Sunday 6 September 2015

How To: Think Ahead For Your Future

Every relationship has its own goals. Whether you’re in a long distance relationship or a close distance one, it’s important to have a goal or maybe an idea for your future hopes. A long term relationship isn’t worth having if neither of you are willing to put the effort or commitment into it.

So if you find yourself in a long distance relationship, there is a 95% chance that you’re in it for the long haul and it isn’t just something you’re experimenting with compared to close distance ones whereas people are more relaxed and just go with the flow. Many of us (I say many of us but I mean like all of us) who are actually in a long distance relationship want commitment and want something permanent out of it and that’s usually closing the distance and settling down into a life together. Davy and I are no different. We’ll be discussing our future plans and how we intend to go about them.

So where and how does a couple start thinking about their future together?

First of all, you need to make sure that you’re on the same page as a couple. Both of us discussed what we intended to get out of the relationship. We were both pretty young still, and uncertain with what we wanted to even do with our lives. But we knew that we wanted to be together and to make distance work - as tough as it would be. We had random conversations where small hints of our individual goals for the relationship were casually slipped out. Whether it was by Davy making cheeky comments regarding marriage and an idea of having all the big TV news stations at our wedding (thank goodness that idea could never come to fruition because we’d much rather a more intimate ceremony) just to show our love off to the world, or by me just bluntly asking him the direction our relationship was heading.

I think it’s important to get these sort of conversations started early on in the relationship, even if they’re wishes at the time being - you need to know that both your heads and hearts are in it for the long term and having conversations about it, is a great way to break the ice for those type of serious conversations in the future. For example, if one of you makes a cheeky comment about your hopes for your relationship and then a few hours or days later the other one may go ‘you know what you said about us and the future, did you really mean that?’ and see where it leads you. Don’t be angry if your SO backs down a little and tries changing subject, the key is to carefully introduce the subject of your future. Commitment isn’t for the light hearted and it can be a daunting subject for a person to take serious. Try to understand it from their perspective and their current situation before you start going all Godzilla on your SO.

Now you’re on the same page as a couple, it’s important to start considering your next steps. But what exactly are they? The next step really varies on the individual couple. Depending on your own personal commitments and situations (e.g school, work etc), you need to navigate these waters even more cautiously. You need to start thinking realistically and practical. Do you really need that cool new gadget that costs £250+ and will only be used once in a blue moon or could the money go towards closing the distance? I’m not saying you can’t buy those things, but you can still get them when there are discounts on - think Christmas or other popular sale seasons like Boxing Day or Easter here in the UK - saving you a ton of money, whilst making sure to put some away into your savings. It’s important to make sure you budget your money and distinguish your needs (bills, money for visits and important travel documents etc) to your wants (nights out, gadgets, designer clothes and games).

For us, the next step was to start thinking about how we could make our little wishywashy daydreams about being together for good into a reality? But what would that entail? It was pretty scary because it was the first serious relationship that the both of us ever had. We had a few bumps along the way, and in our 3 years, 10 months, 2 weeks and 6 days relationship we’ve occasionally needed to breathe and get ourselves back on track.  There have been times where both of us have just splashed out on things we didn’t need, rather than save them up for visits and putting them aside to make our dream of closing the distance possible. But we’ve got through those moments and realised we needed to be more sharper, more on the ball as a couple and as individuals. Every obstacle we face, we adapt and defeat it together. That’s the thing about relationships, no matter how long you’ve been together or how experienced you are with relationships or dating, you’re constantly learning and adapting. You could be together five years, or even thirty and still be learning a lot about your own relationship.

Now we’re here and we’re not far from closing the distance, between five and six months from now (fingers crossed). Money is being saved up, plans are constantly being made and adapted, the process of buying packing materials. Calling shipping companies for quotes will happen, Davy will also be asking his manager to help him transfer over to my local branch of Domino’s so he has a job to jump straight into and then we’ll finally be ready to start the next chapter of our lives together. And after we’ve defeated the distance, our sights will be set on becoming financially settled, getting married and then one day having our own family (in many years to come, we hope). We can’t wait.

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