The Struggle is Real: The long-distance struggle

Man, the struggle is real…

Long-distance relationships are a struggle.

My boyfriend and I met in March 2015 and spent little time together before leaving for the summer; we stayed in touch that summer but rarely saw each other. The next August, when we got back to school, we started dating. He graduated at the end of that semester. He stayed around Chadron for a few months, working here, but then he took a job four hours away from CSC, where he  is now.

We’ve been dating for almost two years, but the majority of those two years were long-distance. I am now graduating in May and have a couple of job offers, but both are about three hours from where he is. So the distance continues.

We do it, but it is not easy.

Everyone’s relationship will be different, but here are five tips I found that have made my relationship work:

1. Communicate, just not too much…

It is important to talk to each other, about the important things in your life, about the silly events of the day, and about anything else that might come to mind. But, you should not shut off the world around you for your significant other, and they should not have to either. Make time for each other, but remember that the people around you are important too, so do not shut them out or ignore them.

My boyfriend and I text each other throughout the day, and we end the day with telling each other the happy and crappy things from the day. We call when we can, but we are both busy so we typically communicate via text, and that is ok. My boyfriend knows that my friends here are important and when I am with them, I do not like to interrupt our time with a call to him, and I know when he is with his family, they are important so I don’t like to interrupt his time with them. So our calls come when we are both free and typically only last 15-30 minutes. We make time for each other but we do not push others away.

2. Trust.

Plain and simple you have to trust each other. There is really no point in being in any relationship if you do not trust the other person, and that trust needs to be extra tight when we are not able to see each other every day.

3. Do similar things…

When you are apart you can stay connected by doing the same kinds of things, like read the same books or watch the same TV shows. You do not necessarily have to do them at the same time, but just do the same activities so you have something to talk about.

4. …But keep your independence.

I see long-distance as a blessing in disguise because it is difficult, but it allows you to learn to be yourself while in a relationship. My boyfriend and I do watch the same shows and we read similar books, but we both have our own activities as well. He plays basketball with people from the community twice a week; I take random adventures with my friends. We have the opportunity to learn who we are and we enjoy things without the other person, which I think helps in the long run of relationships to maintain your personality.

5. Share emotions.

Emotions are annoying. I get it, especially for guys. But when you are not together to see the emotions the other person is going through, it becomes even more important to talk about them. When you are sad that you are apart, say it. When you are happy about something that happened, say it. When you are mad about something he or she did, say it.

When you are proud of something he or she did, say it. When you are excited to see him or her, say it. Get over yourself and start sharing emotions.

But also, get over your emotions and do not hold grudges. The silent treatment is harsh when you are together, but even harsher when you cannot see each other. So say how you feel and then forgive and move on.

All relationships can be difficult at times, but long-distance relationships can be an even bigger struggle.

So, the struggle is definitely real, but so is chocolate, so maybe send a box to your significant other, I’d appreciate it… hint, hint.

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