Being In A Long Distance Relationship Over Valentine's Day Is Not That Bad, Promise

Being In A Long Distance Relationship Over Valentine's Day Is Not That Bad, Promise

It's important to take the time to appreciate your significant other and all that they do for you.
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Valentine's Day is a time to be with the ones you love, no matter how you do it. Whether it's spending an evening at a fancy restaurant or ordering take out and staying in. For me and many others, it is spent over a Facetime call.

For me, this will be my first time being in a long distance relationship during Valentine's Day. First off, I was really nervous going into a long distance relationship. I didn't know how I have heard the many horror stories of how a long distance relationship goes. One person changes and they don't want the same things. In extreme cases cheating is involved. It becomes really messy and really hard to deal with. But for others, it works out great.

But people take each year of being apart on Valentine's Day as just another day. Some couples may plan a Facetime date with a movie and their own meals, or it may be just another busy day of school or work. Either way, it's important to take the time to appreciate them for all they do for you.

There are lots of people out there that think Valentine's Day is overrated. That it was created to sell special candy and sell a cheesy card with puns having to do with love. However, that doesn't always have to be the case. Valentine's Day can celebrate your best friend or someone in your life you really care about.

I know a lot of couples who have been married for 10+ years don't make a big deal about Valentine's Day as much as young couples do. But even my parents, after 22 years of marriage, still go out of their way to do something special for one another. My dad goes and gets roses for my mom and my mom gets dad the candy he likes for his office. It's small gestures like remembering their favorite candy is what makes Valentine's Day special and cute.

For my first Valentine's Day with a long distance relationship, February 14th happens to fall on a Wednesday. Because we are busy college students with lives outside of our relationship, my boyfriend and I decided to get together either the weekend before or after Valentine's Day to see each other and celebrate in person. Although the Facetime call is nice, his presence over the phone doesn't do any justice unlike seeing him in person.

Overall, being in a long distance relationship isn't such a bad thing. It all depends on how you look at it. If you take the time to plan out when to see each other, it all fits together. As long as you do take the time to plan something and appreciate them, I think that's what Valentine's Day is all about. Be sure to appreciate the ones you love around you (and even not so much around you).

Cover Image Credit: Megan Pellock

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It's Time To Challenge 'You Complete Me' Culture

Your partner should be your companion, not your completion!

pmterch
pmterch
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After having some time to reflect after "The Bachelor" finale, I think this is the perfect time to put this article out there. In this article, I want to offer you a different perspective on how to view relationships. I want to challenge you to defy cultural assumptions of what romance is and shine a light on how codependency can squash your happiness.

The puzzle analogy

In wedding vows or proclamations of love, we often hear the phrase, "You complete me." We compare finding our person to finding the missing piece of the puzzle in our lives. Once we place that puzzle piece in the empty hole, we can finally see the beautiful and complete picture. Without that piece, we would be in a frenzy, searching all around under the kitchen table and on everyone's chairs to see if we find it. We desperately hope the dog, or the baby, hasn't eaten it. We hold out hope.

This comparison, as I have found, has created quite an issue in our modern day society. We are so obsessed with finding that missing piece in our lives to complete us that we often search in the wrong places or live in unending frustration. Sometimes we find a perfectly wonderful person, but they seem to lack everything on our checklists of what we have deemed as the perfect missing piece, so we let them go. If you are one of the lucky ones who has found a person who fills the void in your life, you often try to shove them into the puzzle as hard as you can and force them to fit. You need to be filled; you need to have the beauty of the final picture — without it, how could you ever be completely happy?

Where did I go wrong?

I was riding along in the car with my boyfriend when I realized we had hit a rough patch. We are a long distance couple — going to separate colleges four hours away from each other — but we only live two minutes away from each other when we are back at home.

I had never had a boyfriend before my second semester of senior year. I had always been very independent. I moved a lot, which meant anytime I got close to dating someone, POOF, there I went. But, this time I had finally stayed and found an amazing guy — my best friend.

When I was single, I was the queen of relationship advice (as we all are when we are not blinded by rose-colored romance). Finally being in a relationship made me realize how easy it was to fall into habits that I had always scorned others for. I began letting this relationship affect me in ways I never even suspected it could.

