Long Distance Relationships Can Be The Most Rewarding

Long Distance Relationships Can Be The Most Rewarding

Sure, it may suck... But it may prove to bring you both closer.

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I'm no Dr. Phil. I can't provide statistical evidence, doctorate-level advice, or solid proof that this is an undeniable fact. I can, however, speak from personal experience. In some cases, that can be worth more than any psychological theory.

I'm here to say that long distance relationships can be incredibly rewarding. Take note that I did not say fun. I attend the University of Alabama, and Drew, my boyfriend of nearly a year attends a small school in Montana. If you do the math, we're approximately 1,407 miles away (but who's counting)?? Before beginning our freshman year of college, we spent nearly every day together. Now, I'm lucky if I see him every three months or so. Often, the closest we have to being together is a FaceTime call. There are some days where I would give anything just for a hug or kiss. This sounds horrible right?

Here's the thing. I honestly wouldn't trade this experience. Long distance forces couples to strengthen their emotional, mental, and spiritual bond; without putting effort into this, the relationship will fail. Long distance forces you to develop as an individual through trials because your partner isn't there in person to fall on. Long distance allows you to experience college as an individual in ways that you may not if you were always together. Even more so, long distance develops the relationship itself.

If you do not see a legitimate future with the person you are dating, please do not even consider an LD relationship. I personally date to marry, as does my boyfriend, and if this were not the case, I don't think it would work. There has to be an immense level of trust between the two partners. The temptation is real, always present, and easy to succumb to in college. If you can't trust your partner to not cheat when you're together, why would you trust them when you're apart? I have personally had individuals in LD relationships nonchalantly tell me about their inappropriate escapades and cheating behavior. This consistently damages the image of LD relationships and causes people to believe it could never work.

However, when you truly love someone, it can make your relationship flourish to new heights. When you completely remove any physical aspects, everything has to rely on the emotional, mental, and spiritual. We have come to understand each other better as individuals, and how to help one another in different situations. His understanding of my emotions and feelings has grown exponentially, and vice versa.

We spend more time in the Word together than previously, because we both believe the relationship can only flourish if it is rooted in Christ. We send texts throughout the day and call whenever we can just to remind the other that we're thinking of them. Long distance causes us to truly cherish the time we do get to spend together, and it makes reunions that much sweeter. So, yes, long distance sucks. But, I wouldn't trade the growth we've experienced for anything.

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You Shouldn't Have To Ask For The Type Of Love You Know You Deserve

You shouldn't have to question whether or not someone cares. If they care, you'll know.

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I genuinely do not understand why I ever put up with anything less than I deserve in relationships.

I've always thought of myself as a nice person. I like to go the extra mile for people, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. My parents have always taught me that it's important to be willing to do things for people without expecting anything in return.

It's really not that difficult to do. There are people in my life that I care about a lot, and I want them to be happy. If you need someone, I'll be there, no matter what. I'm the "mom" friend, and I hold that title with pride.

However, whenever friendships or relationships would end, I'd always end up questioning everything I did for that person. Were they my friend just because of everything I did for them? Did they only like me because I was always there, but when I suddenly needed the same from them, they decided it wasn't worth it?

It really hurts when you suddenly find out people won't do the same for you as you've done for them. No one wants to feel like their friends don't care about them, and it sucks when you realize it's true.

But, some people just love differently than you, and that's OK.

Sometimes, the expectations that you have for people are just a little bit too high. Sometimes, people can't do for you what you've done for them. But, that doesn't mean you have to put up with it.

If you're genuinely struggling, the people you love should be there for you. If you need someone, you shouldn't feel like a burden. I never realized how important this was until I found people that genuinely treated me like I deserve to be treated.

I spent my entire life going an extra mile for people and loving them like I want to be loved while receiving almost nothing in return. That's bad, and I've learned to stand up for myself when people start treating me badly. I won't put up with things that don't match what I need and want.

Just because someone loves you, doesn't mean they care for you. That's a hard lesson to learn.

In the past, there were so many people that I would go to when I was sad or just having a bad day and wanted to vent, but that wasn't important enough for them to spend time or energy on. I thought it was a problem with me when it was actually a problem with them.

I've always felt sort of alone when I go through things. In the past when I've reached out, no one really helped me in a way that I needed, even when I asked. That's wrong, and I refuse to accept that ever again.

Now, if I'm feeling sad, my friends don't stop bugging me until I talk about it. If I need something or just need to vent, I always have people there with no judgment. I don't have to ask them to treat me like how I deserve, and that's the best thing that I could have ever asked for.

I never realized how badly I was treated until I found people that actually help me and care about me, and I can't settle anymore. I shouldn't have to question whether or not you care. Actions speak louder than words, and it's pretty easy to see the truth when you start paying attention to the right things.

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I Know That If We Can Make It Through Long Distance, We Can Make It Through Anything

Why long distance is the best thing to ever happen to me

Emi
Emi
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I don't.

It isn't.

There are parts of being in a long distance relationship that I never know if I will fully be able to articulate. The moment I said goodbye to my boyfriend when we left for college freshman year, I closed the door behind me as he drove away and just crumpled to the ground and sobbed. This sounds unbelievably dramatic, and I had never been an emotional person until this moment. However, the fear of the unknown was paralyzing. My best friend was about to live five hours away from me, I was going to be in a different time zone, and I didn't know when I was going to see him again. This was my first real experience where I felt like I had just lost someone I loved.

Of course, I didn't really lose him. But that moment, everything did change. I was forced to become independent and had to re-learn how to find happiness being alone. And boy, was I alone. The first few days after he left, I was still at home preparing to move to my school. I could hardly function. I barely ate, and I had never felt so drained of energy. Whenever I would play music and a song that reminded me of him came on, I could not help but cry. My parents physically dragged me to a "going-away" dinner, and I only spoke a few sentences the whole time. Again, this sounds ridiculously theatrical (and if I had not actually lived through it myself, I would agree). My first semester at college, I was the definition of lost. It took me a long time to find myself without my best friend by my side.

But gradually, things got better (and continue to). Now, our goodbyes are still sad but not quite so sloppy. I no longer feel empty without him. I have found my passions at school and with these discoveries have come people that share them. I have an established group of friends, I have a clear professional direction, and I have goals that feel achievable. Re-creating my identity outside of a boyfriend, while unbelievably difficult, has forced me to self-reflect on who I am as an individual and who I want to become.

Because I don't have a boyfriend around to spend weekends with, I spend all my time with my friends. I have time to dedicate to school, an on-campus job, and serving on executive positions for multiple organizations. My schedule is my own, and I can create time to go to the gym six days a week. I am able to get coffee with potential employers and explore the city of Indianapolis without worrying about canceling plans with my boyfriend. I have truly had an independent college experience, and I do not doubt that this has allowed me to become more involved and invested in my friends, my schoolwork, and my extracurriculars than I would have had we gone to the same school.

These are the things I try to remind myself of when we spend Valentine's Day, both our birthdays and almost every single weekend apart. This is what I force myself to think when he is missing from my sorority's formal, date nights, and philanthropy events. When my roommates spend the night with their boyfriends multiple days a week, I smile and say, "Have a good night!" I try not to envy their position too much because I tell myself that long distance has given me so many opportunities.

This is true. But I also miss him, all the time. One thing is for certain, long distance has made me a much stronger individual. I have learned how to find happiness outside of being with him. I have discovered more about myself the past few years alone than I would have had we been at the same school. I have fostered life-long relationships with my friends.

And, at the end of the day, I know that if we can make it through long distance, we can make it through anything.

Emi
Emi

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