Being in a relationship with someone who works away for long periods of time can be hard work. I've been with my boyfriend for a couple of years now, but I knew him as a friend for a while before that, so I was fully aware of his job before we started dating. He works on an oil rig, which puts him many miles away from me for two weeks out of every five. Doesn't sound so bad? Well, when you add it up, it still equates to him being away for just under half of the year.
At the beginning of our relationship, being apart was absolutely awful. When you first start seeing someone, you want them to be there all the time for the soppy "getting to know you" stuff! It's hard to have distance between you when all you want to do is be together, and there were many, many long phone calls and as much online messaging time as we could possibly squeeze in while we were both holding down full time jobs.
The good news is, it does get easier. Or maybe not easier, but you certainly get used to it. Developing coping strategies is of utmost importance to keep the relationship strong. Here are a few tips that could help make things easier for you if you're in the same situation.
Make the most of technology
Skype is probably the best invention ever for couples who are forced to spend time away from each other. Unfortunately, this option isn't available to all couples who have to live apart, but if it is, make the most of it. Even if you just use the built-in messenger to tap out a few messages during the day, that extra bit of contact helps. You can also use things like Facebook to leave messages on each other's walls, or Twitter to let him know you're thinking of him. If you're not into that kind of thing, a good old-fashioned telephone will do the job just as well!
Plan your time wisely
Knowing you only have a limited amount of time with your guy when he's at home makes it more important than ever to use the time wisely. There will be boring everyday tasks you have to fulfill, but don't forget to make time for fun. Plan some day trips, or even a mini break if money allows. Doing things that will bring you closer is vital to making sure your partnership thrives.
When your man is away from home, it's very easy to sink into misery and decide you won't do anything until he gets back. This is a surefire way to make the time drag on forever. Get busy! If you have a full time job, it really helps because it means you will be occupied. If not, find things to keep you entertained. Meet your friends, perhaps join a class or two to make your evenings less dull. Anything you can find to stop you moping will make the time fly, plus it will give you lots of interesting things to talk to your boyfriend about when he gets back!