Whoever penned the phrase 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' clearly had never had the delight of being in a long term relationship themselves. The heart feels a lot of things being separated from its soulmate, but fondness is not top of the list. Being away from your boyfriend sucks. End of.
First let me set the scene, before I delve into the logistics of it all. I'm 24 and work in Colchester, Essex which is approximately 154.5 miles away from my 25 year old boyfriend, who lives in sunny Southampton.
Like most good relationships, a drunken snog and half-hearted grope in a sweaty club was where our romance first blossomed. A week later and he had wormed his way into my life and I’d subjected him to his first viewing of The Notebook.
Now almost two years later, we daily face the trials and tribulations of maintaining a long distance relationship. With half our time spent organising where to see each other next, the rest spent relying on digital media to keep the spark alive; it’s not all dirty weekends away and long romantic phone calls.
We’ve both got used to our routine now, and of course I miss him, everyday in fact, but nothing beats the dizzy butterflies and heart-felt excitement that builds up in the hours before we are reunited.
When an argument brews, and inevitably it does, it takes a lot more patience and understanding to smooth things over; a cheeky cuddle to stop him banging on isn’t an option. Unfortunately my monthly treat doesn’t take pity on my situation, especially when I turn into a psycho girlfriend and start accusing him of every cardinal sin under the sun.
We get to have a good half hour convo every night (I insist, I’m sure he would happily leave it longer) but it does give us the chance to really listen to each other. For that time we enjoy the conversation and each other’s company without any distractions. Live-in couples often complain that they never get the time to really talk, and when blokes hit the sofa at the end of a long day, all women want to do is have a deep meaningful chinwag.
I’ve learnt a lot of things along the way – men are like children, they get stressed if they’re tired or hungry, and need a whole heap of attention when they’ve done something good. And we get painted as the ones with all the emotional baggage.
But since having long spells apart we’ve found other ways to spend time together – while other couples might be picking out curtains, or decorating the nursery, we like to embrace our inner geek and play online scrabble together.
I get the best of both worlds; I’m an independent businesswomen in the week, and a doting, sensitive girlfriend at the weekend and until I’m ready to settle down and get knocked up, I’m very happy with it.