In life, we learn many different things — whether it's learning to ride a bike or solving a question on a math test or learning from your first heartbreak. These lessons build ourselves into stronger beings, but the one situation in life, when you know you won't have your significant other around a lot, is long distance relationships, better known as an LDR. I've gone through two long distance relationships, but the most recent was the best of all. When a person thinks of long distance, they think of long Skype calls and constantly checking their phones to see if they received a text or phone call from their other half.
My boyfriend and I didn't meet over the Internet because we (somewhat) knew each other from high school and after a few years of no contact, we both decided to try a relationship. Almost two years later, we are still together and happier than we could ever be. Here is what long distance has taught me, and what it can teach you.
Long distance has taught me patient. Believe it or not, but the one who is farther from you will be missing you the most and wanting to see you at this very moment. My boyfriend was a Marine, and it was stressful. Although I was used to my previous long distance boyfriend giving me constant attention, there was a completely new world I have yet to discover. The military wasn't just part of his life, but it ran it too. Patience taught me that he would call or text me back when he had the chance, not when it was convenient for me. It also taught me that no matter what, to always have hope and faith in the distance, no matter how much either one of us conjured the thought of giving up.
Long distance taught me hope. Dating military can be a frightening experience, I won't deny that, but it can be rewarding as well. Rewarding because you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, or husband/wife, risking their life and sacrificing themselves for their country. Hope taught me to look positively at the future and not burden the things your significant other has to offer. It has also taught me to look at the bright side and not always worry.
Long distance taught me faith and loyalty. Have faith and you shall prosper. Faith taught me not to look at the negatives or cons of a long distance relationship, but to trust in my long distance partner and listen to his concerns and allow myself to believe that he's not being unfaithful. Loyalty taught me to trust him and get to know him as often as possible, even if we weren't able to talk for long periods. Now trust me, in the military, not talking for long periods is quite normal. It might be normal for other types of long distance relationships as well. Loyalty taught me to wholeheartedly dedicate myself to the relationship. No matter how much I missed him, or wanted some form of affectionate contact, I barred myself from using any sort of social media and texted him "I miss you" when I had this feeling.
Long distance has taught me forgiveness. No matter what the struggles might be, or perhaps any missed events, the apologies and understandings must come out of hiding. taught me to be OK with any sort of event, that was acceptable, that occurred that'd prevent us from communicating.
Long distance taught me communication. Yes, communication is a must in long distance relationships, and sometimes the best won't always have great communication. This taught me to be more open and to come out of my shell a little more. This taught me to be open to any problems or emotions that I was feeling. This has brought us closer.
After the distance had ended, he returned back home for good. The final lesson long distance taught me was independence. This distance has taught me that it is OK to be independent and not have to always rely on the other being there. However, when it came to small or big things we were a part of, we expected each other to be there and support us, even if it was in spirit.
Long distance has long been deemed as one adventure that is meant for the strong. If you are strong and able to give long distance a try, then do it. Let long distance teach you lessons that can strengthen yourself and your relationship. Remember, true love always wins.