Little background info – I was in a long distance relationship for about three and a half years. My boyfriend and I lived 3 hours apart from each other, which wasn’t horrible. But with school, work and everyday life getting in the way, there were times where we’d go weeks on end without seeing each other. We were also 17 when we began dating and 18 when we started long distance, so we were literally children.
We made it work though, I never felt worried about what he was doing or vice versa. TRUST was how we made it so far in long distance. The distance showed me what it really meant to miss him and it felt good to have to really work for something and someone that I wanted. When we’d finally get to see each other, we wanted to make the most of every single second we had together and we didn’t want to waste that arguing. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way, if you’re upset, you’re upset and the timing is less than ideal. Looking back now, it’s not realistic that every visit we had together was going to be perfect.
While having technology like skype and facetime definitely made long distance a bit more manageable, nothing beats actual face to face conversation. Texting made it so much easier to say things, maybe things we wouldn’t necessarily say in an argument in person. Texting leaves so much room for interpretation.
Regardless of all of these factors, long distance stops working when both of the people in the relationship stop working. Whether you live 5 miles apart or 5,000 miles apart, relationships are hard and long distance relationships are twice as hard.
- Trust – like I mentioned before, if you are worried about your significant other cheating, or being around other people without you, long distance is not for you. Your mind will never be at ease, and it will honestly drive you insane.
- Sacrifice – you both are going to have to be flexible. Sometimes work or school or life in general gets in the way and you can plan ahead as much as you want, but sometimes things don’t work out. On this same note, if someone wants to make something happen, they will. Moving schedules around and giving up time spent in other areas of your life are things that will be affected by long distance relationships.
- Normality – Try to create somewhat of a normal routine since you’re not together physically. Whether this is a text in the morning, or a phone call at night. You don’t have to be glued to your phone, but keeping the other person in the loop of your day and what’s going on will help the difficulty of not actually being together.
- PLAN – Try as much as you can to plan out dates of when you will see each other and try as hard as possible to stick to them. Things happen and life happens, but getting your hopes up and not really knowing what the plan is will only leave you irritated and annoyed.
- Remember that it is not normal – long distance is not normal in any sense. If being apart is causing more pain and hurt than your time together, it may not necessarily be worth it.
- Is there an end? – My boyfriend and I lived 3 hours apart because of college. We knew that eventually we’d be back in the same city. Not really having an end or something to work towards can really take a toll on your relationship and leave both of you confused. Try to think of the big picture as much as possible. If you find yourself constantly bickering and arguing over things you cannot control at the moment (the distance) try to take a step back and ask yourself if this is the person you see yourself with for the rest of your life. That is bigger and more important than any small argument going on at the moment.
Long distance isn’t for everyone. It’s stressful and different people need to be loved differently. There is no right or wrong way to love or be in a relationship. If you’re in a long distance relationship, the bottom line is: are you happy? It is honestly very simple, if you are more happy than you are sad, then keep going. Keep working at this and you will make it through.