Distance Makes the Heart Grow Stronger

We’ve all heard the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder” and when I began a long distance relationship, I tried my best to believe it. When your normal involves spending so much time together, it’s hard to know how to be apart from your significant other for extended periods of time. After a few months of being in a long distance relationship, I realized distance was not making my heart grow fonder at all.

Distance caused many arguments, fed my insecurities (I had a lot), and made me so lonely. For me, the beginning was the most difficult. I felt so sad and it took a long time for me to be okay with not seeing my boyfriend all of the time. I struggled finding an identity outside my relationship; it was like I had to be with David to feel whole. As I look back on this, I can see clearly how unhealthy this was and see the negative effects it had on both my relationship and self-esteem.

David and I were eventually able to grow separately while still growing together. While this may not be important for some couples, I believe it was very important for us because we are both independent people with strong personalities. Because I met David right when I started college, I never really experienced a life where I was alone and had to fend for myself. When I was able to figure out how to do that, my relationship became more about wanting to be with him than “needing” to be with him, which I consider an integral part of our relationship. We both pursued additional degrees after our bachelor degrees that allowed us to chase our goals separately while still being there to support each other from afar. With this, we made our own friends through work or school that shared our interests and allowed for meaningful relationships outside of our romantic one, another extremely important element in our relationship. I learned how to be okay being lonely sometimes. Eventually, being alone went from something I wanted to avoid to something I needed. I now enjoy the silence of my own company (and Sophie’s) rather than suffering from severe FOMO because of it.

Although I sort of just made 3.5 years of long distance seem super great, it wasn’t always bright and shiny. We had many arguments, many misunderstandings because a majority of our communication was through text message (talking on the phone or facetiming often is a waste of time for people like us when there is the option of texting that allows for multitasking), and missed each other all of the time. It was far from ideal, took a lot of getting used to, and really tested both of us.

Two months ago, we moved into our first apartment together (yay!). We’re still adjusting a little bit because everyone comes with their not so desirable habits (I don’t do dishes and I leave my things all over the place, oops), but it’s great to have your bestie double as your roomie (even if he takes up space in your bed). We finally get to do normal couple things like hitting happy hours, working out together (I’m obviously not going to have the ambition to go alone), and sometimes just enjoying each others’ silent company when we’re both tired and don’t feel like talking. It’s actually cool to be able to appreciate these small things because it wasn’t something we had the option of doing before. My life feels simple now and I know it’s because I feel safe and secure when I’m with David. I’d be okay on my own (because I’m a strong, independent woman, duh), but I 100% prefer life with him. Also, I must mention that any man who puts up with my crazy for as many years as he has deserves a medal. He’s a freakin’ saint.

 

“When two hearts are made for each other, no distance is too far, no time is too long, and no other love can break them apart.”

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