Last night I decided to record a conversation with my boyfriend about the early days of our relationship. For those who know (or have read ‘3000 miles’) we’ve been in a long-distance relationship for 3 years now — and didn’t see one-another for the first 17 months of that.
Here I ask him a few questions on the experience, what he’s learnt and his hopes for the future.
(My parts will use the initial G for Girlfromtheblogs, while his parts will use the initial C)
C: (Continues singing)
G: (Waits a while) Are you finished now?
C: (Finishes the chorus) Okay, whenever you’re ready?
G: (laughs) Okay, talk to me about how we met and your first impressions?
C: Of you?
C: We met in uni, at the beginning of your first year and my final year. I guess from the get-go we become friends. There was also that period where I didn’t know where you were (we laugh). It was a short period, but we eventually reconnected and became good friends.
Fast-forward to the time I was leaving uni and graduating, I guess you weren’t sure what we were and where our friendship was going, but I kinda knew I didn’t want graduation to be the end so… yeah…
Our relationship officially started after I had left, and has always been long distance.
G: Did you have any reservations about entering a long-distance relationship (LDR)?
C: The first thing is, I wasn’t really thinking about the distance or it being an LDR. It was a matter of just wanting to talk to this person for as long as you could or as much as you could. Whether that happened in person on the phone, it didn’t really make a difference. I never really thought of it from the get-go as an LDR.
For most people, it’s probably the same, at some point it occurs to you that maaaan this is long-distance and a physical presence is just being missed greatly. But nonetheless, you still really enjoy the company you have with them, over the phone or on Skype… Well, thank God for Skype!
(Crunches) I hope me eating nuts won’t enter this transcription!
G: It might just y’know. Gives a fuller experience of the conversation.
C: So you’ll just type ‘chews nuts’?
G: Mmm something like that…
G: It’s interesting you say that, in my head being in an LDR was definitely a thing to consider.
C: I don’t know, personally I never thought of it as a long-distance relationship. When I was leaving, we both weren’t sure we even wanted a relationship. All we were sure of was that we wanted to keep talking to each other. Yeah?
C: So our friendship grew from our phone calls and so did our relationship. Our relationship was founded on the distance; this is how it’s always been. When it occurs to you that it’s a relationship you want to last, you also think of the spacial barriers that cannot be breached easily, then it becomes that much more obvious.
G: How did people react when you told them about me?
C: For some, they probably didn’t believe me (laughs). Some didn’t believe it was possible, or that I was making you up. But I guess, those who knew, knew.
(We both laugh)
My mates in Law School definitely knew, seeing as I was always standing in the corridor to get phone signal to talk to you. So it made sense to them that there was some girl on the other end of the call.
As for family, in the beginning I guess they probably didn’t give it a chance. It’s understandable, they think that this person he’s talking to on the phone every day, he’s probably going to get tired of pretty soon. I guess until they met you, they really didn’t take it that seriously.
I reckon that’s a summary of most people’s perceptions of LDR – 1. They probably don’t think it’ll last or. 2. Or they don’t believe in the other person’s existence.
G: What was the most challenging part of those 17 months?
C: For the most part of 2015 I was pretty pre-occupied with some very important exams. So I guess I was pretty much satisfied with the way things were going. The most challenging part was probably when you would see your friends doing couple things, and you couldn’t. But like I said, I was always glad to run back to you to Skype and stuff.
The first 17 months were the incubation period – just getting to know more of you and understand you. My general challenges were just the basic ones of not having that physical presence.
I wasn’t really caught up about that because the excitement of knowing you and getting to know you better was just as strong over the phone as it would have been in person. There wasn’t really any resentment to the space in that regard.
G: Is there anything you wish you would have known about LDR in those 17 months?
(Thinks for a while) I always say that I appreciate, even if it’s in hindsight, that we didn’t have physical contact in that time. The thing with physical presence that you can get so nonchalant or complacent with that person’s presence that communication suffers. That first 17 months for us was very much about communication. In that time, even though you weren’t there we had the best opportunity to just talk, because that’s all we could do. And talking made us even closer.
There are so many things we have come to know and understand about each other because of that time. Maybe we would still be learning those things now (if we were together in person), but a lot of things seem easier to us because we’ve already talked about them.
G: How do you deal with missing me?
C: My methods haven’t really changed, maybe because you’re still not here (laughs)
I don’t know – it’s a lot about patience and discipline. You want to go on movie dates, and hang out and chill, dinner, just do stuff together and you’re just not able to do any of those things. It can be crushing, but I guess that also allows you to do other things. Friday nights became ‘Friday night football’ and Saturday nights became ‘Saturday night hangout joint’ – you just learn to fill your time with things you enjoy.
G: So your advice is to stay busy?
C: Yeah, I guess that gives you less time to be miserable. I mean, we have our own lives too. Even times when I couldn’t speak to you, I would do other things. Missing each other never stopped us from living our normal lives.
The things we could have done together, were substituted for other activities. But we always made time for each other to talk, and that made the distance feel smaller.
G: When we finally saw each other, what did you want to achieve?
C: Just trying to cram all the things we could have been doing into a three or four week holiday. Our first dinner outing, cinema, travelling. Lots of firsts. There’s always that, I don’t know, need to compensate for that time away. But we have such wonderful times together. It also makes me look forward to the time when seeing you would be more permanent.
G: Do you think this prepares us for the future – post long-distance?
C: Post long-distance, there’ll be times when we’re not able to be with each other every day, so it’s good preparation for then. Even more so, it’s also great practice for communicating – I think we’ve gotten to a point where we communicate well. Physical presence or not, we’ll be fine. Though I do hope to bridge this gap real soon (laughs).
G: Great. Do you have any final comments? Or we could end here if you’ve said everything on your heart?
I’ve covered most of it. There will be people ask questions about trust, and I share your sentiments (in my earlier post ‘3000 miles’). I guess in a sense it’s blind faith, but again the faith is built on the quantum of the things you know about the person. You should utilise the things you learn about them. Then part of that faith can come from knowing them better, while the other part stays blind.
It’s the same thing for every relationship, whether it’s long-distance or not. You have to start with a little trust.
G: Well thanks baby, it’s been a pleasure talking with you.
C: (laughs) I feel like a celebrity – I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
We really enjoyed making this special interview. If you enjoyed it too, let us know in the comments! We would love to hear your feedback or questions if you have any.
Have a great week!