For two years, we wanted nothing more than to have casual nights of watching tv together -not stressing about the day one of us has to fly home. We wanted to be like a “normal couple”.
In the beginning of a long distance relationship, people don’t always take you seriously, especially if one lives across the pond. People just kind of give you a fake laugh, like “good luck with that!”, after you tell them your story- I hated that. Then, they proceed to tell you how they couldn’t do long distance or they tell you all sorts of statistics. Over the years, I learned how to just smile and nod. I learned that everyone has an opinion, and long distance isn’t for everyone.
How Did We Meet?
Well, I am from St. Louis, Missouri and my boyfriend, Chris, is from London. We met in 2017 on an online dating site. I had just graduated from nursing school and wanted to become a nurse in the U.K. I didn’t realize how long it would take to get my nursing license in the U.K.. I thought maybe a few months. I thought it would be fun to create an account on a dating site and set my location for London, just see what was out there (stupid of me, I know haha). I didn’t expect to start a relationship of any sort. Guys did message me, but I wasn’t interested. And then it happened…. haha, Chris messaged me. I really loved his profile. I told him I wasn’t in London yet, but that I would be in a few months (I was just guessing). We decided to message on Whatsapp because we really enjoyed talking to each other.
We constantly messaged on Whatsapp for weeks, and then we decided to Skype a few weeks later. Right before we Skyped, I was a bundle of nerves- I was so nervous and so excited at the same time. I thought I was nuts for doing this, there is no way we could ever make something like this work! He’s 4,000 miles away from me. We finally Skyped…I had never laughed so hard before- the hours flew by. We had the best conversations! We could have talked hours and hours. I was so happy. Despite how happy I was, I kept it all quiet from my family, because I didn’t think they would take me seriously. Around three months later, he flew to St.Louis for a WEEKEND to see me! I didn’t tell anyone because I wanted to get to know him. It was so hard to say goodbye. We didn’t even know when we would see each other next.
Not long after we met up in St. Louis, I registered with a nursing agency and they said I needed a year of experience before I could be a nurse in the U.K.. I was so devastated. I didn’t think Chris would want to do long distance, because it would probably take more than a year. We decided to make it work and that we would need to see each other throughout this long distance period.
We did distance for two years and we got quite used to it actually. We made little holidays out of it! We went to Toronto, Miami, Boston, Cardiff, he stayed with my family and I stayed with him in London- even met his Family in Wales. For every trip, we would make a fancy spreadsheet with all the things we would do on each holiday- it was really fun!
Our first trip together was in Toronto, which was 5 months after we first met in St. Louis. That was our longest wait. I had just started my first nursing job and couldn’t use annual leave for a bit. Looking back, going to Toronto together for a few days and not really knowing each other all that well was a RISKY thing. What if we decided we actually hated each other after the first day together?? Luckily, we realized how much we loved each other. As each day passed, I would get a little depressed- I didn’t want us to say goodbye. I didn’t realize how hard saying goodbye would be in a long distance relationship!
Every 6-7 weeks was how often we met up! And I know what you’re thinking- how the heck could you afford that?? It wasn’t easy. Luckily, I lived at home so I didn’t pay rent. We often found flight deals and were pretty thrifty. We learned how to plan trips really well. I think we would make a good travel agency haha.
Whatsapp and Skype were blessings during our long distance. We would watch The Apprentice over Skype, or a random Netflix movie. He was six hours ahead of me, so we had to make sure we made time for each other every day. We had to learn to be really good communicators. If something was bothering one of us, we had to talk about it, not get angry and hang up. Also, days after getting back from one of our holidays, I would often be sad at home, I had to learn to stay busy and just remember we would see each other again soon. I found that it was easier to say goodbye when we knew the exact date we would see each other again.
After Long Distance
I finally moved to the U.K. in February 2019. I lived in Cambridge and worked at the hospital there, while he was living/working in London. Luckily, we saw each other all the time! Just an our train ride to get to London and a 30 minute tube journey. We lived apart for seven months, and then we officially closed the distance in September. We have a house halfway between London and Cambridge. It is the BEST. It was SO worth the long distance. All the planning we did, those tears shed at the airport, and weeks apart, it was finally over.
To those of you who are in an LDR, don’t listen to the negativity. If you really want it to work- you can make it work. It is so worth, believe me. Comment or send me stories of your long distance relationship stories- I would love to hear them. I am rooting for you!