I've been in a few long-distance relationships and they definitely aren't for everyone. Many flat out say they could never do it, but I said the same thing before I was actually in one. It's difficult to know what you're getting into until you're booking weekend trips to see each other, scheduling phone chat sessions and going solo to an event because your guy won't even be in the same state. Whether the distance is as far as the next state over or half a country away, I quickly learned that you can discover quite a bit about yourself and relationships in general when you're faced with being in a relationship with someone who is so far away.
Some of the 'big' stuff isn't very important
When you're in a long-distance relationship, your time with each other seems even more precious. You don't want to spend the phone calls and your time together in person arguing over trivial things. You're more conscious about choosing your battles and you realize what's really worth it in the grand scheme of things. It's important to learn, whether you're dating someone local or someone who's far away.
Little gestures make a big impact
Being so far away from each other, you can't just go on date when you want or show up at each other's home, so you often rely on little gestures to make things work. One guy I was in a long-distance relationship with would contact me via phone or email, but he would also send me a handwritten note once a week because he knew how much I loved getting them. I would send him little gifts I knew he would enjoy. In a relationship, little gestures have a really big impact whether you give a love note or pick up a small present you think he'll like. It helps keep the spark going in a relationship.
We take people (and things) for granted too often
It's easy to take the guy you're with for granted when you can see him whenever you want. Everyone, myself included, has done it at some point in a relationship. However, having a great guy in your life and being in a wonderful relationship is a privilege and not something we should take for granted. When you're in a long-distance relationship you realize that even more because your guy isn't right at your fingertips. Just because you have your guy and the relationship today doesn't mean you'll have them tomorrow. It sounds like a scary thought, but it's the truth. Show him every day just how important he is in your life and make sure he does the same for you.
Good communication really is vital
In a long-distance relationship, you don't have that face-to-face contact unless it involves talking to a computer screen, so you really learn just how important good communication is in a relationship. If you get into an argument, you can't just talk things out in person, kiss and hug, and it's all fixed. You have no choice but to learn to communicate better. One thing I can't stand about texting is that you can barely convey your feelings the proper way. When you need to discuss something important and you can't do it in person, forget doing it via text or computer. Call and actually talk to each other. It can help you communicate your feelings better and limit the amount of misinterpretation.
You learn to trust more
Trust is incredibly important in any relationship, but when you're local it's much easier to find out if a guy you're dating is doing something behind your back. In a long-distance relationship, all you really have is trust. If you have trust issues, it's a truly scary situation to be in. However, you realize even more than a guy can cheat whether he's down the block or in another country, so you should give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that he's not going to hurt you and trust that you picked a great guy. Not trusting him is going to do nothing positive for either of you or your relationship. Other than doing your best in a relationship, all you can do is trust him. If he's going to screw up anyway, that's on him, not you.
Many have asked me if a long-distance relationship is worth it, and I wholeheartedly believe it is. It takes a lot of work, patience and life adjustments, but if you're both committed to making it work then it absolutely can. Sure another guy might come around tomorrow who lives in the next town, but there's very few guys you will have that ultra-special connection with. They're worth holding onto.
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