Getting into any relationship can seem scary, especially when your partner lives hundreds of miles away. The near constant worry about what goes on in their life when you can’t see them can overwhelm just about anyone. Learning how to conquer this fear and trust your partner takes time and you will have a lot of obstacles in your path.
That said, the pros of a long distance relationship, more often than not, outweigh the cons.
I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend, Nick, for almost a year and a half now. We met at our job in Louisville, Kentucky. Ironically though, we didn’t talk much until we both moved away. While I attend the University of Kentucky, he goes to the University of Iowa. Yes, Iowa. A whopping 550 miles away from Kentucky. Did I know what I planned on getting myself into at the time? Quite frankly no, I didn’t.
For us, it seemed normal not seeing each other every week or even every month.
Of course, I wonder what does when I’m not there. What do his friends like to do? How does his school treat him? Trust me, finding yourself in a long distance relationship makes you wonder how your relationship would differ if you both lived in the same place. Sad to say it but this concern doesn’t go away. Would it make it better? Worse? With no way to know, you have to just stick it out. Yeah, I’d love to go drive over to his house when I’m bored but once you come to terms with the fact that they live miles away, it becomes easier.
Some people can’t handle a long distance relationship. It takes a toll on you emotionally and can make you question the decisions you’ve made about your relationship. I went from jealousy towards couples who simply had a relationship to jealousy towards them for having their partner in their life all the time while I can’t. Most couples get to have a “normal” relationship and go on spontaneous dates or just experience life together. Not so lucky, my version of normal consists of FaceTime dates and Snapchat streaks.
Technology seems like the third partner in our relationship at times, and I’m thankful for that.
Because of FaceTime, texts, phone calls and social media like Snapchat, I often forget about the distance. Easier than ever to stay connected, it allows us to keep up with each other’s lives. One aspect of a long distance relationship proves most important: communication. Not communicating well can very well end in a disaster. Even if you have a really busy day, sometimes all you need to do is send that quick “Hey, I have a lot to do today. I’ll call when I can” text. It means more than you think.
To me, the little things matter the most in a long distance relationship.
A good morning text, a surprise phone call, a letter in the mail—all of these mean so much more to me than they would if I had a “normal” relationship. It makes me cherish our time together when we actually get to see each other. We love every second we get to have together because we know we don’t have a lot of them. As a result, it makes us appreciate each other more. When we do see each other, we spend our time doing fun things like going out to new restaurants or visiting the new cat café. This way, we make the most out of the time we do have together.
The amount of personal time you have while in a long distance relationship can seem like a negative though I view it in a positive light. When I can’t spend time with Nick, I have more time to work on myself and my own goals. I have time to work on my academics and my personal ambitions without having the pressure of balancing a relationship as well.
Every relationship will inevitably hit a rough patch or two. But you can’t get hung up on the bad times. A long distance relationship will come with its own struggles on top of the “normal” relationship issues and learning how to handle them will present problems in itself. But knowing that you can thrive with your partner makes it clear that if your relationship overcomes the distance, it will come out stronger in the end.