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When I started dating my boyfriend in high school, I never really considered what would happen when we graduated. I didn’t think much would change, but when I found out he had committed to the University of Alabama reality hit.

Most people in my high school started breaking up right around the end of senior year. They felt-long distance would never work. I was scared because I was the odd one out. I felt like true love could survive any amount of distance, but soon summer came to a close and it was time for him to leave. 

When he left I had never felt so alone in my life. That sounds dramatic, but all my friends left for school, the love of my life went to Alabama and I felt like the loser who stayed home and went to Montclair. 

Now I can say that the hardships I went through not only made my relationship stronger, but they also made me stronger. It’s easy to feel insecure, jealous or alone when your boyfriend is in another state doing god knows what. Trust and independence have been key lessons I've learned in my long-distance relationship. I've been with my boyfriend for two years now, and we’ve gone through four semesters of college together. It can be rough emotionally, but I think we’ve got this on lock now. 

Here are some things that helped our relationship survive when we were 1,032 miles apart:

  1. Text each other “good morning” and “goodnight” every day, it ensures communication even if you’ve both been busy. It’s also a nice thing to see when you wake up and right before you go to bed.

  2. Make facetime your primary use of communication. Facetime is the closest you get to feeling like you’re with your significant other, calls and texts aren’t the same. 

  3. If you get annoyed with the person, tell them. Sometimes I felt like my boyfriend wasn’t trying hard enough and I was upset that we weren’t speaking as much as normal. Everyone is human, people get busy and sometimes they slip up. Long-distance doesn’t work if you don’t discuss your feelings and issues. That means not saying “I'm fine” when you’re really not (I know it's hard). 

  4. Visit them if you can. I try to visit my boyfriend at least once a year. I've been able to establish relationships with his roommates and fraternity brothers which helps me feel closer to him. It can help you feel more a part of their life which will help you understand each other more. 

  5. Set Goals. Every relationship is unique and it’s important to understand what works specifically for yours. My boyfriend and I try to work on texting more and visiting each other more. For you, it may be calling more or getting to know their friends. Finding what works for you is the key to success.

There will always be rough patches and hard times, but as long as the relationship is worth it, you’ll get through it. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you tried your hardest. My boyfriend and I found what works for us and we do our best to prioritize each other. We support one another and understand that we might get busy one week and slack on communication. It’s all about balance and understanding. You can make it work.

I’m Jada Bonilla, a contributing writer for HerCampus. My main goal when writing an article is to create an open conversation about the topic. Motivating others to think deeper about issues is important to me. I think different points of view are so valuable and I love to hear other peoples ideas and opinions. I express my own ideas through creativity, HerCampus gives me the chance to channel that creativity.
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