4 Things I've Learned From Living 541 Miles From My Love

4 Things I've Learned From Living 541 Miles From My Love

Between the two of us, there are 541 miles and a million lessons we've learned.
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If you'd told me on my 17th birthday that less than one month later I would meet someone who would change how I view the world, I would've laughed in your face. Except, on November 22, 2015, I did.

I met my now-boyfriend of two years via Skype through a mutual friend and changed how I view the world he has. It's a little bit funny to think about falling in love with someone who lives 541 miles away from you through a camera, and it seems crazy to think that anything like that could possibly last. But I did, and it lasted.

In our relationship, we've faced challenges that can seem minuscule to anyone who hasn't dealt with them themselves. We've have had to think critically through things that should be simple in high school and college relationships. Through it all, I have become a stronger, gentler, and more understanding person. Here are the four most important values I've learned.

1. Patience

I don't get to see him every day. I don't even get to see him every week or every month. I had to learn to accept that I can't always be with him when I want to be, so patience has become a virtue. Being away from him makes every moment with him even sweeter. I've learned to apply this throughout my life as well.

2. Trust

This trust is deeper than trust I've ever given someone else. It's when he tells me, "It's going to be okay," and I believe him and when he says, "Don't worry about it," so I don't. I began trusting him with the little things and the big things at the same time.

3. Compromise

News flash: long distance relationships are expensive. Between plane tickets, gas money, shipping costs for gifts, and more, I've found myself really broke really fast. Because of this, we have to miss out on a lot of big events in each other's lives. We were unable to be together for either of our junior year proms and senior year I skipped my own to be with him. During our first winter break of college, we wanted to spend it together, but also with our families, so we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with his family, drove for nine hours, and then had Christmas dinner and celebrated the New Year with mine. We've each had to give up some experiences in order for us to experience new things together.

4. Sacrifice

I didn't want to be the girl who chose where to go to college based on where her boyfriend was going, so I didn't. And he understood. I knew that choosing the school that is right for me was more important than shaving five hours off my travel time to his school, so I chose the school eight hours away from him that was right for me. We have to make really tough decisions about what is best for us right now and what will be best for us in the future and to do that we know we each have to focus on ourselves first.

Our relationship has made me a stronger and better person in all aspects of my life. Even though I find these to be the four most important, I know I have grown and will continue to grow as a person because of our relationship.

Cover Image Credit: Ashleigh Hardwick

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Why You Should Stop Chasing Him

You deserve better.
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They say “the thrill of the chase" makes someone more enticing. There's just something about wanting something you can't have that drives you crazy (in a good way). There is never a dull moment. Pursuing him is a challenge. Nothing comes easily. What's the fun in that anyway?

I'm going to tell you this: stop chasing him. Stop forgiving him when he forgets to answer your text messages and phone calls. Stop being the one to always make plans. Stop letting him bail on you. Stop waiting around for him. Stop being lied to. Stop making excuses when he doesn't make time for you. There is a difference between someone who is “hard to get" and a flat out jerk who doesn't give you the time of day. Stop letting him use you.

You deserve to be with someone who makes you fall asleep every night in the middle of texting him because neither of you want the conversation to end. You deserve someone who plans dates for the two of you. You deserve someone who asks you to hang out before midnight. You deserve someone who wants to spend time with you just as much as you do with them. You deserve someone who insists on paying for your ice cream. You deserve someone who won't deceive you. You deserve someone who is straightforward. You deserve attention. You deserve affection. You deserve a partnership that is mutual, not one-sided. You deserve to be chased.

You are better than 3 a.m. “Hey" texts. You are better than a night spent watching a movie just to fool around. You are better than trying to decode his vague messages. You are better than his shadiness. You are better than mind games. You are better than being ignored.

If you have to chase him, he's not worth it. Don't settle for someone who makes you beg for his attention. If he is genuinely interested in getting to know you, he will put in the effort. A relationship where your feelings are reciprocated is far more rewarding than one where you constantly feel like you have to drag him along.

Change your mentality. Become more independent. Be confident, be bold. Find happiness in being alone. Don't waste your time pathetically chasing after someone who doesn't feel the same, but doesn't have the heart or the courage to tell you so. Your self-confidence and positivity will make you radiant, and eventually, you will attract the kind of guy who is mature enough to not mess with your head.

Cover Image Credit: weheartit.com

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I Know That If We Can Make It Through Long Distance, We Can Make It Through Anything

Why long distance is the best thing to ever happen to me

Emi
Emi
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I don't.

It isn't.

There are parts of being in a long distance relationship that I never know if I will fully be able to articulate. The moment I said goodbye to my boyfriend when we left for college freshman year, I closed the door behind me as he drove away and just crumpled to the ground and sobbed. This sounds unbelievably dramatic, and I had never been an emotional person until this moment. However, the fear of the unknown was paralyzing. My best friend was about to live five hours away from me, I was going to be in a different time zone, and I didn't know when I was going to see him again. This was my first real experience where I felt like I had just lost someone I loved.

Of course, I didn't really lose him. But that moment, everything did change. I was forced to become independent and had to re-learn how to find happiness being alone. And boy, was I alone. The first few days after he left, I was still at home preparing to move to my school. I could hardly function. I barely ate, and I had never felt so drained of energy. Whenever I would play music and a song that reminded me of him came on, I could not help but cry. My parents physically dragged me to a "going-away" dinner, and I only spoke a few sentences the whole time. Again, this sounds ridiculously theatrical (and if I had not actually lived through it myself, I would agree). My first semester at college, I was the definition of lost. It took me a long time to find myself without my best friend by my side.

But gradually, things got better (and continue to). Now, our goodbyes are still sad but not quite so sloppy. I no longer feel empty without him. I have found my passions at school and with these discoveries have come people that share them. I have an established group of friends, I have a clear professional direction, and I have goals that feel achievable. Re-creating my identity outside of a boyfriend, while unbelievably difficult, has forced me to self-reflect on who I am as an individual and who I want to become.

Because I don't have a boyfriend around to spend weekends with, I spend all my time with my friends. I have time to dedicate to school, an on-campus job, and serving on executive positions for multiple organizations. My schedule is my own, and I can create time to go to the gym six days a week. I am able to get coffee with potential employers and explore the city of Indianapolis without worrying about canceling plans with my boyfriend. I have truly had an independent college experience, and I do not doubt that this has allowed me to become more involved and invested in my friends, my schoolwork, and my extracurriculars than I would have had we gone to the same school.

These are the things I try to remind myself of when we spend Valentine's Day, both our birthdays and almost every single weekend apart. This is what I force myself to think when he is missing from my sorority's formal, date nights, and philanthropy events. When my roommates spend the night with their boyfriends multiple days a week, I smile and say, "Have a good night!" I try not to envy their position too much because I tell myself that long distance has given me so many opportunities.

This is true. But I also miss him, all the time. One thing is for certain, long distance has made me a much stronger individual. I have learned how to find happiness outside of being with him. I have discovered more about myself the past few years alone than I would have had we been at the same school. I have fostered life-long relationships with my friends.

And, at the end of the day, I know that if we can make it through long distance, we can make it through anything.

Emi
Emi

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