7 Reminders For The Long-Distance Relationship You Never Anticipated
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7 Reminders For The Long-Distance Relationship You Never Anticipated

Yes, it sucks. Yes, it's completely worth it.

7 Reminders For The Long-Distance Relationship You Never Anticipated
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I'm gonna start this one off with the obvious: Long-distance relationships suck. It's the first thing I say to anyone who asks me how me and my SO are doing. When we started dating, long distance wasn't even a thought in our mind until life got hard and we had to face the very real possibility that we might have to do it for a year. Over a year, when you take summer into account. He wasn't happy, I really wasn't happy, but we were -- and still are -- determined to make it!

I won't lie, I started off with a pretty bad attitude about it. I didn't want the person who had become my everything to leave me to face the next year all alone. I didn't want to have to call my best friend when I has having the worst day or when I was having a meltdown; I just wanted him to be there and tell me everything was all right in person. I was scared that the distance would kill our relationship, as it does with so many other couples, and I was really scared that I would spend the next year feeling completely alone. But that isn't even close to what happened.

1. They didn't want to leave just as much as you didn't want them to.

The very first thing you need to remember when it comes to long distance relationships: They did not abandon you. No matter what the circumstances are, if they love you, there isn't a chance in hell that they left to hurt you or to get away from you. If you're doing long distance, it's probably because you didn't have a lot of options. It's probable that none of your options could have actually, realistically prevented it. Whether it's because of school, family life, the military, career, or any other reason, they don't want to leave you behind. In fact, there's probably nowhere else they'd rather be.

2. Your SO has to do it, too.

While you're whining about how much you miss them (I'm guilty of this on a daily basis), they're missing you just as much. Long distance isn't only making you sad, it's making them sad. Having the person they love so far away is just as hard on them as it is you; it's not like they aren't also struggling with it, or that their life is always great all the time. Don't forget to make their feelings and their needs a priority, because when you're apart is when you need each other's support the most.

3. FaceTime is a glorious thing.

Take time once a week to FaceTime or get on Skype with your partner. Actually seeing and hearing their voice is so much better than just texting. It's always better than you expect it to be because you're seeing your love in real time and getting spontaneous responses and getting to be involved with what they're doing. My boyfriend and I will FaceTime and we'll sit on the phone for at least a couple of hours every single time. We aren't even always talking; we'll sit there with the other propped up on the laptop while we do homework or play video games, and it's so nice just to have their presence with you again. It doesn't feel awkward; it feels comfortable and a lot less lonely when you've had a bad day.

4. Things will never be perfect.

It's OK for this to be hard on you. Please please please don't hide the fact that you had such a bad day that you've been crying for an hour, or that you've had three panic attacks about all the work that's threatening to drown you. Tell your SO how absolutely crappy your day was, cry over FaceTime while they reassure you and help you calm down. Don't hide your feelings. If your relationship is going to work long-distance, you and your partner have to be open with each other. Update them on your life, tell them about all the good things that you're excited for, and tell them about that one teacher who drives you insane or the fact that you face-planted when you were walking to class this morning. Update each other on your families. Tag each other in stupid memes on Facebook. Just don't lie about what you're doing or how you're feeling, communicate openly and often and you already stand a chance of surviving, despite the distance.

5. There are ways to make it easier.

Honestly, the hardest part about saying goodbye was not knowing when we were going to be able to see each other next. We went the entire summer and we only saw each other twice, and it was so hard not knowing, not having a deadline or something to keep me hopeful. I count down the days until I get to go see him, and with every passing day that brings me closer to him, it gets easier to handle. Set dates for the next time you'll see each other; make plans for what you wanna do together. I know when my next two trips to see my SO are going to be, and it makes saying goodbye the tiniest bit easier.

6. You don't have to rush your goodbye.

Getting a weekend with my SO is always the greatest thing, until he has to leave again. As the time for him to leave draws nearer and nearer, I get sadder and sadder, despite my best efforts to remain upbeat. It's hard to drop him off at the bus station, and it's harder to be the one driving away. I always expect saying goodbye to get easier, but don't fool yourself, because it doesn't. It never gets easier watching the person you're in love with leave again, or watching them wave as you drive away. I have cried every single time our weekend comes to an end; I've cried through entire goodbyes and I've cried on drives home, and honestly, the rest of that day I'm so emotionally drained that I feel like a robot. Relish your goodbye, hug and kiss each other 10 times, say 'I love you' more than you've said it all weekend, walk them to their car or watch them get on their train. I hate goodbyes, but they're so important. You never really know if it's gonna be the last time you see them (God forbid the worst should happen). Cry as much as you need to. You don't have to put on a happy face for your friends, because they'll understand, and you don't have to push yourself or try and force yourself to feel better. You'll feel better soon enough.

7. The good stuff does exist.

Long distance sucks overall, but there are lots of good things that I never would have gotten to experience without long distance. The little time you do get together is always special. Even if you don't do anything other than binge Netflix, having them there just automatically makes it so much better than a normal weekend. You don't have to worry about leaving your SO when you want to go out with your friends. My boyfriend is a bit of an introvert and I am quite the extrovert, and I always felt guilty when I would want to go out with my friends to a party or just to hang out and he opted to stay at home. And really, with the distance, it's the same. While I go out, he is typically at home, but long distance definitely helped me realize that I didn't need to feel guilty about wanting to have a good time. I think one of my favorite things about long distance (not that there are many) is how often now we send each other random mushy texts or tag each other in silly things on social media. We keep up a pretty constant stream of communication and we never forget to tell each other how much we appreciate each other or how much we love each other, because the distance makes us so aware of just how great the other one is.

I'm not going to say that I love long distance, or that it's easy, or that if I was given the opportunity to do it again, I would jump at the chance (if he suggested this ever again, I might have to slap some sense into him). But if you really love your partner, it is so worth it. You can always make it work. It might seem scary and daunting, and it might feel a little bit lonely sometimes (not always, though, I promise), but every time I wonder if this just maybe might not be worth it, I think about him and how happy he's made me the past 15 months, and I can't even fathom giving it up. I wouldn't trade my goofball of a boyfriend for the world, long distance or not.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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