To do long distance or not is an obstacle many high school relationships face before heading off to college. Roughly 40 percent of long distance relationships don't work out and around 32.5 percent of college relationships are long distance. Long distance is hard, and it makes you question what you want sometimes. However, I've never been more in love than before.
My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over 7 months, but have been best friends for the past 3 years. We aren't your average long distance couple; we do what I like to call "double long distance." I go to Penn State and he goes to Illinois State. So, during the school year, we're 675 miles apart. When we go home for summers, I go back to South Carolina, he goes back to Southern Illinois and we become 825 miles apart. Before we started long distance, we had only been together for six weeks and neither of us had ever done long distance before. Somehow we're making it work with the double long distance and busy schedules but here are some ways we make it work that could apply to couples everywhere:
1. Communication Is Key
We've all heard it a million times at least, but it really is true that communication is key in every relationship. My boyfriend and I make an effort to call each other at least once every day. For example, when we walk to class, even if it is just a fifteen minute call. Another thing we always try to do is FaceTime. This has by far become our best friend in our long distance relationship. We both carve out time in our day to FaceTime, even if it's only a twenty minute call. Talk to each other as much as you can and talk about anything and everything. Plan future visits, tell each other about your day, talk about what's going on in your classes or with your family. Any chance I get, I text my boyfriend little things to tell him how my day is going or just to let him know I'm thinking about him.
2. Visits Keep Your Relationship Together
Since going long distance, my boyfriend and I have done four visits. At the end of the summer, he came down to visit my new house and we spent ten days at the beach exploring my new town. We planned a random visit for him to come up to Penn State for a football game at the beginning of October after that. My birthday is at the beginning of November, and the day before my birthday he walked into my dorm room with flowers and completely surprised me. He planned my birthday visit in August and made it a million times more special than I thought it was going to be. The following weekend, his club cross country team traveled to Hersey, Pennsylvania to compete in their final race of the season. I ended up traveling to Hershey to meet them and stay the weekend with them. Over winter break, I am flying back to my hometown to stay with him for almost two weeks, and then I will be visiting him at school at the end of February.
3. Gifts, Letters, Anything
When my boyfriend came to visit me over the summer, I had a box of presents in the backseat of my car when I picked him up from the airport. The day before I moved, I started a book for him with journal entries about anything I felt like writing about. The entries are usually about things that have been bothering me lately or just random thoughts I have been having. Every writing always ends with a song because we share a similar taste in music and have always sent each other new songs since we've been friends. My boyfriend has randomly sent flowers a couple of times as well as a care package when I wasn't feeling well.
4. Enjoy The Time You Have Together
That moment that you finally see your significant other again is unlike any other; your heart starts racing, you can't stop smiling, your palms get sweaty, in all aspects it feels like a middle school crush again. Seeing that person again makes the long distance and every mile in between worth it. No matter how long the visit is, it is by far the highlight of your month. Whenever my boyfriend and I finally get to be together, we always pack it full of our favorite things. I was always worried that if we were too busy, the days would fly by and before I knew it he would be gone again. But I realized if we just laid around the entire time we were together, yes we would still have fun, but it wouldn't be nearly as memorable.
People ask me all the time why we didn't end our relationship when we knew we had to do double long distance. I always tell them that just that feeling and anticipation of seeing him again is what makes me want to stay. Anytime I feel lost in being in a long distance relationship, I always remember the quote "distance means so little when someone means so much."