All I've Ever Known Is Long Distance Relationships

All I've Ever Known Is Long Distance Relationships

Saying goodbye never gets easier. Period.
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At this point, I've given too many 'squeeze tight' hugs to know that they don't prevent the heartache or the absence of a loved one who lives far away; even though I always expect them to. Its never mattered how many extra seconds I held on for. I just knew it was comforting in the moment. Truthfully, long distance relationships thoroughly suck, but I've learned a lot through them.

As long as I can remember, my dad has driven a semi truck throughout the week and is only home on the weekends. When I was little and only tall enough to hug him around his leg, I'd squeeze him as tightly as possible, he would kiss me on the forehead, and tell me how much he loved his little girl. tears... I know. Usually, after he'd hardly get out of the door, I'd run after him for one more hug... It couldn't EVER just be one hug and I still can't tell you why.

Even though there may be some daddy/daughter time that was missed, he's still been there for everything he possibly could have and more.

And even to this day, I say "Dad's home" and my dogs bolt to the door no joke. ((probably because he brings them McDonald's..spoiled)) Bottom line, after twenty years I've realized a few thing things.

a.) It doesn't get easier to say goodbye and wish him a good week.

b.) I still don't call him enough.

Sending extra surprises for him through out the week helped me too. I would slip homemade cookies with a note in his bag so he could find them at some point during the week. I always wanted him to know he's always thought about and that I'll never be able to thank him enough for the time he has sacrificed to support us. I literally won't ever be able to accomplish that but I think cookies help..

My grandparents live forever and a day away (really, only eight hours... but as a kid in a car, it felt like forever). After twenty years of minimal grandparent quality time, I'm still confused as to why our generation doesn't have 'grandma matching' websites?? Spending time with her in the kitchen, cookin' up her famous dessert like every grandma has, is irreplaceable. Living without embarrassing stories of my parents has been a killer too. My grandparents have always live out of state and spending any kind of quality time with them had to be lived within seventy-two hours, three times a year. Now that they're both gone I've realized a few things.

a.) Sometimes there's nothing you can do to change the situation, but you can make the best of it.

b.) Unconditional love will never be defined by distance.

My brother Dan served in the army about seven years ago and whether he was in basic training or Afghanistan, I couldn't wait to Skype or write him letters in only red or blue.. because that's totally the American thing to do.

At one point in his service, I had no idea Dan came home from leave. He surprised me and woke me up for school the morning he got home. I still can't even explain the pure joy in my heart that morning!!

A picture of his daughter had me giggling so hard. She's only four, absolutely beautiful, and going to have to deal with everything I did growing up...(she won't be able to date until she's married hehe).

a.) I don't call him enough either.. Truthfully, some people you just can't call enough, you still unbearably miss them.

b.) Whether it be a picture of his family or he's telling me he's moved up in his job again, I'll always be proud of him as a person. Just because there's only like 1,000 miles between us doesn't mean I don't get overly excited for him. Actually, it makes me hate the miles between us even more.

In high school, my last thought was adding another LDR. After two years of dating my high school sweetheart, we parted ways and went to different colleges. It's takes prayer, patience, trust, and a lot of communication to go so long without seeing my better half. The 48 hours that seem to go by way too fast, are some of the best times we've had together. Yeah, it's not easy but honestly what relationship is?

So out of this crazy mess, what have I learned?

a.) I'm don't fear as much. I've always been a fearful person. Enough that my mom would have to introduce me to friends when we went camping. I never been exactly 'confident' which plays a huge factor into relationships. I've gotten pretty worked up over basically nothing on the phone with Matt. I've questioned my ability in being a girlfriend, am I good enough, what if he meets someone better... the list goes on.

Matt and I are complete opposites because the boy walks with peace and calmness in any crisis while I'm going in circles how not having a clue what to do. Although I worry, he reassures me what's true and reminds me of the truth.

b.) Whether you're in a LDR or with your better half all of the time, you have to intentionally date. Sometimes, we invest our time together in movies, electronics, or other things that distract us away from interacting with each other. We don't get every night or even every weekend now, so we go on really cool dates now, talk about our day, and learn more about each other than ever.

c.) Saying goodbye will never ever ever get any easier. period.

d.) I trust frat boys now. It's a miracle.

5.) Morgie, Dani, and Hannah: my sweet CofO sisters. It felt like a break-up when I transferred schools without them. We survived a year without our cars (it's a College of the Ozarks thing), daily cafe food, General, Organic, Bio-Chemistry, and just getting through our first year away from home together. I've never laughed or cried at 2 a.m. so hard with anyone in my life. We still have a group text and when we see each other, it's like time hasn't passed. Soooo....

a.) You can NEVER replace sisters.

b.) We still visit each other and it will never ever ever get any easier to say goodbye. Also, sometimes you have to be spontaneous with distance. On weekends that you and said friend don't have to work or have homework (which are very rare and impossible to plan) you drive two hours to see said friend.. :)


Cover Image Credit: Online Atlas

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

They will do anything for you, literally.

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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8 Things Only Your Long-Distance Best Friends Will Understand

We can always choose to be stronger than the miles in between us.

