3 Things I've Learned From My Long Distance Relationship

3 Things I've Learned From My Long Distance Relationship

I've come to learn and appreciate all the aspects that come along with our relationship.

This coming June will mark my three year anniversary with my girlfriend. We've been in a long distance relationship the entire time which has come with many challenges but also many beautiful experiences.

Through our almost three years together, I've come to learn and appreciate various aspects that come along with our relationship. I've had many "light bulb" moments where I've realized how much I appreciate the little things that this relationship has taught me. Here are three things that I've come to love about being in a long-distance relationship.

1. Airports are equally the most exciting yet saddest places.

Flying to your significant other is riveting; butterflies explode in your stomach and you can't help but continuously check the time. Once you land and reunite with them, it's like you never left. When the visit comes to an end, whether you're watching your significant other walk away or you're in line at security, there's guaranteed to be tears. The number of times that TSA has seen me cry is more than I would like.

2. You get to meet new people.

Through being in a long distance relationship, I've met some pretty incredible people. I've met part of my girlfriend's family and her friends; even though it's nerve-wracking, because you want to get along with everyone, you're most likely going to get along since you're important to your significant other everyone in their life is going to be excited to meet you. By meeting others, not only does it create a sense of acceptance and community but it also allows you to talk to connect with the people in your significant other's life.

3. You learn to really appreciate and value the time you spend with others.

Since you can't constantly be with your significant other, you grow to appreciate the time you spend together. My visits with my girlfriend are normally 5-7 days (unless it's summer) and so during that time we stay up late and get up early in order to check everything off our to do list. I never let go of her hand and more often than not I'm staring at her trying to memorize every inch of her face.

I've come to appreciate the small things as well, like the smell of her laundry detergent. Sometimes, in the sad moments when you don't know the next time you'll see the one you love again, you hang on a little longer and hug them a little tighter.

Cover Image Credit: Limelight Magazine

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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.


"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"


"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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A Thank You To The Boy Who Taught Me I Always Deserve Respect

I always knew it, but you made it known that it was a priority to you too.


When I was a freshman in high school, I started a relationship that lacked the one thing I always promised myself I would demand: respect.

There was a major absence of respect in the way my very first serious boyfriend spoke to me, treated me and frankly, made me view myself. When I ended that relationship, I did not expect much from other boys because of the way this particular one treated me. I wish I could've seen what was coming.

Until I met my now-boyfriend, I had no idea certain behaviors were things that guys did in real life. I had no clue that opening a car door for a girl was still a thing. I didn't know simple things like holding my hand in public weren't a chore and an embarrassment, but actually something a guy who wants to show off his girl does. I didn't understand that yelling, name-calling and putdowns weren't supposed to be an everyday part of a relationship.

Before you, I had no idea that respect was such a simple, beautiful thing.

Thank you for teaching me that respect is something I should always expect in life. Before you, I thought it was something I had to work for, not something I deserved without thought. Thank you for STILL opening my car door for me, even after being together for almost 3 years now. Thank you for always respecting my family, even when I know my siblings are getting on your nerves. Thank you for respecting the fact that my anxiety gets in the way of my life a lot and accepting it instead of poking fun at me for it.

Before you, I didn't know how to be comfortable and be myself because I always felt like I was being judged. You showed me how to be happy with who I am and to never hide parts of me away. You have respected even the darkest parts of me, something I never thought I would find in another person.

I never thought I would find someone who would accept me and all of the parts of me I didn't like. A person who would laugh with me over stupid things. Someone who would drive me to the hospital at 11 pm when I'm sick. Someone who would drive almost 400 miles just to visit me for a weekend.

I could go on and on about the different ways in which you respect me because there are many, but I will leave it with this. You made me understand that just because someone else may not think I am worthy of respect doesn't mean I shouldn't treat myself with it. The greatest lesson I've ever learned from you is how to respect myself and my happiness.

You have never called me a name, you have never made fun of me unless we are playing around and you have never made me feel any less than worthy of every ounce of love and affection you choose to shower me with. Respect is a small word with a very large meaning and I couldn't be more grateful that you have shown me so much of it.

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