Never did I expect for my relationship to turn into a long-distance ordeal, but when opportunities call, things change in the blink of an eye. When my boyfriend got accepted into a police academy in a different state, of course I wasn’t going to stand in his way. With still having a year left of my own schooling, being apart can be hard, and it definitely has it’s up and downs, but here are eight things that being in a long-distance relationship has taught me.
1. I learned to be independent.
When your significant other isn’t a phone call away anymore, you truly learn to rely only on yourself. I learned how to make myself smile, and do the couple things, like going out to eat, studying together and making each other laugh, myself. I learned to understand myself more, and became stronger as an individual.
2. I learned to communicate.
Communication can easily make or break a long-distance relationship because it can become boring and ineffective but, I learned to communicate in creative ways. Being in separate states means that you can’t sit in the same room and have a conversation, which also means body language is out. I learned how to be creative with phone calls, text messages, and video calls. I learned how to communicate effectively, just as if he was in the room with me.
3. I learned to appreciate my relationship more.
When you’re used to going on dates and spending time together, it can be hard to adjust to not being able to do these things that were often taken advantage of. I learned to appreciate all the little things in my relationship. I learned to appreciate the random text messages and phone calls, the visits, and just the simple things that are often overlooked in relationships.
4. I learned to put someone before myself.
Sure, when I found out that he was accepted out of state, I didn’t want him to go. However, I learned to put him before myself. I learned to not be selfish because you never know who you’re going to lose for putting yourself first. I learned to put his needs and wants before my own because I knew it was important to our relationship.
5. I learned to trust.
Trust is the most important thing I learned. Trust is important when you suddenly aren’t knowing the other person’s every move, and they aren’t knowing yours. Learning to trust is huge, without trust the relationship is just asking for trouble.
6. I learned not to put my life on standby.
When my relationship first changed into a long-distance relationship, I didn’t realize the importance of making sure that my lifestyle didn’t change. I learned that it was still OK to go out with friends and to still do all the things I had been doing. I learned that doing these things can also help keep you distracted from the distance. Being able to continue on with your life and not let it stop, is important to keeping a healthy relationship.
7. I learned that it does get easier.
Long-distance relationships are far from easy, and they can be challenging at times, but they do get easier. It took a few months, but I learned that they are doable. You start to know when you two can talk and when you can see each other again. You start countdowns and look forward to visiting, and even learning to distract yourself from the distance makes it get easier.
8. And most importantly, I learned that love doesn't know distance.
I learned that no matter what, a strong relationship will stay strong through the distance and that no matter what love doesn’t know what distance is. If you both want to be together, your relationship will withstand the distance.