Okay, so I have a problem with modern life. All this over reliance on social media, you are not validated as a person unless you have x amount of friends on facebook who ‘like’ your status. It’s all about twittering and twattering and who’s following who and basically I don’t get it. I don’t understand how social media has now become the dominant reality and yet ironically nothing even really exists online. I deleted my facebook account when I realised that I was friends with somebody on facebook and one day they were stood behind me in a queue for the bank and I didn’t even turn around and say so much as hello. To be honest that probably says more about me than anything else.
So again it’s kind of ironic that my LDR relies so much on the internet, that I’m maintaining a real relationship in this virtual world.
Sometimes it gets to me, sometimes I forget what it feels like to touch her, to hold her hand to kiss her. Sometimes I forget that I used to be able to roll over in the night and feel her sleeping beside me. Sometimes I forget that we have an actual relationship outside the virtual reality that is the LDR. And sometimes I struggle so hard with thinking that the virtual reality of the LDR is all that we have.
Again the tough days are tough!!
We had our first online fight the other day.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m pragmatic enough to know that all couples have disagreements, it’s completely natural, I haven’t taken to drinking myself into a stupor whilst listening to The Smiths crying in a corner thinking that it’s all over just yet. I’m not the novice that some of you may feel that I am.
I’m not going to go into the gory details of the disagreement here, sufficed to say Shelby caught me in a bad mood, I made a throw away comment about something she was excited about and
hilarity aggro ensued. Instead what I’d like to focus on would be our reactions to this fight and how the LDR dynamic lends itself to arguments and conflict resolution.
If I’ve had a fight or disagreement, I like to tackle it head on, preferably in the very next breath once I’ve realised that I’ve annoyed or upset somebody. Shelby on the other hand is completely the opposite, she needs to go off by herself and shut herself away and think it over for a while. So you know in this whole LDR who is going to come up trumps on their style of conflict resolution, not me!! The long and short of it is I had a restless nights sleep and then had to wait 9 hours before I could talk it out with Shelby. Anyways, eventually we did talk it over and we’re passed it now. In my opinion the worst thing about the distance between us and having that much time to think things over means that the situation can get distorted in your head, you can come up with some wild theories and silly problems, it’s a very real concern for somebody like me who tends to over think a situation to death at the best of times yet alone when I’ve got 18hours to pick over the remains of a silly argument.
Again, like everything else in relationships it comes down to communication (I feel like I’m working for a telecommunications company here the amount of time I spend preaching about communication!!). If we skipped over the problem and just put it behind us without talking then I would start to be worried, but as long as we are open and honest with each other then we will go far I feel. We are both committed to the relationship and to each other no matter what little hiccups we may have to overcome.
So I completely realise that we have it so much better than some other couples doing the whole long distance relationship dance, I mean the days that we don’t talk are few and far between, and by some divine miracle of administration gods our school timetables don’t clash and it seems that we’ll get as much time as we do now to chat and skype.
I’ve been a cynic. I have been for many years. I was cynical and sceptical as to whether (and hold the contents of your stomachs in here people I’m going for the overtly soppy romantic jugular) love actually existed. Now I’m not some head in the clouds dreamy tweeny thinking that Justin Bieber is going to visit me and declare his undying love for me, I’m a seasoned cynical pro, a hardened campaigner. But the effect this girl has had on me has been amazing, I can see a future for us, a plan and a person I want to grow into.
So I got called into work today at the drop of a hat, it means that myself and Shelby will get less time to talk today, but I feel like I’m doing this all for her now, all for us. I can’t help but feel that the somewhat paltry figure that I’ll make today will go towards our future together. That’s what I mean when I say everything is geared towards her now.
I hope she realises this!!
So today I’d like to talk about something key to any relationship if I may, and that’s trust.
I was thinking of an analogy I could use to explain the way I was thinking here and I was thinking about how you house train a dog. But then I thought that if I started comparing my relationship with Shelby to a bold dog that does a shit in the house that this blog won’t get passed day 8. So for the sake of a quiet life I’ll forgo the dog poop analogy.
Trust is paramount, in all relationships and when trust is broken it takes a lot of hard work to get it back. And more often than not you are your own worst enemy when it comes to trust related issues in a relationship, it is through your own paranoia and self-destructive thoughts that these things arise. In my case I’ve self-worth issues and at the beginning of our relationship I felt that Shelby could do a lot better than me, but she has always allayed my fears and foibles by telling me that I am everything that she is looking for. And in a LDR such as ours where there’s an 8hour diffrence in time, these ugly thoughts can poke their heads through often because there’s hours when you’re not in contact or when you’re asleep, they’re awake and what are they up to and vice-versa.