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A few days ago, I packed up my suitcase from my best friend's place in Florida after visiting for a long weekend. I always think it's going to be just a little easier leaving this time than the last, but it never is. We seem to have a better time than the last one. Our dates on the calendar come slowly, but our time together goes by way too fast. Soon I found myself holding my people close, then standing in the airport alone crying my eyes out because I already missed my best friends.

Because I have far away friends, I always have someone special to visit and a guaranteed good time. It's exciting to not only to make memories at home with them but also at their college and other places as well. People go to college, graduate school, pursue dreams, get jobs, tie the knot and eventually settle down. We can either lose our long-lasting friendships, or we can choose to fight a little harder to remain close. I choose the second; not because it's easy or convenient, but because it's worth it.

Life often takes people across the city, across the state or even across the world from us.

1. People underestimate the power of a phone call.

Miles in between you and connection problems can make talking face to face impossible, but your person is always just a phone call away. Even if you can't see their face and expressions, there is nothing quite like hearing their voice on the other end of the line. It's almost like you are right there with them when you come together to talk about what is going on in your lives. There is nothing that says two friends can't spend time together and hang out, even if it's not physically.

2. Out of sight doesn't have to mean out of mind

I am not close geographically to "my people" but they are still close to my heart. I will continue to invest in them if they are five minutes away or five-hundred miles. It makes no difference because we are more than the miles between us. My friends have boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, jobs and some even have kids. Your friend may have a boyfriend or girlfriend, parents, jobs, kids and tend to get distracted by everything around them. This is normal to let your everyday life consume your thoughts, but you can make room to let other things enter your mind too.

Have things around your place to remind you of them, set reminders to check on them and get into a habit of catching up with people while doing chores or going somewhere. There are a few people I try to text on the daily — sometimes it's me reminding them I'm thinking about them, something random I saw that made me smile or telling them good morning. Every phone call, text and attempt at putting in the effort will make you two just a little closer than you were before.

3. It's tough to not be there when you really need and want to

Time passes and the other person can begin to change. It can be difficult to find common ground after you've been away for a while and your lives are two separate worlds. It can be easy to lose touch without intentionality, hard work and commitment. Keep the lines of communication and honesty open. Show up and be fully present. You both deserve the friendship to be genuine and prioritized.

Far-away-friends give missing people a whole new meaning. It's hard when you can't be there for every birthday, graduation, break-up, celebration and bad day. But, even between the hundreds of miles, time zones and missed ice cream dates, they are still your person. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter because you would do anything for this person and to keep your friendship with them. Long distance is worth it to still call someone your best friend.


The best stuff is always difficult. It sometimes takes longer. But you're deserving of people and people are deserving of you. Don't hold back or isolate based on past fear or that one time it didn't go so well. Pick yourself up and make the next hard move towards people. Towards abundance. Towards a life outside the lines. You've got this. I believe so fiercely in you — Hannah Brencher

4. You don't have to talk every day to be close.

We don't have to talk every single day. Sometimes it's not possible with college, jobs, family, other friends and just life in general. It gets so busy, but the right ones make time for you whether it's on their commute, the weekend or at the end of a long day. When you do long distance with someone, you usually can know pretty quickly if they are one of the rare ones you may not come across in life again.

The smallest things often make the most impact — a text, quick phone call so they can hear your voice, hand-writing a letter (the way to my heart) or a video call while you both study. Tag each other in posts and send each other selfies or other pictures. I don't know about you, but it makes me happy to see a notification from one of "my people," knowing they were thinking of me miles away.

5. Staying is a choice.

Reality is what happens when we make ourselves come back to earth instead of running through space. I think we all want to run sometimes because we get too overwhelmed to stay. Just keep walking and you'll see this place is full of others just like us. Choosing to stay somewhere tough can be the hardest thing, but rewarding. There may be no hugs, regular hangouts or a hundred texts in between phone calls. But your person is still your person, even a thousand miles away.

6. You don't want to waste the time you have.

Your energy and time are valuable things. You get to decide where it goes. Try to focusing less on doing things and more on people you know will fill you and encourage others. We only get one chance at this life of love. It's all a choice we get to make. You can share the pain, but also some of the biggest joys with another person that you choose no matter the distance between you.

7. Nothing is the same as being face to face

You can hear the person's voice on the other line, see them on video chat, read each other's words over and over through letters and share thoughts in between through text. But nothing comes even close to sitting next to them, even in silence doing nothing. You can hear their voice. You can see their face. You can talk to them (and they can talk back to you) in real time; no delay. Every time I am face to face with my person, there is nothing like it and I just want to be present in every moment.

8. You have never missed anyone as much before

I never expected to be "that one" losing it in the airport. No one mentally prepares you for what it's going to feel like when you part ways and don't know when next time will be. I keep thinking of my favorite moments, wanting to live them over again. I keep thinking I see them in places they can't be. I keep hoping and thinking they will just walk up to me and start talking again. Then I know I'll be a little more okay and won't feel such a quiet, painful and empty spot in my heart. Each time I leave, I feel like I left something behind. I did, but also I took something with me that I didn't have before. It was all completely worth it, even if I'm still missing you.

The best things in life take work and long distance ones take extra work, but I'll never regret keeping up with those who are near and dear to my heart. Together we can face anything together, even if that means being vulnerable over video call instead of across the table.

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