When Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” I believe he was in a long-distance relationship with his best friend.
Now believe me when I say, Howard is beyond wonderful. There is no way any of this would work if he wasn’t as supportive and loving a boyfriend up close as he is 400 miles away. But even with the perfect person on the other end of the phone, long distance is still a rough period of dateless weekends and solo party outings. So why do we do it?
It’s simple, we’re just two fools in love. In the months we’ve been apart — and looking ahead to the many years we’ll live in different cities — Howard and I have both learned a few important lessons from our relationship. We hope these bits of advice encourage the brave souls enduring long distance and inspire you to never give up on Team Love.
The little things are actually the big things.
The biggest thing I’ve learned while in a long distance relationship is the importance of little acts of love. Care packages, handmade cards, video messages, watching “Sleepy Hollow” over Skype together, group chats with our best friend, “I miss you” texts, photo messages, it all just adds up to Howard always knowing he is on my mind. And when my days gets really crazy at YouTube Nation, there is nothing I appreciate more than seeing Howard’s sweet face appear in my inbox.
A few weeks after Howard moved to Sacramento, I was having ice tea with a friend from high school and bemoaning the fact that my boyfriend was living in the farthest corners of the earth (I’m often over-dramatic when I’m sad). With a two year long distance relationship under his belt, my friend gave me his best advice: Be flexible. He told me I shouldn’t try to talk with Howard everyday at the same time, for the same amount, because over the upcoming months, we would become resentful about the events we missed to take the calls. And kudos to this friend because he was spot on.
While Howard and I try and talk everyday, we’re also aware that some days freelance and work and friends and flight training and sleeping and family and cats will get in the way. It’s a juggling act, but we’re slowly getting the hang of it.
Be honest about how hard long distance is.
For a while, Howard and I felt that in order to make long distance easier, we had to hide the fact that it was hard. This lasted about a month until finally Howard said, “Man, this sucks,” to which I quickly replied, “Yes! Yes it does!” Hearing him acknowledge the hardship of long distance was immediately a weight off my shoulders. Sure, we won’t be able to change our situation for a while, but at least we are on the same page and both want to move forward to find ways to make this work.
Make time count.
Long distance’s forte — and trust me, it doesn’t have many — is to inspire you to make time count. Because sadly, no matter what your weekend entails, you’re always left on Sunday night at the airport thinking, “Well, that wasn’t long enough.” So why not take advantage of your time together to do all your favorite things? I’ve already got my list for Valentine’s Day weekend written out to include the following: Watch James Bond movies, go hiking, eat Costco hot dogs, eat lemon bars, eat ravioli, cuddle, eat more ravioli.
So for those of you in the long distance club, my thoughts are with you. And if you ever need a drinking buddy to commiserate with, I got your back.
^^ I’ve been on a British YouTube filmmaker kick lately and, after years of being a fan of many of these creators, I was beyond excited to see the work of Hazel Hayes pop up on my feed. She’s incredibly talented, cheeky and was inspired to make this movie after a vlog she filmed naming the YouTubers she’d want to be with when the zompocalyse hit. Who would I want with me? Obviously, Mel Brooks so he could tell me some jokes, and Howard and Joe for good company. ^^