How My Long Distance Relationship Changed Me
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How My Long Distance Relationship Changed Me

My personal experience on distance and dating

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How My Long Distance Relationship Changed Me
Bayly Grosskopf

I never thought I would be the kind of person to be in a long distance relationship. I always though that it was selfish to be with someone when you can't really BE with them. I grew up not having a very good example of relationships in my life. My parents were divorced at age nine and I had to mature a lot faster than most, and I never really got to experience that "one big, happy, family" scenario that every other small town American family seemed to have. I never imagined myself to be okay with seeing someone every once in awhile and practically dating a technological device because you couldn't actually be with the person in real life.

When I met Nolan I knew things were different. This wasn't an ordinary, "high school relationship" that lasts maybe a total of 4 months. This was not just about having a date to prom, or wearing a football jersey on Friday, it was genuinely about being with my best friend. When he (finally) asked me to be his girlfriend, it would have been stupid to say no because what is better than dating your best friend? No worries, I can answer that for you. Nothing. We started dating on December 27th, 2016 and looking back, I cannot believe how far we've come. When we started out I wasn't thinking about college, or moving away, or what the distance would do to us; I was just living in the moment and taking things one day at a time. Summer rolled around, and moving away came closer and closer with each passing day. I tried not to think about it because I tend to be an over-emotional person (overactive tear ducts, I promise) and I know he did too. I sometimes thought to myself, "Is this the best idea? Putting him through this?" "Am I selfish for wanting to be with him when I wasn't actually with him?" "What will distance to "us"?" However whenever I asked myself these questions, I always knew what the right answer was. I realized I had become the person that was okay with long-distance. Sure, 150 miles apart isn't ideal but it could work, it would work. I left for college confident that we were in a good place.

That first week was difficult. I had not only missed him but I had missed home. I definitely took for granted my mom's attempt at cooking real meals, not having to pay $1.25 to wash AND dry my clothes, and air conditioning. OH MAN DID I MISS AIR CONDITIONING. I was the literal definition of "home sick" but things got better, easier. I made new friends and they were a good distraction of everything that I was missing at home; last soccer games, high school gossip, homework dates, etc. As time passed, college became a lot easier (not the school work, but you know what I mean). I wasn't as home sick, and long distance became easier to cope with. Although I still bawled my eyes out every time I had to leave him, I knew that in the end it was going to be okay.

Even though I only get a few days with him every once in awhile, I wouldn't trade what we have for the world. Being so far away from Nolan has made me realize how much he means to me. It makes me realize that without him, I would not have become the person that I am today. 150 miles may be a lot, but when someone means as much as he does, miles don't seem to matter. The cliche quote does go, "Distance means so little, when someone means so much." This quote is SUPER cliche but I think it provides a lot of meaning when it comes to this specific topic. I no longer think of myself as selfish and I no longer question myself. My long distance relationship changed my perspective on the world almost as much as it changed me.

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