Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Overcoming Difficulties: The Benefits of a Long-Distance Relationship

You know how they say being in a long distance relationship runs all kinds of risks? What if you can't handle the stress of worrying about your partner all the time? What if you meet someone else? What if the feelings change and your connection goes? What if you two stop loving each other? For me, being in a long distance relationship has made me appreciate my partner even more than before.

(Photo taken from Google Images)

Two nights ago, I stayed up until 4 in the morning having a heart-to-heart with my boyfriend, Tom, who is 2,000 miles away. I don't think I've gotten that homesick or emotional since I moved into my dorm in New York City. Because of those feelings and what I've learned from them, I decided to write a small guide on how to handle a long-distance relationship.

Step 1: Stop freaking out.
Seriously. Although you probably can't help stalking him on Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram/Twitter or whatever else 24/7, stop it. Stop constantly wondering who he is texting and which girls he'll talk to that day. They're just normal people, just like the people you sit with in class, hang out with and meet on the streets. He is living his life, just as you are living yours.

Step 2: TRUST your partner.
If you two are meant to be, it'll work out. I can't emphasize that enough. I know they say that people have the power to control their lives and choose what outcome life presents. Unfortunately, that is not the case in a long distance relationship. You might not want to hear this, but you have very limited control over what happens in this unique kind of relationship; You're not there to watch his every move. The best, and really the only thing you can do is to trust your partner. Besides, if you don't see yourself cheating on your partner in the future, why would he cheat on you? You guys have history, and that truly means something.

Step 3: Live your own life.
For yourself and for everyone around you, get your butt off the couch and GO OUT. Seriously, go to that party, take those shots, smoke that joint, turn up, break the rules! You finally have the luxury to do whatever it is you please, and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Just as your significant other is enjoying his time in college or wherever he resides, you have the freedom to enjoy yours. So go out and have fun! He will be waiting for your Skype call when you return. ;)

Step 4: Miss them.
Although I've emphasized how important it is to be independent and feel reassured, missing your significant other is an important aspect of a long-distance relationship. Truly experience how it feels to miss him, how it feels to live life without seeing him every day, how awful it would have been if you guys broke it off before even trying. Being in a long-distance relationship is THE relationship test: it should make you treasure your partner even more, not love them any less.

Step 5: Look forward to the next time you're seeing your special person.
This is one of the bests part of being in a long-distance relationship. You get to count down the days until you see him next! Get a calendar or a planner and mark off the days as you get closer and closer to seeing your special person. Time flies by, and you'll be in his arms sooner than you think! Each new time you see him, whether it's been three months or three years, you get another first kiss. :)

Update: I am currently writing this post in my friend Elise's dorm. Her living room has the biggest window I have ever seen in an NYU dorm. It gives off this beautiful, natural lighting; I just had to take some photos. Also, she looks identical to Zadie Smith so naturally, I love her already.

(Photos taken in NYU Palladium Hall)

Before I go, I would just like to say that choosing to try long distance has been one of the best decisions of my life. Whenever I feel stressed, upset or alone in a scary world, I remember that someone out there (2,000 miles away) loves and cares for me just as much as I do him; the feeling is indescribable.