According to a study by Dr. Guldner, "the average time before a long distance relationship breaks down is 4-5 months and 40 percent of all long distance couples ends up with a break up." When looking at this statistic, it makes me sad to see that almost half of all long distance couples end up breaking up. People look at these facts and are terrified to go into a long distance relationship. In our day and age, long distance relationships are required more often with people going off to college, having a new job, joining the military and so much more. I'm here to tell you to stop being afraid and to give it a chance.

If you were to tell me a year and a half ago that I was going to be in a long distance relationship, I'd say you were crazy. But I'm proud to say that I have been in a long distance relationship for a year and a half now and yes there have been some bumps in the road, but I wouldn't change a thing. There are so many negative ways of looking at long distance relationships, but have you ever thought about looking at the positives?

One positive thing about being in a long distance relationship is that it lets you do your own thing. According to Dr. Guldner's study, "a third of all people who claim they're in a long distance relationship say these are college relationships." College is one of the best times of your life because you can finally study things you have a passion for, you live on your own and there's so many things you can get involved in. However, it can be very hard to focus on your studies with all of these fun things going around you 24/7. You still need to make time to talk and visit your significant other, but being in a long distance relationship lets you do something you may not if he/she was at your school. You would want to spend a lot of time with your significant other, so you would be worried that you may not have time to join that club you wanted to do or to audition for that choir. And when it comes to studying, you most likely would rather spend time with your significant other rather than studying, causing you to be distracted. But without having your partner there 24/7, you don't ever need to feel guilty about not making enough time to hang out with your partner.

Along the lines of letting you do your own thing, long distance relationships also gives you how ever much time you want to be with your friends. There are so many friendships that are lost because someone will spend "too much time with their significant other." The distance gives you time to have that girls/guys night you need without having to feel bad about ditching date night.

Now, I'm not saying that long distance relationships are better than a normal relationship, but you shouldn't give it such a negative connotation. Honestly when you look at it, everything you have to do in a long distance relationship you have to do in a normal relationship. Both types of relationship require honesty, time, effort and love. No matter what type of situation you are in, you still need these components in order to have a long-lasting relationship. Yes, having to drive or fly for hours just to see your significant other can be hard and costly, but when you truly care about someone, you two can get through anything. And trust me, there is no better feeling than seeing your significant other after you've been separated for a while. Long distance is challenging, but you should never give up on love.

A special shout out to Tommy Nauert for making the distance worth it.