Long distance relationship - making them work

Skype LogoMy girlfriend lives 200 miles away. That’s a long distance for two people that don’t have access to a helicopter. We’ve been together for a while now and I can honestly say that the distance never gets any easier to accept. It’s a grind for either one of us to get to the other end of the country, with the average trip taking four or so hours. It also means that we miss out on the activities that couples would normally do together on a regular basis.

It feels ridiculous to say, but simply wandering around Tesco pushing a trolley and buying food for the few days together that we’ve managed to find time for in our diaries is Heaven sent. Walking hand in hand, window shopping, catching THAT LOOK in her eye across a coffee table. Everything that most couples take for granted is special in a relationship where you seldom spend much time with each other. Normality in an abnormal partnership.

It’s been a few weeks since we saw each other last, and one night during the week I got a text message asking if I was free in half an hour. Of course I was. It was then that Elaine suggested a Skype dinner date.

Some friends have laughed at this, but it was fantastic. Me, sat in front of my laptop, eating a pizza. My girlfriend, still 200 miles away, sat in front of her laptop, eating curry. We chatted about our day, complimented each other, gossiped about everyday occurrences and generally did something that people do all of the time. It felt strange not to be able to reach over and touch her hand, and there was a couple of times that the sound dropped or the picture quality fell, but it was still great to do something so normal.

Maybe it was because it was unexpected. Perhaps it was just a new experience. Either way, it ranks as one of the nicest and most memorable things we’ve done together, and even thinking back on it now makes me smile. Whether it will become more common remains to be seen. Busy lives, families and domesticity all get in the way, but until one of us has that helicopter, Skype will have to do.

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