Don't get me wrong, this was not his doing at all. My boyfriend is the sweetest guy I know. He is always lifting me up and supporting me to reach my dreams. While we both struggle with anxiety and depression, we have found a way to always put our individual mental health first. My boyfriend had dated people before me, but I had not. This altered expectations of what this relationship was supposed to look like for each of us. He knew what mistakes to try to stay away from, while I was still trying to figure it out.

How to reframe your perspective in relationships

Regardless of my background, I think I have stumbled on the most amazing way of reframing perspective in relationships. Once I started changing the lens on how I looked at our relationship, we started bickering less and I became so much happier.

Here it is: your significant other is your COMPANION, not your COMPLETION.

Of course, you should feel happy and enjoy when your partner is around. They should treat you with care and make you laugh, but they should not be the person filling the empty piece of your heart — that isn't their responsibility. They should not be the ultimate source of happiness that makes you feel emotionally whole. This perspective is extremely unhealthy because people are fickle and we make mistakes. We screw up . . . all the time. Our culture loves to use the phrase, "You complete me." It sounds extremely romantic. However, it can be so problematic.

Now, when I spend time or communicate with my boyfriend, I see it as a lucky bonus we get after we both have spent time improving ourselves that day. When I text him, I don't expect him to reply to me immediately — even though I still wish he would because of the need for instant gratification, let's be real. I know that he is going after his dreams by working as hard as he can to make a life for himself. As a girlfriend, not only should I commend him for that, but I should also give him the space to do that. Likewise, I should go after my dreams and work as hard as I can to achieve them.

Your partner should be the fun blanket you have on top of your comforter. You would be just as warm without the blanket and still get a good nights sleep, but the blanket is still really fuzzy and gives you extra joy and you can wrap it around you while you are watching tv. And, if it is a really cold and stormy night, perhaps you snuggle up with your blanket and hold it tightly for a little extra warmth and comfort.

I am a believer in God, and I believe his holy spirit makes me whole. Regardless of if you share this belief or not, I think we can all agree that we are all supposed to walk through life together and lift each other up. If we expect to put our happiness and worth on the shoulders of one person, then that relationship is going to crumble. Why would you want the person you love most to crumble? I certainly don't. I want to be able to look my partner in the eyes and say, "I love you and I want to stand by you when you need me. When you don't, I will be okay because I am still whole and fulfilled".

pmterch
pmterch

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Why The Gays Are Willing To Go The (Long) Distance

Trust me, your significant other will always be there for you, no matter how far away you are.

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My fellow queers, have you ever had this issue: You're scrolling through your Tinder, looking at all the hot babes in your area, when you suddenly match with someone who's super cute and looks as if they're into the same things as you are. You look at their location and are surprised to see that they're only 25 miles away. Twenty-five miles away? that's great!

What I've often found humorous as a gay man, is that a lot of my fellow LGBT siblings are willing to go long distances in order to find love (or a good time). This is primarily true for LGBT folk who live in smaller cities or towns where there isn't as a large a queer community that you would find in places like New York or Los Angeles (or, Orlando and Miami if you're a fellow Floridian). So, most of us are stuck going up to 20-plus miles for dates or to simply see our significant other.

While that isn't a problem for us, we'd really like it if our dates were a little closer and that it was easier to see our significant others. While a lot (not all) straight people enjoy this luxury, even fewer LGBT folk do as well.

But, I think there's a hidden romanticism in being separated by distance. Distance and not seeing each other all the time can help strengthen a relationship.

What I've noticed about straight couples (and, this is by no means a drag on y'all) is that when you see each other all the time because you live close by, it can put a strain on a relationship. I feel like when you see someone so much, it can kill the romance. The passion will be gone because you'll become so used to the person's presence.

Having distance between you and the one you care for is hard, I know. Twenty miles can feel like a thousand, but the deep connection comes from it can close the distance between your two hearts. I mean, If the relationship gets to "that" point you could always move in together and become domestic with each other.

So, I feel like my point was lost in my ramblings but I guess what I'm trying to say is this: You don't have to be on top of your significant other to be in love with them or have a relationship with them. Take some time for yourself, do the hobbies that you love. Visit your friends without your S.O. tagging along. You have to remember, that at the end of the day you are both separate human beings who just happen to be in love.

Trust me, your significant other will always be there for you, no matter how far away you are.

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