Our long distance relationship brought us closer.

Recently I went out to lunch with an old friend and between catching up and devouring our BLT wraps we talked about college. I love gushing about my college experience because I am so taken with my incredible school. Conversation turned to my boyfriend and I’s relationship.

Chris and I started dating right before our senior year of high school and throughout the year we avoided the college talk for as long as possible. He was set on Iowa State and I on University of Illinois and really we didn’t know where our relationship was going to stand once we left for school.

I figured the worst that could happen was it wouldn’t work out. I would rather stay in the relationship and realize that we weren’t cut out for distance than break up and regret it while wondering if we would have made it afterall. Chris had the same stance so that was that.

The first few weeks were terrible. We went from seeing each other daily  to having to figure out how to communicate effectively through technology. There were miscommunications, breakdowns, and moments of hopelessness. But in the end it was worth it. We learned how to navigate the distance and how to say what we meant without miscommunications.

 

Wondering if you and your boyfriend are cut out for a long distance relationship? Read here how distance brought one couple closer!

We are better communicators.

After a year of communicating through technology, it turns out we are communication pros now.  After learning how to decipher what the other person meant when we weren’t able to use any visual cues, now all we need are visual cues and maybe a word or two and we instantly are on the same page.

We have more jokes.

We had to try harder to make the other person laugh, because when we were 381 miles apart sometimes it felt like there wasn’t much to laugh about. Now we have a ton of stupid jokes that nobody else would think are funny, but to us they are hysterical and that’s all that really matters.

We have a new appreciation for each other.

Time together was rare and special, so we didn’t waste it. With that new understanding of how important the other is, we still don’t let time together go to waste. Before we could sit together in the same room playing on our phones in silence for half an hour. Now time together is spent focusing on each other.

We are more supportive.

We weren’t having shared experiences anymore, but instead we were sharing lots of stories about our new experiences. Hearing about Chris’s new friends, I could either be jealous that he was with them and not me or I could be excited for him even though I wished I was there, too. The distance taught me how important it is to support him and be his biggest fan.

We trust each other.

When you have no real way of knowing what your significant other is, you have to have an extreme amount of trust. Trust that they aren’t lying to you, and trust that they are being faithful. We trusted each other fully and still do. Fully trusting each other required a leap of faith, but once we took the leap we were all in and never looked back.

We are best friends.

The distance helped us shift into a more serious relationship and transform from just a couple to best friends, too. Plenty of my friends thought that I was crazy for going into my freshman year in a long distance relationship, but I was optimistic. It turns out that optimism worked in my favor because not only did Chris and I survive the distance, but we thrived. We understand each other, we laugh obnoxiously whenever we are together, and we are very secure in our relationship.

I can wholeheartedly say that our year of long distance is one of the best things to ever happen to us. Couples in long distance relationships have to try harder than couples who are always together. Now that the distance is non-existent we still try just as hard as we had to when there were 381 miles between us and that’s why I think we have such a successful, happy, and healthy relationship.

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  • My boyfriend and I began dating the end of senior year, around the same time as you and your boyfriend! I can relate to this very much, I’m glad it’s working out well for you two, it’s working out quite well for my boyfriend and I, too 🙂

    • That’s awesome! I am so happy it is working out for you! Relationships are hard, but if you put in the work they are so worth it!

  • Pam

    I came over to look at your page sections after seeing a post in a group on Facebook. I immediately fell in love since this was the post at the top of your page. My (now) husband is in the military. We dated for a year before we faced him moving and the prospect of long distance dating (me in SC, him in CA). We took the plunge and tried it out and I don’t regret it one bit! We grew so much closer in all the ways you mentioned and it has really strengthened our relationship and appreciation for each other. After a year and a half apart, I was able to join him and he proposed right away and our wedding was soon after. We couldn’t be happier! This is a great post sharing the long distance experience! Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

    • Oh wow, that’s super long distance! Good for you guys! And thanks to your husband for his service! That’s such a sweet story, it made me smile so big!! Thanks for sharing YOUR experience!

  • I am married been married for 7yrs, but these are some good tips for success in any relationship. I also have two high school children 16 and 17 these tips will truly help them as they begin dating

    • I hope it does help them! Thank you for reading!

  • Gingi Edmonds Freeman

    This was a great post! I can say the same was true for me and my hubby when the Navy separated us.. <3

    http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    • Thank you so much! And thanks to your husband for his service!

  • Very sweet post! Glad there are many positives for those in this kind of relationship!

    • There are so many positives just so long as you look for them, which is definitely hard to do! But the good outweighed the bad by a lot!

  • While I haven’t been apart that long, my husband and I’s relationship started out pretty much over the phone, so we got a lot of communication in, and i think it seriously helped our relationship. Now he’s in the army and is away a lot and we know how to keep in touch 🙂

    • Oh wow, that’s awesome! Phone communication forces you to be great communicators! And thanks to your husband for his service!! Thank you for reading!

  • Debra Needles

    It sounds like you have a good relationship. When people do the long distance thing they will figure out really fast if they don’t have anything to talk about that it isn’t going to work. Can’t snuggle to occupy the time when you are on the phone! lol

  • I’m glad your long distance relationship is working out for you! My husband and I dated long distance for awhile while we were dating…it was hard, but so worth it!

  • Debi Robarts

    Long distance is SO hard. Keep up the positive attitude and WORKING at it. That’s how to make it last. 🙂 And if it’s the right person, then that’s what matters.

    • So hard, and so worth it! Thank you so much for the advice and for reading! 🙂

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  • Rachel

    I am in the exact same kind of ldr and for anyone reading this my biggest piece of advice is to set goals for your relationship! Marking when you’re going to see them next or even when you’re going to live together/near each other is a sure fire way to stay positive. Ldr’s are often terrible but can be worth it as long as you can have those moments to say “I miss you, but I’ll see you soon”.

  • Mattea Roweton

    When I met my boyfriend at 15 at a church camp and realized we lived 1,000 miles apart, we knew we were too immature to handle a relationship like that even though we were crazy about each other. So we agreed to stay friends. There were a lot of complications with us dating other people and staying in touch but when we saw each other again a year later we knew that we needed to at least try dating. At 16, it’s really hard to establish a relationship with 1,000 miles between you. Your friends get to spend every moment with their significant other and you ALWAYS 3rd, 5th, and even 7th wheel. However, despite both of us being busy with school, sports, and work we started to figure things out. Now we have been dating for two years and I am heading to college while he continues his full time job and taking classes on the side. It has been really hard but I definitely agree that our relationship is a lot stronger than most people our age because our communication game is so strong. As much as I love being around my boyfriend, it has been a huge advantage to not only have someone to rely on no matter what but also have the space and time to go out and experience new things without just staying in and watching movies like I know we would do every weekend if we could.

  • These are so true! My boyfriend and I dated for about three months before he had to transfer schools. Some days it’s harder than others, but we definitely make it work(:
    http://www.aslifegrows.com