RELATIONSHIPS: Far At Hand

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On my more dramatic days, I like to say I’m destined to do long distance. My last relationship took place inter-city for over three years, until we found ourselves at a standstill, neither of us willing to sacrifice our careers, friends or favourite haunts in favour of blissful cohabitation. We couldn’t bridge the gap, if you will. I swore I’d never have a ‘weekend boyfriend’ or a ‘phone relationship’ again. A couple of years later, I accidentally fell in love with a beautiful English boy battling visa dramas and sponsorship setbacks. Inter-city?

Try inter-country. It’s hard listening to friends claim they haven’t spent a night apart from their squeeze since they first met, while I stare awkwardly into my latte, feeling a bit sorry for myself. Truth is, no one’s life path is perfectly aligned with anyone else’s. Relationships take work and commitment; hurdles are constantly navigated even without the added stress of oceans between them. I’m not the biggest fan of talking on the phone or constant texting, but getting my thumbs moving is a small price to pay in the long run.

So, is the distance worth it? Do I wish I had someone to make me a cup of tea when I get up early for work, or kiss me on the cheek after a stressful day? Absolutely. But I’ve also learned to appreciate the ‘me’ time, not to mention the joy of a weeknight schedule packed with dinners, desserts and date nights with friends. At the same time, I’ve learned to handle the guilt when I turn down a girls’ night on the same evening as my number one is in the city. I won’t lie, I hesitated for a long time; I wasn’t sure if I could do the distance thing all over again. In the end, it was the rightness of it all that convinced me we would be OK; the surety with which I look at him, the way he makes me laugh and relaxes me out of a frenzy with a smile and some well-chosen words. When it’s right, it’s right, right?

Every relationship is different; sometimes things just don’t work, situations change and life gets in the way. I could say it was the distance between my ex and I that had our life paths moving roads and rivers further from each other, but I don’t really believe that. I suppose it takes having been in the wrong relationship to know when you’re in the right one. When we’re sharing popcorn at the movies or clinking ciders on the balcony, I realise that all the days and weeks in between have led to this moment, and I know it’s worth it. And if we eventually tie the knot, maybe we won’t have to compromise about which country to marry in. Hello, two dresses!

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