Why Long Distance Relationships Aren't So Bad

Why Long Distance Relationships Aren't So Bad

An inside look at why it's undeniably worth it.
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Long distance relationships are typically feared by anyone with a significant other. Going off to college or serving in the military tend to be popular reasons why couples are forced to make the decision; Do you continue the relationship or cut it short? The stigma surrounding these relationships are usually negative and avoided at all costs and for justifiable reasons. It's easy to feel isolated, lonely, and even depressed -- whether you're separated by choice or there's an outside force pulling you apart. As for me, my relationship has been long distance for over one and a half years now, and we only see each other two to three times per year, if we're lucky. We are making it work. Putting aside all the "what ifs" and potential downfalls, it's important to acknowledge the aspects of long distance relationships that are positive and valuable. It might not even be as dreadful as you've come to believe.

One of the first concepts worth discovering is the need of developing independence. You have the privilege to become your own person without depending on anyone else. You grow more solidified in your beliefs, you shift more attention to your passions, and you have the time to better yourself. You can live your every day life based off of your needs and your needs alone. You don't have to worry about making time for your partner or worry about when you'll have the chance to see them because your schedule is jam-packed or you're stressed to the max. You don't have to fear having time for them, having them feel like they're on the "back burner" or choosing to put other important things first -- like school, your job, and your family. They want you to put those things first.

Not having your "person" by your side constantly allows and challenges you to create your own life, pursue hobbies you enjoy, and manage time efficiently and effectively without the feeling of guilt. It's not hard to be down on yourself for not putting the focus and attention into them you feel they deserve. At the end of the day, your significant other will support your drive, commitment to your own pursuits, and even encourage you to push further, work harder, and chase down your goals from afar. You receive the same support, love, and compassion as if you were in a "normal" relationship -- but none of the negative, "selfish" feelings that are often associated with working on yourself.

Not only do these relationships flourish through independence and support, but they require communication on all fronts. Every day small talk is necessary, but the conversations that fuel your connection are where the difference is made. This connection is consistently tested when you're thousands of miles apart, but in the end, it only proves how strongly you really are tied together. Having to keep the relationship strictly emotional and mental gives you both the opportunity to get to know each other for who they are -- their heart, their mind, their desires and their ambition -- and not on what they can offer you in a physical sense. It allows you to learn about yourself, the person you love, and ultimately creates the perfect environment for individual growth while still having your #1 to cheer you on from the sidelines.

When you're separated by international borders from the one you love, you're committing yourself to them in the most honorable way. It requires an amplified level of trust. That heightened trust, in turn, allows (and encourages) your relationship to transcend to new places you could never imagine it going -- there are no doubts, no questions, no "where are you right now?". Why? Because it doesn't matter. You know they're making sound decisions with you in the back of their mind. There's a sense of security that develops through that assurance. The distance challenges you mentally, physically and emotionally in a way that seeing your significant other every day doesn't have the ability to do. Now, imagine how this degree of trust will transform your relationship when you're back together.

I try to remind myself often that I'm lucky and blessed to have someone so incredible to miss every day. Each day that passes since you've seen someone last is also one day closer to when you will see them again. You can make your long distance relationship work. You can even make it prosper and blossom into something that you both will appreciate and be thankful for as time passes. It's only a sad and dreadful experience if you let it be.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn Rademacher

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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