Don’t Let a Short-Distance Relationship Make You Crazy

Imagine this: You’re single, living your best life, getting lit to “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo nearly every weekend. Your life is finally on an upward trend, and you feel confident in your independence.

Then, a boy comes along.

Not just any boy either. This boy is easily the most caring, thoughtful and generous person you’ve met in a while. He actually calls when he says he will and treats you with respect (unlike your past flings). He breaks down your walls, making you feel safe – until he utters the dreaded words every girlfriend of an engineering major hates: he landed a co-op. Not just any co-op, but a co-op 2 hours away.

When my boyfriend first told me this four months into our relationship, I felt excited for him. I rationalized that it technically wasn’t a long-distance relationship because we were a hop, skip and a jump away from each other.

But the thing no one told me about short-distance relationships was that they have a unique way of bringing all of your insecurities to the surface. Once your S.O. leaves, you realize just how comforting it was to have them a mere five minutes away in case you needed a Krispy Kreme pick-me-up or a bear hug after a long day. The worst part is that they are within feasible driving distance, so if they choose not to take a weekend trip up because they have a family event or need a weekend to relax, it’s hard not to feel slighted.

On the first weekend of his co-op, I drove home and stopped at his place on the way. Everything was how it normally was – teasing and handholding. But on Monday when I was driving back up, he didn’t want me to stop. Looking back now, it was completely reasonable. I would’ve been getting home really late, and he had to work early the next morning. But at the time, my insecurities brought out the worst in me. I drove myself crazy trying to analyze everything that had happened in the past week if I had done something wrong or if he was losing interest. I became used to seeing him every day that suddenly the once-a-day phone calls and texting were making me feel unimportant. In reality, I just wasn’t adjusted to the new situation.

Even knowing all of the uncertainties of college relationships and my insecurities, I wouldn’t change a thing. It all boils down to loving and respecting your S.O. as much as they love and respect you. I am truly happy that he got this opportunity because he can ease his fears of the future and figure out what he wants to do. I am also excited to take the extra free time I’ll be getting to work on my own future.

When you and your S.O. start doing long (or short) distance it is important to trust in your relationship. Don’t let your insecurities get the best of you like I let them get to me. When you start feeling crazy, don’t go to your partner when you are running high on emotions, especially if you are going to address your concerns over the phone. Make sure to wait for a time where you can properly put your feelings into words.

If you feel unsure about something, then you need to communicate it with your partner. A podcast I listened to said if you can’t trust your partner to be in a room alone with all of his exes, Megan Fox and five super models without being shady, then you need to re-evaluate your relationship. If this is the case, take time to see what’s worth it.

On the flip side, don’t just bottle it all up. Talk it out (rationally) with your partner and come up with ways to feel more secure together. For example, it makes me feel more comfortable when I know he is thinking about me, so we try to have at least one phone call a day, and I always wake up to a good morning text.

Being a good planner is key. Work out with your S.O. before he leaves what weekends you can and cannot see each other so you can have days to look forward to when you are feeling lonely. Plan to get all of your work done before your partner arrives so you can plan activities to do together.

Ultimately, the key is to see this experience as a lesson. Take this time to grow as a person, so when you and your partner are together again, you’ll be stronger than ever. Work toward your future goals, creating a balanced life, hanging out with friends you missed while in your romantic “bubble” and focusing on your mental health. It’s easy to forget your goals and lose yourself in the relationship, so take this time to rebuild yourself to make your relationship stronger. And always remember, if it’s meant to be it’ll be, no matter how far apart you are.