Being in a Long Distance Relationship in College

When I tell people that I haven’t seen my boyfriend since mid-August, their initial reaction is the wide-eyed, awed, confused, “How can you deal with that?” In reality, I’m used to it. Well, kind of. When I’m at home, we live about nine hours away; when I’m at school, there’s still a seven and a half hour difference between us. This past summer, I was lucky enough to get to see him almost every weekend for a month and a half, but once mid-August hit, we had to part ways for another few months.

Something I learned early on about long distance relationships is that you have to work twice as hard as a normal relationship. You have to be open, honest, and trusting, or else you’ll make yourself  (or your partner) go crazy while you’re apart. You have to make time to FaceTime, text during the day to let them know what’s going on, and call each other regularly. You’ll spend hundreds of dollars on plane and train tickets and even more in gas money. And, above all, no matter how many bad days you have, you have to think of the big picture.

But I don’t think the distance is all bad. Because the majority of our relationship is spent dealing with the distance, I’ve learned more about him than I know about some of my friends who I see every day. I could order him a meal at any type of restaurant (down to the type of sauce he likes with his fries), recite his favorite sports teams (and favorite players), and name almost everybody in his super-large Italian family. And, by the way, all of this doesn’t even make a dent in the cute, funny, and straight up strange facts I know about him.

Not to mention that I’ve gotten really good at making sure we both hit “Play” on The Office at the exact same time, and I’ve seen about every movie on Netflix for our “date nights”. I know exactly where in my house I have perfect service and where I have horrible service. I’ve even learned more about the ability of my laptop (did you know you could share your screen with someone?).

Although the distance sucks sometimes, it makes the time we actually do get to spend together that much sweeter. And because of that reason, I keep checking my countdown-the-days app and smile like an idiot when I see that I’m one day closer to seeing him again.