When we announced we had got together, nobody was particularly surprised.
We were best friends for five years before we got into a relationship. We were inseparable and only interested in each other. Everyone else twigged we were destined to be together before we did.
Through our teenage years we were united by the fact that boys were not on our agenda. Neither of us could understand the appeal of them and we were constantly baffled by our friends’ interest in them.
Getting together and going the distance
By age 15, I had declared myself ‘probably asexual’ and Saskia had decided she was ‘probably gay but not particularly into girls either so who knows to be honest’.
A year later we had our first kiss and realized we both identified as demisexual.
Google defines demisexual as ‘a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone’.
When I learnt this, everything about my sexuality (or, more specifically, lack of sexuality) suddenly fitted into place.
We got together on our last day of high school. In hindsight this probably not the best decision as this was also when I moved to the other side of the country.
I like to think we took this on the chin. We were best friends already, after all, so my imminent departure was going to be difficult either way and we were well prepared for that.
Ironically, I think the distance became easier because we were in a relationship. If we had been in a ‘long-distance friendship’ it would have been harder to justify spending all our money on train tickets.
So, our long distance relationship began as soon as we got together. It is hard for us to imagine being one of those couples who get to see each other every day.
Imagine be able to have a hug from your girlfriend every time you want one? Sadly, we can’t relate.
But long distance relationships aren’t all doom and gloom. When we do see each other it’s essentially like the second coming of Christ. The difficulty of being apart suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all worth it when we reunite, even if it’s only for a short period of time.
How we make a long distance relationship work
The early days of our relationship were the most difficult. We didn’t know how to cope with seeing each other so little. Since then, however, we have learnt a lot about how to strengthen our relationship and support each other when we are apart.
Communication is important in every relationship. But in long-distance relationships it is so important to always be clear about how you’re both feeling.
Most of our stupid arguments and general unhappiness take place over text, and it’s usually because of a misunderstanding lost in translation over the text-sphere.
One of the things we’ve learned is to call each other whenever we are feeling down. We call just to talk – even if it is along the lines of, ‘I just saw a cute dog and wanted you to know.’
It is also so important for us to know our long distance is only temporary. We have an end goal in sight. Right now it’s to be at university together by the end of the year.
That is something we are constantly working towards. When things are tough, we know that we won’t be missing each other forever. One day we will be together all the time.
Obviously that is getting closer by the day. But when our relationship first began, we knew we were going to have to survive two years before the distance ended. So we found short-term goals are just as important as long-term goals.
That’s why we constantly plan things to do when we are next together and set countdowns until we see each other.
When we miss each other, there is honestly nothing more therapeutic than buying train tickets. It’s a reminder of good things soon to come.
Dealing with other people’s doubts
People often say to me, ‘I could never be in a long distance relationship!’ And of course it’s hard, but it’s certainly not impossible and it’s definitely always worth it.
We’ve met many people who are skeptical of our relationship. Some of my personal favorite comments include ‘are you sure you’re not just best friends?’ ‘demisexuality isn’t real,’ and, of course, the age old ‘how do you have sex?’
We respond by approaching relationships with an open mind. That’s what we did and it worked out pretty well for us.
Turning to YouTube to help
But when we started our YouTube channel to raise awareness of ‘other’ sexualities, the LGBTI community responded in an incredible way.
People messaged us saying they feel more comfortable in who they are after watching our videos. We hope our videos can help people to feel more optimistic about their future regardless of their sexuality.
And we are super excited about being at Student Pride in London in February. We will be on a panel with other influential LGBTI YouTubers, talking about demisexuality and offering long distance relationship advice.
We will also talk about how young people can turn to YouTube videos for help with their sexuality. That’s quite a personal topic for us as we both remember scouring YouTube for coming out videos when we were trying to figure out our own sexualities.
I feel so lucky to be in a relationship with my best friend, and we are so excited to see what the future holds for us.
National Student Pride will run from 24 to 26 February in central London. Tickets are available here. Gay Star News is the media partner of Student Pride.