I must say that myself and Shelby are lucky because our relationship is built on openness on all levels, she feels like she can tell me everything without recrimination and I feel the same. If we have issues we talk about them. We don’t shy away from the tough things that need to be talked about. As long as I still give Shelby the things I gave her at the beginning of our relationship then she won’t feel the need to get those from somebody else. You see the way I look at it is that making somebody feel loved goes far beyond the realms of physical contact and intimacy and as long as I still do and want to do these things everything will be OK.
Communication is the key.
Ok so here it goes…….trust is like dog poop because….
So one challenging thing about LDRs: do you know those days when you wake up and for no reason at all you’re just in a bad mood, and more than anything you’d just like a cuddle from that special person or even just to hear their voice. Yeah it doesn’t happen that way for me. So I have to content myself by looking through photos, I decided I’d share one of my favourites.
The tough days are tough.
So I thought it best to not blog everyday because, and I’m being honest here, I’m not the most interesting person in the world and when we strip this LDR business down to it’s most fundamental level, it just involves me sitting in front of a computer screen for countless hours a day and there’s only so many ways I can say that and make it sound vaguely interesting!!
Ok, so where are we up to? Well myself and Shelby had our first official skype ‘date’, which basically meant that we found a movie to watch online at the same time, we watched ‘Cabin in the Woods’ it was decent, nothing breathtaking. But a note to all you people watching movies online with your petit amour just be aware of the difference in sound levels that come across on your headset, because one second you’ve got your headphones turned up to max trying to listen to what’s being said in the movie and then the person at the other end of skype call laughs or coughs or speaks without warning and it’s very possible, nay probable, that you could blow your f**king eardrums out. Not funny, quite terrifing when you’re not expecting it actually. This happened more than once, and not just on my end but I’m sure that Shelby was being too nice for her own good and not complaining because I am a pretty loud mouth breather and I’m sure that on occasion what she had to listen to probably sounded like the death rattles of an eight eight year old throat cancer patient!! So a word of advice if you do decide to watch a movie online with your significant other, make sure your headset has a volume control wheel and that you keep this close to hand!! But overall watching a film together was a fun experience and one we made the best of, when we watch films we like to guess what’s going to happen, where’s the twist, who’s going to die first all that sort of stuff so we still managed to do that. The only problem being that I didn’t have the girl that I’m madly in love with wrapped in my arms, cuddling into me and nuzzling her face into the side of my neck, I miss it.
I miss it a hell of a lot actually….the lack of physical intimacy is hard to deal with, sometimes no matter how hard you try to put it out of your mind you can still feel like you’re on your own. But those are the bad days and the very best you can hope for is that the love you two share can outweigh the tough days, and I’m not going to lie, those days are heart-wrenching. You find yourself watching the clock until you can talk to her again, you can’t motivate yourself to do anything, you just lie there drinking chocolate milk feeling sorry for yourself. But for now that’s just how it has to be….
Well until next time!!
So perhaps a little more background is needed, I’m 26 and Shelby my LDG(if you’ve read my posts then I’m sure you can work it out!!) is 20. I returned to university last year as a mature student and she studied a semester abroad and that’s where we met. She has dreams and aspirations and I don’t………well that’s a bit extreme actually, I do have dreams and stuff but as far as a career and end goal are in sight I don’t have one, I don’t know what I love enough to consider doing for the rest of my life. Shelby is religious, I’m not. She wants kids, a lot of them, a football team full of them!! and when she’s finished having her own she wants to adopt a second football team full of babies, so she can pit them against each other I suppose!! And as of yet I’m unsure if I want kids. She’s a science and math girl, I’m a literature and philosophy boy, she’s left brained and you guessed it…I’m right brained. I know it probably seems that we have some epic fundamental differences going on, but we click….we just do…she’s my foil and I’m hers, we have so much fun together and laugh and love and when we’re together we’re the same entity, operating on the same wavelength, she pushes and challenges me and I do the same for her, we’re open and honest to a fault almost, we both feel it, I know that I’ve never been as open with anybody in my entire life, I think basically we are exactly what the other needs to compliment them.
So our skype call yesterday, well it was tough!! We are still very raw about the whole leaving situation and we miss each other probably even more than we say, and we say it a lot!! It’ll probably take a couple of days before we settle into a routine with this whole LDR business so until then I won’t be able to get my hands dirty with delving into the bones of it. The good news is she’s coming over at Christmas; so as an from today: the 30th August 2012 that is nearly 3 and a half months until I see my girlfriend again. That is pretty insane. We’ve both downloaded copies of each others school timetables and factored in the time difference so we can plan the optimum time to talk to each other, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that if we want to make it work we need to talk as much as possible.
That brings me onto another thing, earlier I was looking at an advice site for what to do when you’re in a LDR. Obviously it’s important to communicate, try to keep as many mutual interests as you can, read the same books, watch tv shows together, watch movies, cook together over skype, so we’re going to try some of these things and I’ll let you know how it goes. In one way we’re so lucky that we live in the age we do that makes it possible to do this, we’re both committed to making it work, that’s something imperative too.