In the cold of the arctic, the Emperor penguin lives within its community; the males huddle in the vast, white expanse of snow. The females leave for months on end to fish and find food for their babies, who are carefully guarded by their father, just waiting to hatch from the eggs.

Sure, the responsibilities they both have keep them occupied, however, it is very difficult and heart-wrenching to be away from the ones we love. Just like the penguins, we give part of our hearts to another to hold and keep safe. A bond as strong as love cannot easily be broken, no matter how far away the partners are. For people, long distance relationships (LDR) are no different; if two people are pulled apart, the bond of their love is strengthened.

My boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for almost three years. We see each other about once a year and, to be frank, it sucks. It is not something that any couple should have to go through. In the United States, more than 50 percent of college students say that they are in a long distance relationship. People become lonely without any physical connection. Sometimes I cry because the person who has the other part of me isn’t there. I have responsibilities that keep me busy, but it just isn’t the same as my best friend being there and taking me out on dates.

With the grace of God, we are still together and are going to celebrate our three-year anniversary in a couple months. It has not been an easy road. LDRs take a lot in order for them to work out smoothly. For example, to keep a LDR, you need love and time. Without love the couple would not be together, and without time the relationship would die out. Often, people are afraid and shy away from LDRs, or think that LDRs do not work out and are not worth the “emotional investment.” Sometimes this is true. However, the couple that goes through an LDR needs to fight for and believe in their love and their relationship. Just as LDR couples, the male and female penguins go through so much in order to just see each other again.

Giving and taking within a relationship is also important. Sometimes, talking to your partner will not fall within your schedule. But it doesn't matter. Making time to talk and communicate things to your partner is very important. In any type of relationship, talking things out or just talking about your day is one way to show that even though you might be 2,000 miles away from each other, you still care about their everyday life. A love like this cannot easily be shaken.

Long distance relationships are a test of love, distance and time. No manner of storm, snow, blistering cold or the failure of a plan can keep two individuals from each other. The Emperor penguin is a great example of how the males and females go through so much for such a long time just to be together again. My boyfriend and I have had these trials and it is not easy going through a relationship when your partner is not around. But, through it all, love, patience and little things to keep the hope alive really make the whole adventure worthwhile.