5 Things Long Distance Has Taught Me

After being with my boyfriend for just one year, he graduated high school and was off to college in Northfield, Vermont (862 miles from our hometown in North Carolina). I contemplated breaking up with him all that summer. I loved him and wasn’t ready for our relationship to end; but I had always heard how you “shouldn’t go to college in a relationship,” and I knew long-distance wouldn’t be easier. But as I said, I wasn’t ready for our relationship to end and decided we won’t lose anything for trying.


We made it through the year, and after two years of dating and one year of long-distance, I was going to school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (now 1,100 miles apart). We’ve now been together for over three years and halfway through our third year of long-distance. And, it’s taught me a lot.

#1 Trust

As you can imagine, being 1,100 miles apart nine months out of the year requires a lot of trusts. We no longer spent all of our time together. We no longer knew each other’s friends as well, or how much time we really spent with them. It’s easy to become paranoid and jealous with so many miles between you, but learning to be secure in the relationship makes all the difference… when you’re together or apart.


#2 Communication

Just like all relationships, communication is key. Being someone who has never been great at sharing, this didn’t come easy. With texts being our most frequent form of communication, miscommunication was easy. Learning to be open and honest with how I was feeling or what I was doing became so important. And really helped with the trust aspect of our relationship too.


#3 Appreciation

Of our 39 month relationship, we have spent 22 months apart. While those 22 months apart seem torturous at times, they make the other 17 months that much better. I’ve learned to appreciate the time we have together, no matter how long or short.


#4 Priorities

Being a college student comes with busy schedules - balancing classes, extracurriculars, and a social life. But just like other couples, we have to make time for each other too. With differing schedules and a time difference, it can seem impossible to squeeze in a phone call or facetime. But, making each other a priority is the only way to make it through. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a night out with the girls or stay up later to finish homework.


#5 True Love

Overall, the distance has taught me what true love is. It’s all the things you imagine - making each other happy and getting butterflies when you get to see each other. But it’s also the hard stuff - making sacrifices, working through the obstacles, and not giving up on each other.


While I wish we had spent all 39 months together, I’m thankful for everything distance has done for us. Because had we not moved 1,100 miles apart, I don’t know that our relationship would be as strong as it is now.