I don't really touch on these sort of topics and I'm certainly no expert on relationships so don't take everything I say here as being the same for everyone, I merely want to share my own experiences on matters that might concern you also.. I'm currently in my first what I call 'proper' adult relationship, what I mean by this is that my relationships in the past haven't led me to call somebody my boyfriend, and I put this down to where my insecurities have often gotten in the way. I don't regret this at all, if anything I can honestly say I was ready for a relationship. I don't believe it's healthy to just throw yourself into a relationship where you're not sure what you feel for another person, the worst that will happen is you hurting the other person's feelings because you don't actually want to be with them. I'm 20 years old and I met my boyfriend Aaron online, immediately alarm bells are ringing in your head thinking *catfish*- nope I can safely say he's real and we met up in London within a few weeks of knowing each other. Don't get me wrong I was beyond nervous, I remember the day so well and despite it's hiccups of me losing my train ticket and spilling a drink down me it was one of the best days of my life. Everything felt natural and I couldn't stop smiling all day long and it didn't occur to me that by the end of the day we would be going our separate ways, at this point we both knew that we wanted to see each other again. This all sounds splendid and things but I'm not going to say it's all been rosy, at times it's been a struggle I can't deny that. I remember a couple of months into our relationship we lost contact, there was a situation with his phone and us being stupid we didn't think of having other methods of contact for each other- if you can learn anything from this make sure you can contact them in other ways except the phone! Originally I thought he had turned into a prick and ignoring my texts and calls were his way of dumping me and I felt angry, stupid, upset and just utterly heartbroken that he would do that. Anyhow, it was all resolved and it made us both realise how much we do care about each other. With the distance of the relationship it's not all bad, for one I can concentrate on my OU course without distractions, I'm not neglecting my other friends, and when we do see each other we make the most of it. If anything it feels extra special and I appreciate every second I spend with him, but I definitely ugly cry when we have to say goodbye. If I could be with him more than of course I certainly would, unfortunately we live two hours apart from each other and he's full time at work and I only have my weekend job to pay for train tickets etc. We respect and understand each other's situations but it's a great comfort that we both know that one day we'll be by each other's side every day, and this is what keeps our relationship going. It's the faith that we're going to make this work to the best to our advantage, if this were to be turned over then I guess the relationship would go downhill. What I sometimes struggle with our relationship isn't just the missing of his comfort by how others react around me. My boyfriend is five years older than me and I guess some people don't approve or whatever, and I know I shouldn't take it to heart but when it's those you care about then its certainly does have an effect at times. I am however blessed with a family that are understanding, they just worry at times which I can understand. It doesn't bother us in the slightest, it's actually quite a nice age gape because he's more mature than guys my own age, and it's quite a relief to have someone of more experience too. After a couple of months of not being able to see each other, on the 26th I'm going to visit him and I'm so so excited! Now that you're all pretty up-to-date with things, I want to share a bit of wisdom with you all on how I feel that you can maintain a healthy and happy long distance relationship. My tips I would give you are: Communicate with each other- this is essential, make sure you send good morning and goodnight texts, even if they haven't replied I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason. Girls, he doesn't always need to make the first move- you can too!! Don't jump to conclusions- they haven't contacted you all day, there could be a number of reasons as to why this is. Don't over think everything, just distract yourself with something else and if worst comes to worse they don't reply, just send them one last text saying you hope they're okay and to contact you when they can to let you know they're alright. Think positive- rough patches are inevitable with any relationship, if you want it to work out you need to believe it to work! A couple of times I've felt a bit deflated when we've both been busy and haven't spoken as much as we'd like to, it's not either of our faults but the point is to not let this make you doubt your relationship. Having doubts- either they're having doubts or you are, again communicate that to one another. If something is bothering you the best solution is to tell them! They can put your mind at rest by them telling you how they feel, either outcome at least you know where you stand.
Give them space- I am the worst for this- being insecure with not only yourself but your relationships with other people can be a killer. If something doesn't seem right I can suddenly become very rational and send messages crying out for reassurance. Just try to remember that they have other priorities than you where they may be stressed with work and other matters, and they just need time to sort themselves out. If they're not so talkative that day just reassure them that you're there if they need to talk and just back away and wait for them to come to you- that way they won't feel so claustrophobic. Try and see each other when you can- this is the longest time I haven't seen my boyfriend for, it's not as easy meeting up when you live some distance apart. However, making plans to see each other or day trips/stay over's are the best and give you something to look forward to! Live your own life- I think this is probably the most important one to remember. Just because you're in a relationship, it doesn't mean the rest of your life goes on hold and that person is the centre of your universe. Nope, you still have things to do for yourself; work, studying, socialising with friends and family etc. Your partner wouldn't want you to miss out on these things for them, and the same I'm sure goes for you with them too. I've just come back from a trip to Prague and me and Aaron didn't have a phone call or anything, we simply sent good morning and goodnight texts. It gave us both some space, and despite me missing him an awful lot it was a nice getaway with my parents. Like I said previously I'm no expert on relationships, but from what I'm learning these are the important things to remember. I always try to think: if he's with me then there's nothing to worry about, and if something was wrong then he would break up with me. Just keep doing what makes you happy as that's the most important thing, and if the relationship is worth it then everything will work out- just have faith. Hugs and long distance love,