In a few days I’ll be in Paris with my boyfriend celebrating a year of being together, officially. It will be exactly a year since I asked him out in a pub in Winchester, that first weekend we spent together. He does like to point out that he thinks we’ve been together for longer though seeing as our first two dates were in August last year, plus there’s been something between us since 2015 when we both swiped right.
For us, it’s always been a long distance relationship, where we commute between England and Spain, between my student house in Southampton (and now my family home in London) and his shared flat in Madrid. We’re lucky we’re not as far away from each other. It could definitely be worse. Imagine if we’d hooked up before I went on my year abroad in Mexico. That would have been real tough.
There are advantages to this type of relationship. We both love travelling so going to Spain three times over summer and visiting different towns and cities was lovely. Then there were other times where we would be at his family home in Álora and everything would slow down for the both of us. Not only do we get to see more of Spain together, but we’ve also seen more of the UK, from days in Brighton and Winchester to weekends in Bristol and Cambridge. We’ve also been to Porto and Lisbon, and we’re heading to Paris in a few days. (Even with these trips, we still haven’t actually taken a flight together.)
We’ve met each other’s relatives and friends, been camping twice together, enjoyed live music together, and we’ve even played house in Fran’s dad’s flat in Benalmádena. Yet the longest we’ve ever spent together in one go is seven days. So in November we’ll be playing house again, when Fran will be here for two weeks keeping me company, flat and job-hunting while my parents are away. Am I excited? Fuck yes. Am I nervous? Not as much as I have been.
We’ve definitely had our ups and downs over this year, aggravated by a few life changes from me graduating and moving back in with my parents and trying to find a career, to Fran finishing up a job contract and being on the lookout for a new one here in London.
LDRs can be tricky to manage and maintain but to be completely honest, I think we’ve done a great job so far. We speak almost every day via Hangouts where we watch Friends, That 70s Show or the occasional film, we make the effort to see each other regularly, and we have plans for our future.
Our relationship may not be ‘normal’ or ‘conventional’, but it’s ours.