I initially approached the prospect of a long-distance relationship with a great deal of apprehension and unease. The idea of my boyfriend being 200 miles away, in a world without me, terrified me. I'll admit that I was positively petrified. But looking back, my feelings of concern were unwarranted and irrational; in fact, I learned a great deal from the distance. It wasn't always easy, nor was it always pretty, but it only served to improve my relationship (despite my initial fears). If you let it, if you refuse to let the distance decimate your relationship, I'm sure you could learn a thing or two as well.

1. I have learned the art of trust.

Trust is such an easy word to toss about, but until you're forced to put it to the test, its nothing more than a word uttered in romantic proclamations. I'll admit that it took me months to trust wholly and unwaveringly. But through going to separate universities, he has gained my enduring trust, and I his. When you're in a long-distance relationship, you're given the choice to either trust or break up. I chose trust. Trusting to the extent necessary to sustain a long distance relationship is not an easy feat, but it's something that simplifies with time. Be patient, let trust grow. It may not happen overnight, but when it does happen, your relationship will thrive.

2. The kisses are sweeter and the hugs are tighter.

Nothing is quite comparable to the feel of their lips on yours after weeks without it, and when hugs become a rare delicacy, they become tighter as well. Kisses after weeks spent apart are almost as great as first kisses... almost.

3. You learn to appreciate each other.

In the midst of our busy lives, we often forget why we fell in love. Compliments cease to flow and romantic spontaneity gradually fades as well. However, through being miles apart, we have been able to discover all the countless reasons why we should appreciate each other. I've since remembered how much his drive and determination mean to me, and he's discovered the importance of bringing me soup when I'm sick. When all you're left with is the constant aching sense of longing, appreciation comes naturally.

4. You learn to stop taking the small moments for granted.

When your time together is limited, you learn to appreciate every moment. Whether you're cooking a meal or watching "Family Feud" on the couch, every moment now carries great significance, and is something to crave. I've filled many sleepless nights with endless fantasies of cooking meals with him, or petting cats in pet stores alongside him. While both may be mundane in nature, they are memories I cling to, because they're shared with him. Sure, fancy restaurant dates are nice, but to couples in long-distance relationships, the small moments are just as great.

5. You see what your relationship is really made of.

While some may let the distance destroy them, others triumph over it, coming out with a stronger relationship in the end. Admittedly, there are many obstacles for young couples in long distance relationships, but a strong relationship can supersede any obstacle you throw its way. There will be days, and there will be fighting. You may even have moments where you want to give up; I know I certainly did. That's to be expected, but if your relationship is strong enough, the bad days will be just that, bad days. Don't give up because of one bad day, or even a series of bad days. If your relationship means enough to you, fight for it. Don't give up -- never give up. I promise you, it will be worth it in the end. Don't be dismayed by fights, and don't be afraid of the distance. True love can and will conquer all.

6. You're reacquainted with the familiar feeling of butterflies.

Every relationship encounters the moment in which the butterflies cease to exist, and with it the sense of giddiness we once felt around each other dissipates as well. It's inevitable -- the honeymoon must always come to an end. However, the distance has served to relight our flame, and reintroduce the butterfly sensation. Every moment of reunification elicits the familiar sense of excitement I felt when we first met. While I may not feel the nervousness that seemed to overtake my body that September night, I certainly feel the excitement of our first introductions. This sense of utmost euphoria definitely makes the wait worth it.