I’m not sure if any of you know this, but my relationships (yes, plural) with my fiancé started out as long distance.
T H E F R I E N D S H I P / T H E F I R S T T I M E
Joe and I met at college in late 2010 when I was 17 and he was 16. He joined the course that I was doing from another and we started talking and we got on pretty well. Looking back now, I guess we flirted a lot. I liked him and he liked me but neither of us actually knew this at the time.
After a few months, Joe left college to join the RAF and we spoke on Facebook occasionally. Then we started texting every now and then when he had the odd few minutes spare from his RAF training and eventually (about a year after he’d left college), he asked me to go on a date with him one weekend when he was home. Talking to him made me realise how much I had grown to like him again, so of course I said yes.
When we saw each other it was like it had been at college (which was such a relief) and I had such a good night. We went to see a horror film – The Devil Inside – and Joe recently told me it was because he was hoping it would scare me and I’d cuddle up to him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t remotely scary so that didn’t happen!
The next day, he asked me to be his girlfriend and our first relationship began there. During the week, Joe was in Wales working and I was at college at home in the West Midlands and every weekend he would come home so that we could see each other and I was so happy with him.
T H E B R E A K U P
Unfortunately, some people I was still at college with were jealous of our relationship and got involved and that caused Joe to break up with me.
A week or so later, he did text me to try and get back together but I was so stubborn because I was so upset by it all that I said no and then that was it – we didn’t speak for two years after that. We deleted each other’s phone numbers and he blocked me on Facebook – it was your typical teenage break up, haha.
R E C O N N E C T I N G
(I should note that by the time he broke up with me, I was already in love with him and I hadn’t had a boyfriend or anything close in the two years that we were broken up).
One night when I was at university, I was scrolling through some of my old Facebook photos and Joe happened to have commented on one of them when we were still together. I noticed that I could click on his name which meant that I was no longer blocked, so I went on his profile. I hovered over the message button for so long before chickening out and going to bed.
I hovered over that button every day for a week before I finally found the courage to message him. It was at something ridiculous like half past three in the morning and it was literally just the word hi – I figured that if he didn’t reply, it’s not like I’d sent him anything embarrassing so I had nothing to lose.
Luckily for me, he replied the next morning and we just began talking again and it was like nothing had ever happened.
We spoke every day from then on and he told me that he was going book some leave from work so that we could see other when I was home from university – I was in Aberystwyth in Wales and Joe was based in Lossiemouth in Scotland by this point.
T H E S E C O N D T I M E
The day we were due to see each other, I was so nervous. During the time we’d been talking, we’d both told one another that we still loved each other but what if when we saw each other we realised that wasn’t the case and we just thought we did because talking again had been nice? What if it was awkward? What if he no longer found me interesting or attractive?
I had absolutely nothing to worry about! It was exactly the same as it was the first time around. We spent the day together at his house before heading to Birmingham for a night out. We went to a jazz bar called the Yardbird (it’s closed down now, boo!) where we watched Joe’s friend play in his band and it was amazing! In between drinks and the music, he asked me to be his girlfriend again and I was so happy – it was as if we’d never been apart in the first place. I knew that if we got back together, that it would be for good.
T H E P R O P O S A L
About a month and a half after us getting back together, Joe took me to Paris for the weekend. He told me it was because I’d never been abroad before and even though I had a holiday booked for about a month later, he wanted to be the first person to take me – which, even though it wasn’t the whole truth, was still lovely. We went up the Eiffel Tower and saw it light up as the sun set and it was amazing! We decided to walk down, rather than use the lift? to make the most of the view and when we were about half way down, Joe stopped and asked me to marry him. I panicked and said “don’t do it” as I realised what was happening even though it was as far from what I was thinking as possible! The man that I had been in love with for over two years and had made his way back to me had asked me to spend the rest of my life with him! I couldn’t have been happier.
The two of us on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower
T H E D I S T A N C E – W H E R E T H E P R O B L E M S S T A R T E D
Being over 500 miles apart was hard! We’d Skype every day and we texted/talked on the phone pretty much constantly but it just wasn’t the same as being together and obviously we couldn’t see each other as often as we wanted to because we both had commitments as well as the fact that travelling that distance was expensive! We’d see each other as often as possible, but that still wasn’t enough.
The distance, mixed with Joe’s work stress and my uni stress/depression really put a strain on our relationship. There’d be weeks where we would argue every day and there were so many times where we could have broken up again because of just how bad it was.
Luckily, as my university experience was coming to an end, I had less of a workload which meant that we could see each other more regularly and that really made a difference.
T H E P R E G N A N C Y
Despite the arguments we’d had, we were still in love with each other and we were still engaged. Eventually, after the arguments had dwindled and we were in a better place, we began discussing children and both agreed that we’d like to have a baby – although we didn’t think it would happen as quickly as it did – not that that was a bad thing… I wouldn’t have wished for it any other way.
We knew that my period was later than usual and I was due to be travelling up to Scotland to see him a few days later, so the night I got up there we went and bought two pregnancy tests. I did one that night and one the next morning – they were both positive! My immediate reaction was fear because I hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly but soon after, I felt so unbelievably happy! We both told our parents who were all very happy about the news.
A N E W B E G I N N I N G – N O M O R E D I S T A N C E
Once I’d finished university about a month later, I moved up to Scotland to be with Joe and now that we weren’t dealing with the distance, things were even better between us. He had moved off of base and we were living together in our own flat and we agreed that the constant arguing was definitely due to us being so far apart and taking our work/uni frustrations out on each other.
From then on, we focused on being excited about our baby arriving and enjoying actually being able to spend time with each other, appreciating the little things like cooking for each other, being able to go out on dates more often, being able to sleep together etc.
Now, Joe has left the RAF behind and in December 2016 the three of us moved back to the West Midlands where Joe and I are from and where both of our families live. Joe has a job where he is much happier and I’m glad to be close to our families so they get to see our little girl grow up.
The way our current relationship has played out so far has been a little bit unconventional and some people may not agree with the order in which we did things but honestly, I wouldn’t have had them happen any other way. I found my way back to “the one” and now we have an amazing little girl and I couldn’t be happier with our relationship or our little family!
If you’re currently in a long distance relationship and you’re dealing with some similar issues and would like to talk/need some advice, feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d prefer