Friday, 29 July 2016

Guest Post: Online Relationships – the Pros and the Cons by Lucy Sutcliffe

Today I have the lovely Lucy Sutcliffe on the blog sharing her experience with online relationships to celebrate the release of her book Girl Hearts Girl.

Online Relationships – the Pros and the Cons

I first met Kaelyn on Tumblr way back in 2010. It was a blisteringly hot day in June – the kind where you sleep on top of the duvet with the windows open all night – and the sunset that evening was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I'd been scrolling through Tumblr listlessly all night, unable to sleep, until a post from a girl whose blog I followed suddenly caught my eye.

“I’m thinking of coming out to my parents soon. A few of my friends know. I’m 22 and getting ready to leave the country for the next four years for veterinary school. I think I should come out to them before I leave. But I’m terrified.”

My heart stopped. I, too, had been struggling with my sexuality for as long as I could remember. 'This is fate,' I remember thinking. 'I have to reach out to her.' I sent her a quick email, and, well... the rest is history. 

The rush of meeting someone so utterly perfect for me was quickly met with the crushing realisation that she was 4,000 miles away on a different continent. There's no way to sugar coat it – it was tough. Really tough. We spent over a year messaging back and forth, Skyping each other multiple times a day and posting each other little letters and packages every now and then. After thirteen months, we finally, finally got to meet in real life.

Meeting each other for the first time was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced. We spent five glorious days together, roaming along beaches, eating at fancy restaurants, going on movie dates – the things that most couples take for granted. I think that's what made saying goodbye at the end of the trip that little bit more painful. I'd become so used to having her by my side that the thought of having to say goodbye again was something I couldn't bear thinking about. When the time came for her to drop me off at the airport, we didn't want to let each other go. 'Just a couple more months, and we'll see each other again,' I remember her whispering. 'We can do this.'

We went back and forth between continents for just over four years. Saying goodbye never, ever got easier – but we did learn to cope. And, believe it or not, long distance does have its perks. Without face-to-face interaction, you're forced to come up with new ways to communicate, and new ways to express love. We sent each other dozens of love letters. We made each other videos and wrote endless, heartfelt emails. We mailed each other surprise packages and gifts. And most of all, we talked. We talked for hours. And when all you want to do is hold someone's hand but you can't, the next best thing is being able pour your heart out to them. 

Of course, sometimes, all you want is to fall asleep cuddled up next to the person you love. Sometimes, all you want is to walk down the street arm in arm, or share a pizza on the sofa in your pyjamas. But when there's a distance between you and you can't do anything about it – make the best of it. Use it as an opportunity to try harder, be better, be stronger. While online relationships are difficult to say the least, they are most certainly not impossible.

Being able to finally move in together and close the distance between us for good was the most triumphant day of my life. And you know what? I wouldn't have changed it for the world. The struggles we went through made us stronger in the long run. We never stopped fighting for each other, and because of that, we had no choice but to keep going. That's the best thing about love – once you've got a hold of it, it's impossible to let go.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today Lucy! 
For more from Lucy follow her on Twitter @LucyLiz 
Check out Kaelyn and Lucy's website here
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