Before second semester my boyfriend was offered a Co-op for General Electric. Yeah, pretty impressive. I was so proud of him and excited for the amazing experiences ahead of him. The only problem was, he was going to be four hours away. Instead of being a selfish controlling girlfriend (in other words, pulling a not-as-psycho Spencer moment), I realized it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up so I gave him (and his move) my full support.
A few weeks into our new LDR, reality set in and I was down and out, wishing someone had taken me aside and told me what to expect from such a difficult situation. I shared those lessons with you, so anyone diving into their first LDR would know what to expect. Now, months later, I am still learning and still struggling. It is summertime, so we are not only 6 hours (instead of four) apart, but we cannot visit each other as much. It doesn’t sound like much of a change to an outsider, but the longer this LDR goes on, the more I am learning, understanding and hurting.
Six months later, here are five new things I’ve learned from my LDR:
1. It doesn’t get easier. People who say time heals all have obviously never been in an LDR.
2. As bad as things seem, it could be worse. I got comments on the last article where girls were dating people out of the country and out of state. Hearing these stories made me appreciate my circumstances even more. My situation isn’t easy, but we don’t have time differences, expensive flights or international phone charges to deal with, and I am so grateful for that.
3. People who aren’t in LDRs just don’t get it. “I mean, you get to see him sometimes”, or “but you talked to him for an hour today, what’s wrong?” Or, my favorite, “I’m so tired of hearing you say you miss him.” A few weekends here and there doesn’t make up for the four weeks in between. And an hour a day doesn’t make it easier when he isn’t there to hold you.
4. You will question why you are even putting yourself through this… more than once. I tried calling our relationship off after 3 months apart, but my boyfriend wouldn’t let me. I know now that as much as things suck, being without him at all is far worse than being without him for a few months. But that is hard to remember when I’m lonely and sad and jealous of everyone who’s got their boyfriend right here, right now.
5. Everything will be okay. As much as it hurts, and it sucks not to have your boyfriend with you, you’ll be fine. Because not only is it a learning experience, all those silly clichés about this being an ultimate test like you’re on Survivor or something are totally accurate. It lets you know you have the real deal, after all.
To all those couples in long distance relationships, I wish you luck. Try not to roll your eyes when people quote clichés about how “distance is the wind to your fire,” or whatever. They really mean well, and if you think about it, they have some truth behind them. As much as you hate the distance between you two, it will be worth it when you get to see each other again.
True love really is worth the challenges presented by time changes, long flights, late night phone calls and everything else that comes with an LDR.