Relationships, we are all searching for that special one. We spend our whole lives trying to find someone to share this crazy life with. But what happens when this special person lives miles away? Well, let me tell you… you enter the world of long distance relationships (LDR).
Just a little heads up, we’re writing our first ever joint post… So we’ll let you know when we swap back and forth.
Stick around to the end to see what apps, advice & activities we recommend for all of you LDR’s!
Charlotte: What people may not know, is that myself & Ash were actually in a long distance relationship for over a year and a half. Coming from the Midlands in the UK, the LGBTQ+ scene is buzzing. But I could not find anyone that caught my eye, could hold a conversation or even intrigued me… So I downloaded ‘HER’.
HER is an app for lesbians, back when I was on it, it was called Dattch… I spoke to a few girls but everyone was sort of bland. Then, I saw this Irish girl & I think we can all agree, nearly everyone is a sucker for an Irish accent.
Fast forward months of talking & staying up late at night. I found myself falling for someone I hadn’t even met. To some, this is crazy? How can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met in person, you’ve never hung out with or even been face to face with?
Is it possible to be in love with a stranger?
The comfort of having someone there is something indescribable. I got used to texting her every morning, a call before bed & the odd face-time video when we really missed each other.
And you may be like ‘what?!’ How can you miss someone when you’ve never met them. But I longed to be with Ash & the sense of having something missing from my life was unbearable. But when there is a whole ocean separating you, you’re pretty hopeless.
When this was all going on, I was 17 and was working full time on an apprenticeship wage. If you’re from the UK, you know that this is barely anything. So how was I to afford a plane ticket to Ireland, which at the time cost around £120-£200?
The answer is, I couldn’t. So for my 18th, Ash flew over & we met for my birthday.
Ash: This was probably one of the most surreal moments of my life, even to this day I find it crazy that I actually did such a thing but obviously it was the right decision.
Having been talking to Charlotte non-stop for a few months, the time came where we had to decide if we were going to make something of it because realistically, neither of us could take much longer of waiting. So after much discussion with my parents, persuading them that Charlotte was actually real lol and that it was a safe situation, the flights were booked.
I’m not gonna lie, I was terrified. Having such a strong connection with someone is amazing, but going so long without meeting them face to face, it became overwhelming to think about it actually happening. I’m a naturally anxious person who at this point had never traveled alone or been away from home by myself, so this really was a gigantic thing for me to do, but I knew that it was something special and it had to be done.
Once the plane landed, that’s when the panic really set in. I thought ‘am I really meeting this girl I met online who I know I’ve fallen in love with?’ It was just a crazy situation, I was worrying that maybe she wouldn’t like me in real life and stupid things like that. But when we actually saw each other (after Charlotte thought it would be funny to hide on me in the airport), it was like everything fell into place. It felt like we had known each other all our lives and it was more than both of us could have hoped for.
Charlotte: We then went back and forwards seeing each other at any time we could. Bank holidays were taken up by visiting each other. I still remember how heartbreaking it was to leave Ash, nothing can prepare you for it.
The only thing you could look forward to was the next time you’d be seeing each other. But when you knew that was months apart… it sucked.
But what could we do? We weren’t at an age where we could move countries & we were still in a relatively new relationship. So we had to suck it up & deal with it. If we really wanted to be with each other, this is what we had to do until we could change our situation.
& a year 1/2 later… our time came.
Ash: At this time I was working full-time after leaving school and was planning to go back to university soon. Charlotte was tied into her apprenticeship in the UK so I thought ‘why not look into going to university over there?’ Again, this was another major milestone in my life, the thought of moving country. Words can’t begin to explain the worries, anxieties and obstacles that came along with this.
After many sleepless nights and trying to figure out how I would manage it with the cost and everything, I finally decided I would have to fund it myself with my own savings. I remember just telling myself to get on with it and it would work out in the end, which it did.
Charlotte: Fast forward to today, we see each other almost every weekend… unless we need some me-time, which we all do sometimes!
I’d like to say we had it easy, but it was still horrible. Long distance relationships aren’t the nicest… you don’t get to hang out with your partner whenever you want. When you’re sad all you have is a phone to hug & on top of that you’re still the third wheel.
Ash: I’m now in my second year of uni and being able to see Charlotte so often is amazing. But living in a different country is really not easy and even now I struggle with it sometimes. Having always been so close to my family, living away from them and missing them can really take its toll on me. But hey, can’t have it all. On the other hand, I’ve gained so much independence from it all and being able to plan a future with Charlotte is really incredible.
Considering how much I’ve done for myself and for us in the past couple of years, I can say that I’m really proud of myself – it’s not something everyone could do.
Thinking about when we first met, I would have never thought about life being the way it is right now, I didn’t think it was possible. But cliché… if you really want something, you can make it happen.
What advice do we give to other LDR’s to make their relationship work?
- Couple – This app is solely for you & your partner. You can send pictures, touch your partner’s digital thumbprint (I know it sounds weird… but you can), make plans for your future plus so much more. I really recommend using this app if you want to develop your relationship further, it really worked for us & we have many happy memories using it.
- Draw Something – What you crave whilst in a LDR is some sort of instant connection. Draw Something literally allows you & your partner to draw things & have a bit of fun doing it. I know it’s pretty lame, but it can be quite fun.
- Questions – This is very broad, but this is your time to find out everything about your partner. By asking as many questions as you can and just talking about things, you can really connect with & understand your partner.
- Video Calls – Texting & calls are good… to a degree. But nothing beats actually seeing someone & have a somewhat face to face call.
- Be honest – You’re miles apart, you need to be honest from the get-go. Hiding certain elements of your life or lying about little things can really cause problems. You need to trust each other if you’re going to enter this crazy world together.
- Make time for your partner – Even though you are miles away, you still need to find time for your partner. Schedule dates, calls & ensure to reply to texts. Nothing is worse than the feeling of being ignored.
Long Distance Relationships are hard, stressful & heartbreaking. But they are so worth it to be with the person who you adore & love. So if you’re currently in a LDR… don’t give up. It will all be worth it in the long run.
Charl & Ash x