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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Long-Distance: Is it Worth it?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCU chapter.

I have had two long-distance relationships in my life. One of them lasted two weeks, and the other has lasted two years and counting. So, what was the difference?

When choosing whether you should do long-distance, there is one question that you should ask yourself: do I really love this person? Now, this may be hard to see when you are in a relationship. It is easier to look back on a relationship and reflect than be self-aware while you are in it, but it is possible. If you can see your life without that person, it simply won’t work. You have to be truly and deeply in love with that person to make long-distance work. It should not feel like a chore to keep the relationship up from a distance but should feel like an opportunity.

I am sure hearing that being away from the person you love is an opportunity is strange. I am not diminishing how hard long-distance is, but more looking at all the positives I have gotten out of it. The first positive I have received is that I am so much more independent and self-sufficient. Being apart is rough, but as college women, we should be growing individually as our own people. This is definitely possible to do when you are in a relationship that is not long-distance, but it is a lot easier apart. Instead of having to sit down and create boundaries for self-growth and alone time, you are given the opportunity almost every day to be alone with yourself. Being alone with yourself is a crucial time to figure out who you are, your own goals, your own gifts, and your own beliefs.

The second positive of a long-distance relationship I have received is learning how to communicate better with my partner. We continuously hear from couples that have been together for years that the key to a long-lasting relationship is communication. Long-distance provides you with a unique opportunity to basically be put through relationship communication boot camp. It is sometimes hard to pick up on tone in text messages, and that can cause problems in communicating when your long distance. To remedy this, it is necessary to be as open and honest as possible and learn how to really read the nuisances you both have to communicate. It is also important to communicate expectations for how often you will talk by text and on the phone and how you expect to be commincated with. If you don’t like the way your partner communicates about certain things, tell them! The key is to be direct when you are long-distance to avoid miscommunication.

The third and final positive to long-distance is that you value time together more when you have it. When you only have limited time together, you are more intentional about how you spend that time, and you are less likely to get into a slump where your relationship is stale. Every time I get to see my boyfriend we have fun things planned to do, and we also prioritize each other for the few days we are together.

Honestly, long-distance is not for the faint of heart, but I would do it a thousand times over because of who the person I get to do long-distance with is. Both parties have to be 100% in and ready to make some sacrifices. It is important to focus on the positives of the time apart rather than the negatives to help the relationship succeed and so you don’t fall into the trap of being sad when you’re apart. My advice is don’t look at the statistics of a successful long-distance relationship, but follow your heart and stay positive.

Senior Economics major and political science minor from Germantown, Tennessee graduating in May.