I get tired of answering the question if long distance relationships are hard. Yes, they are very hard. If someone tells you otherwise, they are lying.
However, I don’t have just a long distance relationship. I have a long distance lifestyle. Many people in the arm-forces have similar lifestyle. It is hard, and yes, it is challenging. Stop asking me how I do it. Because, I frankly don’t know.
There is so much of day-to-day things that you do not share with your partner. You do not share the thing that you see when driving home. You do not have someone to get you tea when you are not feeling well. A lot of things you do, you do alone. There are significant parts of your life that are separate. It is difficult to bring them together.
Yes, technology helps. Technology helps because you can message, call or email. However, technology does not shorten the distance. As a matter of fact, because of the distance you do not tell your partner a lot of things. You don’t tell them when things are going shit at work. You don’t tell them when you are not well. You don’t tell them the bad news or any news that would make them feel that they should be here with you but they are not.
The passion is seldom. The fights are worse. The achievements are never fully celebrated. Birthdays get missed. Anniversaries are just an acknowledgement by text. There are many tears and lonely nights. But, there is also much laughter and fulfilled dreams.
Holidays are seldom and so precious because sometimes those are the only real moments of togetherness you have. They are the only time you spend together, which is not consumed by someone or something else. However, that is not always the case. There are days that are hijacked by others and your own otherness. Whereas, on the last trip you would both cuddle first thing in the morning; now, they drink their first cup of tea in bed, and you go for a run in the morning.
Sometimes, you forget what it feels like to be touched or the way they look. Not the main features but small details like whether they had a wrinkles under their eyes when you last met. Also, every time you see them things have changed. Small changes have happened to them. The hair is grayer and the smile sadder. The touch is always new for the first few days. You are familiar with them but you are not used to them. The first few nights, you get annoyed that you cannot sleep in the star position on bed and the duvet suddenly feels smaller.
Those things are not easy and they never become easy. You don’t stay in a long distance relationship because it is easy, you stay because no one else makes you smile the way that person does. You stay because you love and know that when all is said and done, it is worth it.