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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CAU chapter.

Being in a relationship and finding someone that makes you happy is a challenge. Social media and celebrities have made relationships look “easy peasy lemon squeezy,” but in fact, they are “difficult difficult lemon difficult.”

I do not want it to seem like relationships are bad. Being in a relationship with someone you love and care for is an amazing feeling like no other. Being romantic with someone who is all about you is beautiful but being in a different state, or two to three hours away from one another can cause difficulties. The distance can make an easy, loving relationship complicated.

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There are many things that can complicate a relationship, but distance is the most common. Research shows that only 60 percent of long-distance relationships last and of those 37 percent of them break up within three months of becoming geographically close to each other. About 32.5 percent of all college relationships are long-distance, but having a happy relationship is not impossible.  

Studies show that trust is one of the characteristics of an honest, happy relationship; I know from personal experience that trust is the most important characteristic. Being able to trust your partner is the foundation upon which the house of a relationship is built upon. Having complete trust in someone goes beyond believing they are loyal and will not cheat on you. Trusting your partner completely is having no doubt. You must trust your partner spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally, socially, intellectually and financially.

Whether you are dating to marry or dating to be happy, trusting your partner is one of the greatest challenges in a long-distance relationship.  One of the ways to build trust in a long-distance relationship is to be open and honest. Having open conversations and sharing details about yourself when comfortable helps build a heart-to-heart trust connection with your partner. These conversations will be light and innocent in the beginning but will eventually have depth. In-depth conversations about your social life, background and other intimate things will display a level of trust that you have for your partner and will allow them to do the same.

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After gaining the trust of your partner it must be kept. Because it is very rare that you both will have any physical contact, reassuring the trust you have in each is one of the ways to maintain the relationship. It can be very difficult to earn the trust of someone you cannot be with physically, especially with normalizing for polyamorous relationships, so reassuring your faithfulness and being honest with your partner will establish a sense of security in your words, actions, thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Although I am currently in a long-distance relationship, this is not my first one. I can attest to trust being very important in a relationship. It was not until my past relationship ended that I realized an absence of trust was the cause of our problems. I always felt that my ex would lie to me or keep secrets, most were to protect me and not have me worried, but a few were not.  

I did not trust that my partner was honest and transparent with me to express his feelings or tell me things that I might not have liked. My partner did not trust me enough to be vulnerable and have open conversations about serious and important topics.

While trust is one of the characteristics of a healthy relationship, it does not mean it is easy to earn. Having complete trust in your partner can sometimes be a very scary thing. Fully trusting someone means that they have all the bricks to potentially destroy the glasshouse that is your heart and does not abuse your trust and reciprocates your emotions is the beauty of a relationship. Every person that you date is guaranteed to not abuse your trust but you have to decide whether to take that chance, you have to decide if you and your partner are willing to go the distance.

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Francheska Johnson is a senior mass media arts major student at the illustrious Clark Atlanta. She is from the great state of Texas and is an aspiring journalist. When Francheska is not devoting her time to school, she can be found playing with her dog, painting, creative writing, and reading. As a completely versatile writer, Francheska enjoys all topics and appreciates giving helpful advice, explaining the truth, or informing others about misunderstood topics. Francheska hopes that her bubbly personality and friendly nature are expressed through her writing.