My boyfriend Malik and I have currently been dating for over a year. It has been the best year, but filled with its ups and downs like any other. I attend Arizona State University, which is over 1,000 miles from my hometown of Houston, Texas, where my he still lives. We got together at the end of my senior year of high school, and I had already decided where I was going to college, so we didn't know what to expect with me moving two states away and being a new couple. The day to go off to college came before we knew it, and it was time to say our goodbyes. And let me tell you, we were both a MESS, but we knew we could make it work.
My first semester at college was super rough. It was my first time being so far from home and my family. I went through a lot, and being away from Malik was just the cherry on top. We had only been dating for about four months at this point, so we were just getting started. We went through some tough times my first month out here. We were constantly frustrated and stressed about the distance between us, bringing us both down sometimes. We knew though that we couldn't let the miles between us get the best of us. We had to keep our heads up. If we didn't try and look at the bright side of things, the two of us probably would've gone insane. But now as my first year of college is coming to an end, I've figured out five key ways we make it work.
Nightly FaceTime/Phone CallsGiphy
Every night we make sure to talk on the phone. With the time difference being two hours it can be difficult sometimes, with him working and me doing school things, but we manage to talk every night even if it's for a few minutes. It's always nice to see or hear each other's voice since we can't physically be in each other's presence.
This was a big thing for us, especially during the first semester when I got to come home for the first time. Knowing the exact amount of days until we meet again always keeps us positive. We would say, "We only have x-amount of days to get through." and it's something that stays in the back of your mind if you're ever down.
By communication, I don't mean the nightly calls. I mean communicating how we feel to each other. I will admit, sometimes I can shut down and won't say how I feel, but I am getting better. There are times where I'll be frustrated or sad, but talking it out helps. There's been instances where the two of us have been in a low at the same time, but venting to each other about what is going on has helped grow and strengthen our relationship.
Patience is key. It's key in every relationship, but it is super important to just stay patient with states in between you. I know that sometimes I'll get frustrated, or Malik will, and we have learned to be patient with each other. Distance isn't something we can control and something that isn't going to change either. This is the first time for both of us to be in a long distance relationship so it gets tiring and irritating, but you have to just take a deep breath sometimes and think of the light at the end of the tunnel when it's all over.
Being away from your partner is definitely difficult, but you can't dwell on the negatives of the situation. I know that's something I definitely did in the beginning, but I learned that it just brings us down. It sucks not getting to see your person every day, but if one person is negative it makes the other negative too and then both parties are sad. As the legend Bob Marley said, "Don't worry, be happy."
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