I’d first like to start this article by saying: I am no master of love. Unfortunately, reading this article can’t save a dying long lasting relationship, but I hope it will make you see how, in my case, large hurdles such as trust and understanding can be achieved even when you’re miles apart.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for a while now, but months 7/10 we’ve been together has been long distance. Through it all, I still feel the same endearment when I look at him over Facetime as I do when I see him in person.
When we first decided to do long distance, terrifying thoughts fled through my mind. What if he has the urge to cheat on me? What if I have the urge to cheat on him? What if he gets bored of talking to me through text? What if the relationship we built these past months fall apart due to scheduling conflicts?
These “What if” questions are typically inescapable (If you don’t have them, you are truly the most confident woman in the world and I applaud you for that). No matter if you’ve been dating for 2 weeks or 2 years, there will always be a doubt that the inability to be physically close with your partner can destroy your relationship. Many relationships fail simply on this doubt taking over a person's mind. The love can still be present, but the fear of potential failure and mistrust overbears it.
I’ve learned to ignore that doubt by being completely open with my boyfriend. I tell him everyday how much I love him, let him know how much I miss seeing his face, and how I want our relationship to last through this long distance. These words were terrifying to admit to him at first, but expressing my intimate thoughts with someone knocked down a wall of fear I never thought I had. When he knows how I truly feel he reciprocates and tells me his emotions, his fears, and his hope for the future. By constantly reminding each other we’re on the same page, we can begin to truly trust each other. There is no doubt when you’re completely honest with someone.
Another key component in long distance is understanding you and your partner have separate lives. When my boyfriend and I first started doing long distance there were times when if he hadn’t texted or called for a few hours, I’d become upset with him. Now I see that’s completely irrational. If I’d let my unhappiness over something as silly as him not replying affect our relationship, it could've taken an awful turn. Every person has their own individual lives where they must get things done, do things that make them happy, and see their friends and family. Your partner’s life does NOT revolve around you. If you or your partner have this controlling mindset, things can start to become abusive.
Think of it this way: Your partner’s presence in your life should compliment you. Not consume.
Though my journey doing long distance, I’ve learned more about myself and love than I think I would’ve seeing my boyfriend everyday.
I’ve become more open by allowing myself to be vulnerable. When you see someone every other day there's no time to slow things down, allowing yourself to be slightly closed off. When you’re doing long distance, you experience a sense of longing.
I’ve also become more empathetic towards other people. Understanding that you are not the center of attention in someone else’s life is essential to your own peace of mind.
Long distance has not only being successful in my relationship, it has also made me realize how valuable it’s to appreciate the ones you love. If you’re currently questioning whether to go long distance, I say give it a shot. It may make you see the world and your partner in a different way.