rather than finances preventing us from seeing one another, it’s more the time constraints of drama school, work etc that gets in the way, so that on weekends we make sure to keep them completely clear for one another, I know that for others, maybe they can only visit their other half once a month, or twice a year, but whatever your scheduling is, always always, when possible, make the effort to see them. It’s so important to have something to look forward to, I’m forever counting down the days until we’re back together again. Whether we’re crammed on a Megabus at 7am, or getting a late night train after 12 hours of work, we do anything to make sure that we have time for each other. Another important thing, is that when you are together, to make the most of it. Sometimes we plan days out, and sometimes doing absolutely nothing but being with each other all day just means so much. At the end of the day, if you’re prepared to do long distance with someone, they should be your best friend who you’re madly in love with. Seeing them isn’t a chore, it’s the best part of your week (in my case anyway).
Being long distance can be hard to make surprises work, or to do spur of the moment romantic gestures but this isn’t always the case. Whether it be me just ordering Tom pizza to his house after he’s had a long day as a surprise, or sending him a care package etc, little things can be done and it makes you feel so much closer and like you can take care of them no matter where you are.
One of the things I really believe that makes long distance work is having an end game. How the distance will end one day, something to aim for, past all of the goodbyes. I know for us, through work and study, slowly but surely no matter how long it takes, we’re saving up to live together, and one day, when we are living together by the sea and waking up to each other every day, it’ll be worth it!