Nobody said that Long-Distance Relationships were easy, and if you hear someone say that, they're obviously lying. But, when you hear someone say that they're worth it, they're telling the truth.
Growing up with a family that's always shown their affection through touching and physical contact, I promised myself at an early age that I'd never put myself through the pain of being in a long-distance relationship, but we all know about promises we make ourselves at a young age. So my junior year of high school, I dated a girl that I knew since I was in about fourth grade and she was always a year ahead of me so that meant that she'd be going to college before me. Little did I know at the beginning of the relationship that she'd be going to a school close to 4 1/2 hours away from me. We started dating in March and the entire time up until the week she left, I told myself, "This'll be easy, I can do this!" and if there's one thing that I learned, it's that doubt and insecurities help ruin a long-distance relationship. We broke up on New Years that year.
After that experience, I yet again promised myself that I'd never go through another long distance relationship. All the while during that previous relationship, there was someone watching out for me would eventually mean more to me than she even realizes today. I had already been the world and more to this girl since we met in early middle school during one of our first track practices together. Three or so years have passed after my previous relationship and during those three years, the two of us endured arguments with each other and silent treatments were thrown back and forth between the two of us. I graduated a year before her so life was happening to me, meaning we were going our separate ways knowing that we would only see each other if we ran into one another during summer break. Unfortunately, one thing led to another and I ended up staying in my home town and taking a gap-year at the same community college that my early college was located, so she was there. After so long of not talking to her very much, or at all, we had an English class together. That class helped to rekindle our relationship, even if it was just a little. A little was better than none at all.
Another year had passed and it was time for her to graduate and I was on my way to college, and life was happening yet again, meaning going to colleges two hours apart from each other, only to speak to one another by texting and calling like we were still in high school, with problems each of us will have about things going on in our lives. During the time between her graduation and about Thanksgiving, I had begun to develop feelings for this girl in which I've been friends with since 7th grade, and I immediately thought, "...oh no..." and my first initial reaction was that it'd have to be a long-distance relationship and that was one of my biggest obstacles to hurdle over. After what I had endured previously, three or so years ago with my previous long-distance relationship, I didn't want to put anyone through that again, especially myself.
An entire semester of contemplation and running scenarios through my head (since I'm a huge planner) had passed and I decided to throw out any doubts and take a chance. Besides, the worst she can say is, "No, I'm sorry." and I wouldn't have lost anything. So I asked her to go see the new "Star Wars" movie with me over Christmas Break since I knew she'd be home and I didn't think much of it besides two friends going to see a movie and catch up. I figured it'd be good since we haven't seen each other since before May and I spent my summer hiking in Western NC and in Oregon and she spent hers in New Orleans and Texas. She actually said yes and I'll keep this between us, I had never been more nervous about a date in my entire life until this point.
We had planned on seeing the movie a few days after we got home and settled in at home. After seeing her initial reaction to me getting out of my car once she rounded the corner of her front door, I knew it'd all be worth it. Sure, it'd take some sacrifices and effort, but I was more than willing to try. We went on a few cheap dates and I brought her around my family a lot, because family approval is huge for me. However, something deep inside me told me that they'd approve anyways. I knew my dad already did. After hanging out with each other's families and doing a ton of talking as old friends do, we began dating on Christmas Day (weird timing, right?). We had talked many times about what it would take for the long distance to work and what we expect from the relationship, we both decided that it was worth it. I felt that if we could make it 7+ years as friends, we'd make it just fine as a couple.
We're now wrapping up our first semester of school together, yet apart, and I will tell you that it's been hard, but it's been more than worth it. Taking a chance on someone who has been there for you since before you can remember is the best thing you can do. Sure, long-distance relationships are hard and there will be arguments, a lot actually, but if you want to make it with whoever it may be, all you need to do is put forth the effort and distance will seem like just a number. One thing I will say that has helped my long-distance relationship thus far is calling each other every night and verbally telling each other goodnight, and also having Skype Dates at least once every two or three weeks. If there's one thing you take away from this, I hope that it's as long as you're willing to put forth the effort and take a chance on someone you feel is worth it, regardless of previous experiences, it will be more than worth it.
We are one day closer, and one day stronger.