I'm Surviving a LDR, and You Can Too

I’ve been in a long distance relationship for the three and a half years I’ve been at college. I met my boyfriend in high school, and we started dating during my sophomore year, his senior year. When I graduated, I chose to go 100 miles away from our hometown to SUNY Oswego. For us, breaking up wasn’t an option. We were going to make a long distance relationship work, no matter how hard it would be. Here we are, almost six years later, still in a happy, healthy, and committed relationship. These past years haven’t been easy, but relationships never are. I’m a firm believer that if you truly love a person, you can make anything work. That’s why I believe in LDRs.

One thing that was beneficial to my boyfriend and I was that we had been dating for two years before our relationship became a LDR. We knew each other well, and had already formed a trusting bond. We trusted each other to be faithful when we weren’t together.  Another thing to our benefit were our choices of colleges. I chose to go away from home, but my boyfriend stayed home and entered a medical program offered at a local community college. If I ever needed a weekend away, I could just go home and he would be there. I didn’t have to choose between going to visit him or going home to see my family because I could do both.

We learned to utilize FaceTime and make nightly phone calls something special. We FaceTimed with each other as much as we could, because we just missed seeing each other (and I could see our dog!). Almost every night, we called each other to talk about our days. Sometimes these calls could go on for hours, and other times were quick goodnights. My boyfriend isn’t the biggest Snapchat user, so it made the times he would send me snaps special. Planning ahead to weekends we could see each other again helped us because we had something to look forward to.

The best part was getting to see each other after weeks of being apart. It didn’t even matter if we just stayed in all weekend watching Netflix on his couch because we were doing it together. But the happiness of getting to be together again quickly turned into sadness because I would have to leave to go back to school. Three days and two nights is such a short time to see someone when you’ve been apart for weeks. But, we planned time to be together again and made do, because the distance was never worth losing our relationship.

Flash forward to my senior year, and everything is different. Both of us are really busy with school, and it’s allowed us to use the distance to our advantages. Sometimes, we text constantly back and forth all day long. Sometimes, the only communication we have is our nightly phone call. After being in a LDR for almost four years, we’ve gotten used to the distance -- and it only makes the weekends I can come home even more special. There’s never been any resentment in our relationship due to my choice to go away to college. My boyfriend has always supported me and my choices, the same way I support him. We both understand that we need to be in different places to follow our career dreams, so we make the distance work.

LDRs are hard. The saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” is only partially true. Yes, I miss the hell out of my boyfriend when we’re apart, but some days, the distance is nice. It lets me focus on my school work, my job, and my life, and it gives him space to do the same. I can confidently say that our relationship is stronger because we’ve done long distance. Now I know that whatever life throws our way, my boyfriend and I can deal with it together.