Dealing with Long Distance Relationships

Dealing with Long Distance Relationships

It's not about the distance. It's about the effort.
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This article was written by Mitchell Muir and his girlfriend Rachel Rinehimer.


A relationship usually starts with both individuals together, but life has shown us that being together all the time is almost impossible. We all have different ambitions and goals and sometimes, we can’t conform to someone else’s lifestyle. This is where long distance relationships come into play. For us, our long distance relationship started when we both left for college.

I (Rachel) go to Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. My boyfriend (Mitchell) goes to Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Mitchell and I are exactly seven and a half hours away from each other while we are in school. Therefore, we do not get to see each other very often during the school year. However, through all of the craziness of our academic and extracurricular schedules, we manage to stay in close contact with one another. We start off by making sure that we talk to each other at least once every day via text, phone call, or video chat. Being able to physically see and hear your significant other is very important. By doing one of these three things at least once a day ensures that you both will have some form of contact with each other. Whether it is talking about how each other’s day was or what their favorite class is, being able to express your emotions with your significant other is very important in a long distance relationship. I also find that writing letters to your significant other at school is a very effective form of communication. Although it takes Mitchell’s mail about 2 weeks to actually get to him, it means all the more when he gets my letter to him on a bad day. My favorite things to send him are “open when…” letters. However, I write the letters on notecards so I can fit all of them into one envelope to send to him (it’s saves me money on stamps). Mitchell has told me that he loves receiving letters from me and keeps them close by when he really needs to read them.

Another thing to remember about long distance relationships is that your relationship is not going to be perfect! Long distance relationships are NOTHING like you see in the movies. You won’t always be able to find time to write those “Dear John” love letters or get to talk to them on the phone 24/7…….and that’s OK! As a very smart, handsome young man (Mitchell) once told me, “It’s not about the distance….or even the time...it’s about the EFFORT that you put into your relationship that really counts”. I for one always keep that statement in my mind at all times. Mitchell and I both have social lives at school. We started our relationship knowing that we weren’t always going to get to spend a large amount of time together during the school year. However, this doesn’t include all the time that we get when we both go on breaks. Even though we do not get a lot of time to be together on breaks, we still manage to be with each other and enjoy each other’s company…...even if that means becoming an active part of each other’s families! (Guilty as charged!!)

Being separate from each other for long periods of time causes for those small incremental moments to be all the more noteworthy. The breaks our colleges give us provide us with ample time to catch up. After hanging out on a daily basis over the summer, we had to adapt to a new form of communication. For couples to last for long periods of time, it is important to be able to change to new environments when necessary. So between leaving for school and being able to see each other again was almost two months. Thanksgiving was the first time since the summer that we could officially hang out. I have come to realize that our dates have become more meaningful and we find more reasons to hang out than the simple movie nights. Comparing that with how it was over the summer and I can see that it is a huge difference. Most people nowadays seem to want to stay close to their significant others because it is more comfortable and less complicated, but I will say that those types of relationships tend not to last long due to the refusal to adapt. Sometimes they can be restrictive for each other and they may not even know it. I have known friends who only go to a certain college because it proves easy availability for their girlfriends, and the fact that they consider themselves not ready for the long distance relationship. Being able to operate efficiently when far away from each other is highly important for any relationship, and being in this relationship has taught me that is undeniably true.

Long distance relationships aren’t meant to be easy. Being able to overcome such obstacles is vital for any type of relationship. For me, it is always important to impress my girlfriend, especially when she is not exactly in a good mood. Sometimes I can’t always be there for her, but it’s highly important to let her know that I can still be there for her even if I can’t physically be there. And for me (Rachel), I believe that it is very important to let my boyfriend know that I care about him and I want him to succeed in everything that he does….even if that means him traveling the world without me. I know that I will always be here, waiting for him to return with arms wide open. Long distance relationships teach us that staying in touch when times are tough means that we are both willing to sacrifice something for the other’s benefit. If you both are willing to understand that sacrifice is required for a long distance relationship to work, then everything will work out for your benefit.








Cover Image Credit: Piop

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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I'm Moving Away From My Boyfriend But That Doesn't Mean We're Breaking Up

Long distance or down the street, we're staying together.

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Back in September, I applied and got accepted into the Disney College Program. This means I'll be away from my home state for four months, maybe six and a half if I apply and get accepted to extend my program. Being gone, I'm not only leaving my friends and family, but I'm leaving my boyfriend too.

A ton of people have asked me if we're going to break up and to set the record straight, the answer is NO.

Why would we even think about breaking up? It's only four months, and that's nothing. I blinked and we were already dating for four months. It's going to go by super quick.

On top of that, he supports me going and was beyond happy for me that I was accepted on the first try—not to brag or anything)! He wants me to go, not because he wants time apart, but because he knows that it's an amazing opportunity for me. He reminds me every time the Disney College Program comes up.

We both know that we're still going to talk to each other every day, or almost every day depending on my schedule. But we're both adults and can send a quick message to each other so that we know we aren't ignoring or forgetting about one another.

I think that a lot of long distance relationships don't work because of all this fake stuff people watch in movies and on TV—like no one is going to miss the most important business meeting of their life to have brunch with you...

One thing that I've noticed about people moving away and being in a relationship, is that they don't communicate. They don't communicate their worries and fears BEFORE they move, they don't do it during the move and if they are coming back soon they don't do it AFTER unless it's in a fight.

The thing about my boyfriend and I is that we've talked about what's going to happen when I have a crazy crazy schedule and it doesn't line up with his already busy schedule. We've talked about what's gonna happened when I leave and when I come back. We've talked about thing plenty of times and I think that we've for the most figured it out.

The other thing that I noticed with people going into long distance relationships is that they expect way too much and too many unrealistic things, and I think a lot of this comes from what is shown to us through social media.

I don't expect my boyfriend to jump on a plane every other weekend to come see me, and he doesn't expect that I do the same. We don't expect to have regular conversations like we do now, we both know that we might get a short window of opportunity to talk to each other depending on our schedules. We both know that it's going to be hours and hours before one of us replies to a text message. I don't expect him to send me a million and one packages. I don't expect him to drop everything to have a 10-minute phone call with me, and vice versa.

There are too many expectations and not enough communication, and I think that this is a huge problem when entering a long distance relationship. It's probably the reason so many people have asked me if we're breaking up or not. Yeah, it's going to be tough being away from each other, but we wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't worth it.

Oh and for the record for everyone who's asked me about us breaking up, even if something were to happen, guess what? We've already talked about it.

This is an opportunity not only for me but for him too and us together. So, yes, we're staying together but it's not like that was anyone's business anyway.

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