The good, the bad, and the long-distance

Graphic by Alan Li

Valentine’s Day: a day where couples around the world celebrate their love for each other with cards, gifts and perhaps a nice dinner out.

Even though I do indeed have a Valentine, my day will not consist of the above.

Instead there will be an extra-long FaceTime, given the special occasion.

My boyfriend lives 3,000 miles away in England, where I’m from, and we have been going long-distance since I moved here at the end of August.

People often say to me, “Oh I don’t know how you do it!”, or, “I couldn’t do that!”

The reality of the situation is that I don’t have a choice. If I want to be with my boyfriend, and I also want to continue this year abroad in Canada, then long distance is the only option.

Six months in and while I wouldn’t say that I am enjoying the distance, I am used to it.

We have both learned a few things that help make the situation easier.

At the end of the day it just comes down to the value that you place in your relationship. Yes, I miss my boyfriend every day, but if we broke up I would miss him even more.

One of the very few “pros” of the situation is that I feel like I have a lot more time on my hands without a boyfriend around.

I especially notice this in the morning.

I have no reason to stay in bed for hours over here, as the only thing in my bed is my many stuffies — yes, I’m 22 and I still sleep with stuffed animals.

To be honest that is probably the only pro of the situation.

But having more time on my hands enables me to do things like write this article, which is a great experience in my eyes.

When you are in a long-distance relationship, it’s very easy to focus on the negatives.

For the first time in my life I really miss someone, to the point where I can almost feel it as a real sensation rather than an emotion.

Instead of feeling upset over all the things that are not possible to do together, I have found it helpful to find new things that we can do “together” to replace the old things.

For example, me and my boyfriend used to love cooking together. Obviously, we can’t do that, but instead, we often FaceTime over dinner, and chat about the food that we have made separately.

We even managed to watch some Netflix over FaceTime. When the original Stranger Things came out, we binged watched it in a weekend.

So once the second series came out, we just watched it separately at the same time while on FaceTime with each other.

It sounds silly, but all it required was a carefully timed “go!” on the play button to avoid spoilers.

In case you hadn’t noticed, FaceTime is our best friend.

But communication is key, and it’s hard to gauge someone’s mood over the phone.

We have definitely had a lot more emotional chats while apart than we ever would have when we were together, but I guess that is to be expected.

At the end of the day it just comes down to the value that you place in your relationship. Yes, I miss my boyfriend every day, but if we broke up I would miss him even more.

For me, there is no doubt that this is worth it, which rings especially true when we do get to see each other.

We are now so much more grateful for the time that we get to spend together.

Over reading week we are going to Mexico together, which is something that we would never have done if we were both in England together.

I haven’t seen my boyfriend since the Christmas holidays, so I have been counting down the days for a few weeks now.

They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I agree with this.

Looking back at the trivial things that we used to argue about when we were together makes me laugh a little. But I must admit, I am looking forward to those silly arguments when I am back home, especially if it means we won’t be separated by the Atlantic Ocean.

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