How To: Survive Your LDR
They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. They also say distance isn’t worth it and that it never works. But that is something I disagree with. If two people want it enough, distance can work. It’s tough, not easy. It requires patience, time, money, and trust. I told myself that I would never do a distance relationship but that was before I fell in love with someone I wanted by my side for the rest of my life.
We had been dating for 2 months, but I swear to you that those 2 months felt like a lifetime. The adventures we took, stories we made together, it was all so amazing. It felt like something out of a movie. I knew she would soon be leaving and while it was something I knew, I didn’t focus on that during her time home. I focused on each moment and it made it all so worth it.
She moved down to South Carolina for school and we prepared ourselves for what would be the hardest, but most worthwhile 8 months (originally 2 years) of our lives. At first, I think we were a bit naïve. Distance seemed easy, until it wasn’t. Everyone’s relationship is different, people are different, and circumstances are different. What worked for our distance relationship might be a modified version of what worked for another couple. I can’t speak from a place of absolutes, only my personal experience. The key to our successful distance relationship relied on a few things.
1. Communication. This was a learning experience for us. We had spent almost every day together the 2 months before she moved. We never had to text or FaceTime each other and we all know face-to-face communication is a lot more beneficial and easier to convey emotion than anything else. Communicating via text and setting up FaceTime calls saved our relationship. The 8 months apart helped us grow so much as a couple in terms of communication. Fear of missing out on your SO’s life is a common concern so sharing as much as we could was helpful in combating this fear.
2. Scheduling visits. This was a bit more difficult between school and work for the both of us. But we managed to make it work and it made time together so much better. When you are apart from someone, the moment you are together you aren’t really focusing on the fact that you have to leave or you’ll be back at distance. When we would get together we would want to focus all of our time on just the moment and doing things together and just simply being together. We had known what was going on in the daily lives of each other so we didn’t need to converse about that. It truly allowed for real and authentic conversations to happen, lots of picture taking, video taking, and just enjoying being in the same room as one another.
3. Love. Love can make you do amazing things. Distance works. It works if you want it to and you actually put the work and effort in. When someone means so much to you, distance means so little. The love we had for each other was stronger and bigger than any amount of miles between us. We wanted it to work more than anything. It was tough, of course. There were nights I cried, missing her, wanting to just hold her hand, give her a kiss…just look in her actual eyes, not through a phone screen. But the love I had, it didn’t matter the distance. I knew I wanted to be with her and only her, so we did everything in our power to make distance the best we could. We would often talk about our time together once distance was over, and think about the future; our future together. It made the time seem to go by quicker.
I wouldn’t change the fact that I was in a short term distance relationship. Of course, I can only speak for my relationship and what worked for us. I don’t know what it’s like for someone to be in a long term distance relationship. I know that other distance couples have their own struggles within the relationship and life, etc. Every one out there is different. Every relationship is different. But these things did work for us, and it helped us thrive as a couple. Now, we have impeccable communication. We thoroughly enjoy every moment we spend together whether it’s out on a hike, or sitting on the couch while we study or watch TV. We embrace the time spent together. We take a lot of pictures because they serve as memories for us. Distance served as a learning tool and just a building block in our relationship. We still have hardships within our lives and we are still growing (and always will be growing) as a couple and it excites us.
Distance made me realize how difficult but beautiful and exciting and worthwhile being in love is. Now, it’s just a chapter in our book and we have turned the page since then. We are so excited for our future and what’s to come. We beat the distance, and it finally feels so awesome to say that.
About the Author:
Meg is a 25 year old East Coaster. She is currently studying Human Development and Psychology at a New York State University. Her ultimate goal is to become a Sports Psychologist and work in a college setting. In her spare time, Meg loves to travel and has been to over half of the United States so far; her favorite places being Rockland, Maine and Portland, Oregon! She also loves spending time with her girlfriend, friends, and family, hiking in the mountains, playing guitar, and yoga.
You can follow her adventures on Instagram: @meggmott