The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This is an opinionated Piece.
I’m surprised too. Never in a million years would I have ever thought being in a long distanced relationship was not only healthy but, dare I say it….fun? I always assumed that it took a special kind of person or party to manage a relationship that required states or even continents between them. Now, I am no expert; I have only been with my partner for a year and a half, but I feel I have some experience, and I have a few things to say about it. Let’s talk about it.
I will say I was that person who repeatedly said that I will never make two choices in life; one of them is to never date long distance. I proved myself wrong, only because I did learn that there is going to be someone out there that is your person, and while it might feel perfect, there will be that one-minute detail that throws you off and makes you ask yourself, “should I continue this?” I never believed in the right person, wrong timing debate, only that the right person is timeless. Who is to say that this person is the right person? Yourself, only you. I hear the thoughts of doubts, insecurity, and denial not only from others but from myself from time to time.
I do believe in the saying, distance makes the heart grow fonder; as much as that is cliche, it is very true. You truly have to wake up each day and make that conscious decision to learn to love someone even if they aren’t in front of you. You have to learn to love without touching and learn more through communication and comprehension. There are days when there is nothing to talk about, and it isn’t awkward; ask yourself, when you are on the phone, do they feel like they are in the room with you, sitting in comfortable silence? I think romance and affection have changed for me; I am very big on words of affirmation and acts of service, while my partner adores physical touch. I think knowing that my partner tells me each day that I am worth waiting for is endearing for me. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing enough?
I think that question makes you want to work harder. Not in a way in which you are trying too hard, but it feels exciting to do things together through a screen to feel closer to this person. For one week, we decided to write a poem each morning to one another, almost every night we try to watch a show together and pick new ones as well, we talk about books, and think of how to have virtual dates; also planning knew ones when we see each other. But there is more to it than that, I think we all have choices as we know, and I am sure in myself that this person makes me happy; I’m seen as a person, someone that has terrible days and glorious days, and then there are days I see a couple walking down the street hand in hand, and I feel envy. Step one is to never project those icky feelings onto your person.
My favorite part about being long-distance is that it challenges you to be your own person, to exist in this world where you are you, you have hobbies and new passions each day. For me, I started a candle business, and I wrote a book; now I know I want to be a writer. You see yourself in a new light, maybe even guessing why this person fell in love with you, even enjoys your essence and time. The best days or weeks are when you get to tell them everything you have accomplished. You can live in two different states and have different lives, friends, and adventures; it makes both of you well-rounded individuals. In my experience, I have only known myself as someone that has a constant fear of abandonment, and I constantly want to be around anyone and everyone I feel connected to. Now, I have this new sense of independence, and I like that part of me. I have tried something new while they were away, and I want to keep doing so; I went to my first bar and danced my heart out, and then I did the same at a rave, now I have the opportunity to go to a drag show in a few weeks. There is much more out there than the bubble of what we know and see as a relationship.
It feels like the first date all over again when you see each other. Whether you are visiting them in a new state or a reoccurring one, you still feel those butterflies in your stomach, and your heart still hammers. I still feel the same way when I first started dating them, and it does not feel like it will go away anytime soon, and that is something to be grateful for. Expressing that to whoever you are dating is sweet too; everyone talks about communicating as key in a relationship, but I think most people believe that boils down to telling them what you want or need out of the said relationship. Sometimes, sharing those heartwarming feelings do the job; the honesty behind those feelings as they translate into words works wonders. Step two is to find what makes it still feel fresh and new. However, if you are fine where you are at with each other, then that is something to celebrate.
I think long-distance has made me work harder to understand my own worth and validation; something I had to absolutely drill into me is that someone cannot give you something if you cannot give it to yourself. I feel as though I am always affirmed in my relationship, but let’s be honest, there are times in which your partner is busy, and you may be spiraling in your own mind. Those are the moments you have to step back, learn and know that you are safe; tell yourself how amazing you are, and that person has seen that in you as well. It helps to also be around people that make you feel you aren’t alone; seeking new and fulfilling friends, is to me, crucial. Your person may make you feel happy and alive, but they aren’t the sole purpose; you learn that part comes from within you. You are your purpose; you are full of happiness and life regardless of whether they are here physically or not. Step three is knowing that you are light, and hopefully, your person knows that they are light as well; now, you get to share that with one another.
The grand question I often get is, “Are you afraid of being cheated on?” My answer to that is, “why is that where your mind travels to?” You either trust your partner, or you don’t. You either feel secure, or you don’t. You might have unresolved challenges that you face, but you owe it to yourself and your partner to be the best version of yourself and vice versa. People say we can’t control people, especially those we are dating, yet we constantly try to think of scenarios that are completely out of our control. Trust me, you learn t stop torturing yourself and open your heart to the possibility of greater scenarios, ones that don’t allow you to lie awake at night.
Personally, I think long-distance is so fulfilling because you have to fill your own cup, learn you, and build you, and your partner doing the same makes you connect more. It creates a sturdier foundation. And maybe having a respectful and secured relationship with yourself is what makes any relationship work. I know for myself, looking back, I possibly didn’t think I could be in a relationship such as the one I am now is because I was never sure of myself and the lack of trust I had in people. At the end of the day, you never know your limits until you try, and sometimes what you dread may be the best decision you made. Next time, it is okay to try something you said you wouldn’t.