How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

I have been in a relationship for almost three years now, and two of those years have been long distance. We met in our freshman year of college and instantly hit it off. I felt like I was in my own little fairy tale, and I loved being able to see my boyfriend every day, whether we were going out to dinner or just sitting together doing homework. He was always there when I needed to vent after a long day or to pop the champagne with me when we had a reason to celebrate. 

Now that we are long distance, everything still feels like a fairy tale, he is still there for me through the good times and bad, but it is in a different way than before. No, I don't get to see him every day and no, we don't always get to celebrate the good things when they happen, but we always make time to when we see each other. 

I am not going to sugar coat it, long distance relationships are hard. Some days, I miss John so much it physically hurts. Some days, all I want is to be in his arms watching Game of Thrones and forgetting about the world around us. Every single day, I miss being able to walk over to his apartment after class and cook a huge dinner together. 

Being in an LDR is a lot of work, but it has definitely made our relationship stronger. I am more confident and trusting in my relationship because we have made it this far. We have had some great highs, but we have also had our fair share of terrible lows. Those lows made me realize some things about being in an LDR that have altogether made my relationship stronger and happier. 

1. Make time to talk every day. 

I don't mean texting 24/7 here. I mean, take the time to make a phone call to check in and say hi, even if it is only for 5 minutes. Send a quick text to let your S.O. know you are thinking about him/her. My favorite part of every day is hearing John's voice on the phone or seeing his face on a video chat right before bed. On rough days, knowing that I get to video chat him that night is the only thing getting me through the day. He somehow just has the power to make everything feel better, even when things are falling apart.

2. Trust is key.

This is a good piece of advice for any relationship, but it is magnified when you are long distance. If you don't trust your S.O., a long distance relationship will never work. The trust issues will just create rifts that will get so large over time. Trust issues will cause petty arguments and excessive, unnecessary anxiety. You will never be able to know exactly what your S.O. is doing every second of every day, but you shouldn't have to know all of those details to know he/she is not out doing something they shouldn't. 

3. Try to make traveling time equal.

During the semester, it can be really hard to find the time to travel back to Charlotte, so naturally, I ask John to come visit me in Boone as much as possible. I know it isn't fair to him to travel so much for such a short amount of time to actually spend with me. So, I try as hard as I can to designate full weekends to go to Charlotte to visit him and make up for the random day trips here and there. It is definitely worth it.

4. Appreciate the little things. 

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stressors of being a college student, but don't let that get in the way of your personal relationships. I can't even count the amount of times I have come home from class frustrated and tired, but there have been a few times when I would come home to a sweet note John left on my desk before he left town. There have been times when I tell him I am randomly craving cookies, and about thirty minutes later, an App Cookie Co. delivery person is at my door with a half dozen of my favorite cookies. There have even been a few times when John himself showed up at my house with flowers, a total surprise, just because he missed me and knew I missed him too. These seemingly small gestures mean the world to me and I hope John knows exactly how much I appreciate all of the things he does for me. He still makes me feel like the most special girl in the world, even from 2 hours away. 

5. Don't get mad when he wants to go out with his friends.

Seriously, just don't. You are allowed to have your own friends, just like he is allowed to have his. It isn't fair to go out to a party with your friends one night and get mad at him for wanting to do the same. We are young right now, and we will never get these young years back. Sure, it sucks that you two can't go out together, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go out and have fun at all. As long as he isn't ditching plans he already made with you, there is no reason to get mad, even if you don't particularly like the friends he is going out with. 

Long distance relationships can be really tough, but it has taught me a lot about being in a relationship. It sucks not being able to see John as much as I want, but it makes me cherish the moments I get with him even more and I have a deeper appreciation for his time, as well as mine. We love each other and have a great time together, but being long distance has also helped us be independent of one another and to have our own lives, as well as our life together. 

My advice: if you find someone you love, love them no matter what the circumstances are. Love is never going to be rainbows and butterflies 100% of the time. It can get messy and it can be difficult, but it is all worth it when you hear your S.O. say those three little words that make you melt every time.