In the summer of 2017, I went on a teen tour that went to Prague, Poland, and Israel. It was a five-week trip with 29 other teens, and four adult leaders. On this trip, I met my boyfriend. The two things about him that shock everyone is that he is almost a full year younger than me and he lives in New York. Now, you can probably put the pieces together. Since we met on a trip and we live in two different states, our whole relationship has been long distance. Being in a long distance relationship as a teenager hasn't been easy all the time, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. So, if you are unsure about being in one, or just want to know more about it, these are some key things I have learned from being in a long distance relationship.

The first thing I learned is that the beginning is really hard. The start of a long distance relationship is sometimes right after you have spent a lot of time in person with your significant other. Whether you went to high school together, college, met on a trip, at camp, or anywhere else, you are previously used to seeing and spending time with your boyfriend or girlfriend a lot. The beginning can come with a lot of emotions. I cried a shit ton at the start of my long distance relationship because it was such an adjustment. Relationships are emotional, to begin with, so not being able to physically be with each other can heighten these emotions you are feeling. Don't worry though, it does get better over time, I promise. I have now been in a long distance relationship for almost two years. It can definitely still be hard at times, but I have really learned how to handle my emotions (most of the time) and just keep looking forward to the next time I see my boyfriend.

The second thing that I have learned is that communication is key. Long distance comes with a ton of Facetime calls, phone calls, and texting. With that being said, it is super important that you are always communicating how you are feeling. Information can be misunderstood over text or even facetime. It is super important that you are always clear about how you feel and what is going on.

The next thing I have learned is that a long distance relationship cannot be a one-way street. What I mean by this is that both parties need to be equally committed. Like I said earlier, long distance is not easy. That means it is super important that you and your partner are willing to do this together and help each other through it. When my boyfriend first proposed the idea of a long distance relationship, I thought he was crazy because I didn't think it would work. Once I realized that we are both so willing to do this together, I realized it would all be okay. Both of us being 120% committed makes the distance so much easier.

Another thing I have learned from being in a long distance relationship is the importance of trust. Trust is important in any type of relationship. When you are in a long distance relationship, trusting one another is so crucial because you are not together a lot. It is essential that you know that you are both committed to each other even though you aren't physically together for the majority of the time.

The final and most important thing I have learned is that it is all worth the wait. Although I only see my boyfriend every couple of months, every moment we spend together is so special. The tears, missing each other, facetime calls, plane rides, and more is all worth it in the end because each time you see each other is the best no matter what you are doing. Whether my boyfriend and I are cuddling, watching tv, exploring NYC or Chicago, or eating, each moment is one I will never forget. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.