Are Long Distance Relationships Really Worth It?
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Relationships

Are Long Distance Relationships Really Worth It?

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Are Long Distance Relationships Really Worth It?

If you're wondering if your relationship is going to be worth it from far away, the answer is yes! A million times, yes! There is no way to explain the worth and happiness a relationship like this can bring. A long distance relationship just means you are loving your significant other from a little further away.

My world seemed to turned upside down almost a year ago when my boyfriend's family moved eight hours away from me. I forever dreaded the day that his family would finalize the move. We would not even be able to see each other in our hometown after we started college, and that made the situation a million times worse. He would be attending the University of North Florida, and I would attend the University of North Alabama, which is a ten hour difference. Not only would he and I each be transitioning as new college students, but together as a long distance couple. Sometimes, all of the changes were too much to bear. Beginning college is hard; completely changing the way your life and your relationships work is even harder.

Whether your heart leads you to different universities, or summer separates you as you return to your hometown, long distance relationships become more common in college. They are not for the weak at heart, by any means, you will quickly discover. If you are in a long distance relationship or just starting one, this advice might help you endure your journey. I am here to tell you that it is possible to make your relationship last.

Be realistic. I can't sugar coat anything for you and tell you that long distance is all rainbows and butterflies, but there are so many ups that counteract the downs. The best and worst memories of my relationship have taken place in an airport. I would be lying to you if I said I hadn't spent hours in my bed moping around. However, the new relationships I built in college helped me cope with the sadness I felt whenever I missed my boyfriend. There is no easy way to explain the hardship that this past year has brought me.

But you must be hopeful. If God wasn't sure that you could handle your long distance relationship, He wouldn't have put you in this position. Your relationship will bend until it's about to break, and that's okay. Things always get worse before they get better. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, you know. Seriously, though, I cherish the time spent with my significant other so much more now; not one single second is taken for granted. People will reiterate all kinds of cliches like these, but their full truth won't set in until it's actually happening to you.

Consider the positives. My boyfriend and I constantly joke about how if we went to the same school we would never get anything done. We might say this in a playful way but, honestly if he had been there with me my year would have been totally different. I wouldn't have the same friends, work ethic, or attitude towards my school. I probably wouldn't have finished my freshman year with a 4.0. While attending the same university would be an absolute dream, everything would be different. And I like the way everything is. This is how my freshman year was meant to be spent.

Think for yourself. Sure, friendly advice can be most helpful and get you through your days. However, your friends and people surrounding you may not have a personal relationship with your significant other. Ultimately, you are the one who knows them the best, and you know the genuineness of their heart. Although your friends may certainly have the best intentions, they cannot think for you. Forming your own opinions and thoughts is of utmost importance through hard times in long distance relationships. This will be tough no matter how independent you are, because if you have a disagreement you will most likely go running to find comfort in your friends. Because they mean the world to you, you will value their point of view but that cannot change your feelings. Listen to your friends, vent to them, confide in them, but never rely on them to make your mind up about something because you are the only one who can do that.

Be willing to sacrifice. I'm sure this is something that you've heard a hundred times before, but I cannot stress this enough. Relationships are hard work and they are not meant to be easy. Hard work equals worth, and what you and your partner put into your relationship is exactly what you'll get out of it. Reevaluating priorities is a must to balance schoolwork, friends, your relationship, and other obligations. You will have to discover what schedule works best for you and stick to it. If you made a promise to call at 7 p.m., and your friends ask you to go to the park at 6:45 p.m., skip out on it. You can always go to the park but you may not always be able to have that phone date. You will prioritize whatever is most important to you; make sure that you don't let the one you love unintentionally slip away.

Continue to make what you have something special. The fun that I have when I am with my boyfriend is an entirely different kind of fun. We have been struggling with the issue of money lately, and the other day we were down and out about it. But we came up with an idea; we took his truck down to swamplands off of the highway and explored. At the end of the trail we found ourselves three feet away from a croaking alligator (my boyfriend protects me from a fully grown gator, what does yours do?!). We spun around between the trees and laughed as we took pictures of each other. On the way back, we stopped at a year-round Christmas shop because, well, why wouldn't we? And to top the day off, we found a mound of dirt the size of a four story building to climb. We had a dirt fight and slid down the dirt like a slide. We rode our bikes back to the neighborhood pool and jumped in with all of our clothes on. And the best part is -- besides gas -- the day was completely free! Find ways, despite circumstances, to enjoy the little time you have with your significant other.

Discover your significant other's love language. A dear friend of mine told me about Chapman's five love languages, and I was in awe of how differently we express our love. There is a detailed online quiz that evaluates your love language, and it is worth the time to take. For example, my boyfriend needs words of affirmation to understand that I love him, whereas my love language is acts of service. I never understood how much I needed to verbalize my feelings for him until we both took this test, and vice versa. The love language quiz was such an enlightening experience for us and is something I suggest for every couple. Since then, we have gotten the devotion that helps us change simple aspects of our relationship and benefits us greatly.

Most importantly: don't rely on texting as primary communication. This, my friends, is the downfall of modern long distance relationships. Our generation is so very blessed by means of communication such as FaceTime, and we don't always fully utilize those opportunities. You and your partner may have different ideas of what communication should look like and discuss it before you move with it. I cannot stress how many arguments it would have prevented between my boyfriend and I if we were on the same page about how we should talk to each other. It is a completely different situation going from being with each other every day to a weekend every two months (maybe). Where maybe a couple of texts a day was okay before, the smallest details make all the difference. A simple, "hey, I'm here and thinking of you" or "I'm wearing those shoes that you love today" can completely turn around your day. Pay attention to the little things so you can fully enjoy each other's presence.

Overcoming the difficulty of long distance is hardly an easy thing to do, but it is rewarding all the while. Just imagine the bliss you will experience when you are together once again, and your days will get a little easier.

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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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