Surviving a Long Distance Breakup
This week’s guest post is written by Laura Thomson-Bache, a British-born New Zealand marketing graduate planning on spending the next few years traveling the globe. Laura loves painting, all forms of chocolate and hopes to one day have a successful blog and PR career. You can read about Laura’s adventures on her Tumblr account.Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!
Simply Solo Spotlight: Surviving a Long Distance Breakup
I remember reading blog posts a year ago warning me of the turmoil long distance relationships bring. At the time, I was in the midst of head-over-heels love for my then-boyfriend. He would be moving back home to the other side of the world soon enough, abandoning me to finish my degree as he had finished his here in New Zealand. I remember thinking to myself, “We’re not like all those other couples. We’ll be able to handle the late night Skype sessions, the ongoing calls for hugs and kisses that won’t be answered. Our love is what keeps us together – not hands!”
A year later, and I’m coming up with excuses to encourage him to break up with me. I’m a wuss avoiding the potential burden of regret as the breaker-upper. I’m telling him I won’t be able to move to Canada for another year, it’s too expensive, it’s not going to work. And he agreed. He accepted what I said and we broke up. I cried over Skype, begging him to join me in my sudden resurgent wish to fix us, a mere grasp at straws for the fear of being alone and unloved. We haven’t spoken since.
Long-distance sucks, well and truly. Whilst in the relationship, the need for stronger trust and dedication to keeping in constant contact can be tiring and disillusioning. Whilst you’re getting ready for bed, they are just getting up, ready to do something with their day without you. The relationship is an attempt to mesh two worlds that don’t align. Because of this, I had made the decision after much brain wracking that I would visit him. Despite this decision requiring me to miss weeks of classes and spend all of my savings, I thought, “It’s worth it. This is the love of my life and we’ve come this far already. This is going to be an amazing trip that will cement our relationship’s strength and will create beautiful memories.”
Little did I know, whilst I was in Canada, the so-called “love of my life” would continue to display characteristics I thought would long be gone by now, characteristics that should disappear when you’ve put so much into the commitment of another from great distance. Something that shouldn’t be happening when this distance is finally closed and you have a long lovely month to appreciate each other’s company.
I was wrong. Touching up girls in sexually inappropriate ways, sending flirty sweet texts professing his love to girls who were not me; this was not what I signed up for. My mind was constantly thinking things over and spinning round in circles during my trip. If he was doing this while I was living in his home, what on earth was he like when I was back at mine on the other side of the world?! The demise of my trust for him was on its way, and by the time I had arrived back home, my trust was practically non-existent. Hence, I pushed us into arguments with lies that I couldn’t return to Canada, just so I didn’t have to deal with being called a “whining, complaining girlfriend” for bringing such “petty” things up as I had experienced before. He thinks we broke up because of the distance and the arguments. In reality, we broke up because I realized I didn’t deserve to feel like an idiot.
Considering I am usually an emotional wreck post-any situation that causes the slightest bit of stress, I have been recovering rather well over the past few months. I had this vision of my recovery post-breakup; an aftermath of countless months lying in bed and a red, puffy face stuffed with ice cream. The reality has been significantly less movie-esque. My heart sometimes aches, but instead of aching for him like I thought it would, it is more a deep sadness that he stole a year of my life. A year that could have been spent with someone who respected me enough to be faithful and wouldn’t crush my self-esteem in the process.
I have learnt a lot about long-distance relationships and the ensuing breakups. There are both pros and cons of having a breakup with a partner on the other side of the world. Whilst you’re not going to bump into your ex and your surroundings are unlikely to remind you of them, a relationship built so strongly on constant conversations and an emotional rather than a physical bond leaves you feeling empty inside when it is torn away, something a simple rebound just cannot replace. This however has forced me to seek new avenues to fill the void that is heartbreak. I’m planning my travels to new continents, signed up for classes over the summer, and I’m bettering myself day by day by putting time into me, rather than a dead relationship.
Having no contact has helped a lot, and is easier to maintain in a long distance breakup. No contact allows you to distance yourself from the memories rather than constantly creating new ones through ongoing conversations with an ex-partner about their new life without you! Simply block all avenues of online and mobile conversation and voila, you are free from the unwarranted misery that drunk dialling/Facebook stalking can cause.
As I graduate and figure out my plans for traveling the world, I’ve realised I don’t need my ex and I never did. I have put things into perspective and realised that if we stayed together, I would have moved to Canada to be with him. I would have been adopted by his friends, adopted as a part of HIS life – I wouldn’t be making mine. In long distance relationships, there is always this notion of sacrifice. I have learnt that although I’m willing to sacrifice money and time for a long distance relationship, I’m not willing to sacrifice my dignity, self-respect, or my life.
What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made to maintain a long distance relationship? Do you think recovery is easier or more difficult post-LDR breakup?
Copyright 2013. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.