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October 14, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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Going the Distance

I met my current lover (probably the love of my life, but no one wants to read that) at the shittiest possible time. I was 18, had just finished high school, and was ready to go to uni and meet an endless number of good-looking men. Unfortunately, fate intervened, and during the summer between the barren wasteland of high school and the plentiful orchards of uni, I accidentally fell in love. He was hot, a musician (holla!), smart, funny, blah blah blah… and I was smitten.

It got worse though. Not only did the boy thwart my plans for rampant pashing around Wellington by coercing me into a relationship, it turns out he studied in goddamn Dunedin. The mother of all shitholes and 789 km away from my intended uni destination.

Fuck.

There was no way it would work. He’d go off to Dunners and I’d head up to Wellington and it would all fall over and end in a fiery inferno of heartbreak and despair. What we should have done is have our summer romance, and then quit while we were ahead. That would have been the smart thing to do.

However, I’m not known for making the world’s most intelligent decisions. I tend to do the exact opposite of what I know is a good idea. And so we decided to give the long-D thing a whirl. He left for Dunedin; I sobbed and snotted for about a week, then got my shit together and moved into Weir House.

Two years later, I’m still in Wellington, he’s still in the southern cesspit, and we are still together.

So, all of you freshers out there who have met the guys and gals of your dreams at uni and are about to be cruelly separated over the summer, I am here to tell you that it actually can work. The rhetoric that I know is being fired at you from left, right, and centre—“It’s definitely going to end badly,” and: “You should probably just break up now”—from all your pals and parents is bullshit.

I mean, I don’t think that it’ll be a hoot. I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that it can be godawful from time to time. Sometimes I miss him so much that I think I may just cark it then and there. It sucks that we have to have our fights over the phone and we can’t hug and make up afterwards. I spend every extra dollar I have on my trips down to visit him which means that I am constantly poor, and sometimes I go so long between getting laid that I swear to God cobwebs start to form down there.

It’s also going to need work. All relationships do, but one with a whole lotta distance shoved between the two of you needs a lot more. You’ll need to be sensitive, and patient, and very aware of the fact that you’re both going to get needy and annoying every so often. Thankfully, you no longer have to rely on pen, paper and a pigeon when those moments strike. Technology is definitely a long-distancer’s friend. Prepare to become intimately familiar with the workings of Viber, Skype and Snapchat, as those puppies will be what keep your relationship alive.

I can pretty solidly assure you that you’re going to cry, or get frustrated, or jealous, or just plain pissed at different points. But if they’re the right person and your relationship is worth going through all of that for, then it’ll work out in the end.

There are also some good aspects of long-distance relationships too. I’ve found that because we don’t spend too much time together, we don’t get sick of each other and fight about stupid shit. The time we do get to spend together is magic, and the sex is fucking mind-blowing. We still have our separate lives and friends, and long distance has definitely made us stronger both as a couple and as individuals.

In the end though, dear fresher, it might not work out. Your love may not last the distance, but the prospect of long-distance itself shouldn’t be a reason to pussy out on your relationship. Nothing ventured, nothing gained; if you never try you’ll never know, and various other clichéd phrases actually do make a valid point in this instance. Who’s to say that your relationship won’t make it through a bit of long D, and maybe even be better for it in the end?

So, best of luck to all of you fellow long-D-ers. I hope the summer flies by and that you are reunited with your lovers swiftly with your relationships still intact. If not, though, you can live out my initial plans and plunder Victoria’s ripe plantation of singletons. I’ll live vicariously through you.

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