What is a "long-term" relationship? How long do you have to be dating for before it is considered a long-term relationship? Well the other day, I was watching "The Bachelor in Paradise" (Don't judge me, it's my guilty pleasure!) . Well after that show, there is another show "The Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise." I know, real creative name. One of the women on the show, Caila Quinn, left paradise with fellow contestant, Jared Haibon after some drama was occurring with another woman in Mexico. When host, Michelle Colins asked if the two were still a couple, Caila told her that after leaving paradise, the two split after six more weeks of dating. I really liked them together so I was sad to hear this, but what really shocked me is what was said next.

After Caila had responded with saying they had split, Collins responded by saying something along the lines of "Wow, that is a long time." When she said that, it threw me for a loop. I mean, I know they get engaged quite quickly during this show, but it still seemed weird to me. It got me thinking, what does a "long-term" relationship mean?

So of course, I went to Google for help. There is no problem Google can’t figure out. When I searched the term long-term relationship, a couple articles came up. Some saying how to be in a long-term relationship or how to make a long-term relationship work. The main thing that my eyes went to was the synonym of committed relationship. Now the definition of a committed relationship, as stated by Wikipedia, is an "interpersonal relationship based upon a mutually agreed-upon commitment to one another involving exclusivity, love, trust, honesty, openness, or some other agreed-upon behavior.” Many generations have called it different things. Exclusive, dating, going steady; which is my personal favorite. But in the end, it means commitment to someone.

I had to go to the Apple Store to fix my mom’s phone fixed the other day. While I was there, I noticed the guy helping me was wearing a wedding ring. I asked him what he considered a long-term relationship. He had said “I normally got to a year and that when I could tell if this relationship was going to work or not.” When I started to tell him why I was asking, he interrupted and stated how he and his wife watch “Bachelor in Paradise” and how he thought the exact same thing when the host said that six weeks was a long time. He said he and his wife dated for three years before getting engaged. I was curious though and I asked him when he knew she was the one. He sat back and thought for a second, and then responded saying three months. He then said he guessed he just waited because that seemed like what society thought was good long-term relationship.

His words really struck home to me. I continued to think about it and asked others in my life what they considered a long time. The main answer I got was one year. But then I asked, what if they knew they loved the person? What if they knew that that person was the one? They all paused and said, well that’s just not how it is done, you date for a least a year and then get engaged.

I started questioning what society states. If I truly love someone, I shouldn’t feel the pressure of society saying I must wait this certain amount of time to make sure. If I follow my heart and I follow my Lord, I will know that that person is the one. When you know, you just know, no matter how long you have been together. So good for you, people who get engaged after three months and still congrats to those who get engaged after a year or two. I truly believe now that “long-term” does not mean the length in time your relationship lasts for, but it means that you are committed for the long haul, not matter how long, time wise, you have dated. Love is love. And Apple store guy, I may not remember your name, but you really helped change my heart.