When I was a senior in high school, I was dating a boy that I had met in high school. He was a year older than me and had decided to go away to school two and a half hours away from home to play college football.
At the time he left for college in August, we had been dating for about six months. We were just getting past that stage of awkwardness (that all new relationships inevitably have) and our relationship was really going well at this point.
When he left for college, I was really upset. I really liked him but knew that being two and a half hours away from home meant we wouldn't see each other a lot and on top of that, I knew his football schedule was going to prevent us from seeing each other even more.
I was really happy that my boyfriend at the time was doing something he always dreamed of, playing college football, but I was worried about the effect it would have on our relationship.
I remember I had planned to visit him for the first game of his college career! It was exactly three weeks from when he left home and we last saw each other.
Three weeks, that's nothing, right?
Or so I thought. When I had to go those three weeks counting down until I could see him again, as dramatic as it is, I remember feeling like it was SO long. It was so hard for me to try and put things into perspective because it seemed like it was such a long period of time! Up until that point, it was the longest we had ever gone without seeing each other so it was really difficult for us!
Long-distance obviously means being apart for long periods of time but no one ever talks about how long those periods of time feel like!
When we finally did see each other, it was amazing but it was always so hard to enjoy the moments spent together.
Being on borrowed time with someone is one of the worst feelings in the world.
It was always so hard to try and actually cherish the time we had together because I remember always being so consumed with trying to savor the time.
Given that we never were able to spend really large amounts of time together when we did see each other while he was at school, it was always hard to come up with things to do that we both enjoy as well. I think that that is a struggle in many relationships but particularly in long-distance ones, I think it can be hard.
Time apart from your significant other changes you.
When you are in a long-distance relationship, you have to find new ways to fill the time that you normally would be spending with your other half! Whether it is taking up a new hobby or hanging out with your friends, you will most likely develop new habits in your free time (and that's a good thing!).
For me, that meant I started to have some new interests. When I did see my boyfriend, I wanted to do different things with him that he wasn't used to. It was hard because he wasn't used to it which made things difficult when it came to having to find things to do that we both enjoy.
Same goes for him, he was being exposed to all different sorts of things at college. He was starting to develop new interests and likes which was hard for me to adapt to.
To try and make the time apart seem easier, we would talk on the phone a lot. We would try to FaceTime each other every single night. Looking back, I can't believe I spent that much time on my phone but I did what I felt was right and honestly, it did help.
We were able to make it through his freshman year of college long-distance but ended up going our separate ways the summer before I left to go to college myself. For the sake of my ex's privacy and out of respect for him, I won't go into any detail on why we broke up but I can say that for me, the long-distance did play a role in things.
It is really hard to try and nourish a relationship when you are hundreds of miles apart from each other.
If you can do it, and feel like it is worth it, then do it. If it feels right, it usually is. For me, it wasn't but I did learn a lot of valuable lessons for it.