Distance makes the heart grow fonder

Claudia Hall/THE ARKA TECH
Claudia Hall/THE ARKA TECH
Ryan Flippo/UNCHARTED PHOTOGRAPHY

There are a lot factors that go into a relationship. You have to dedicate your time, love and faithfulness to one person. That in and of itself is hard, but long distance relationships take the cake by a landslide.

Long distance often gets a bad rep. My freshman year, I was in class when the professor asked for a show of hands on who thought long distance relationships weren’t real relationships. Three-fourths of the class raised their hands.

I wholeheartedly disagree. Long-distance relationships are legitimate, and one could argue that they’re more real than close-distance relationships. By adding hundreds of miles of distance to the mix, you have to be dedicated and committed to the relationship or it will not survive.

You have to learn how to openly communicate, something that most couples struggle with. It’s easy to get caught up in your own life and forget to call or message them back.

When you’re both busy, you have to work around schedules to find time to talk. And because you both have so much to do, it’s common to feel like you’re bothering them if you call them out of the blue.

It’s easy to get jealous because their friends get to hang out with them and you don’t. When you’ve had a horrible day, the only way to find solace is to hear their voice. You can’t hug them, which is all you really want and need.

Sometimes you miss them so much your heart physically hurts.

Everyone knows the struggles of long distance, but what surprises me is no one seems to talk about the positives about all those miles apart.

In the two years of dating my fiancé, I have grown in so many ways. I’ve learned to speak my mind. If I don’t, he won’t understand why I’m upset. I’ll be losing my mind over a situation while he’s whistling and going along with his day.

Since I see him once a month, twice if I’m lucky, I have never taken his presence for granted. The room lights up when he enters it. Every brush of a shoulder is electric.

For the first month of our relationship, we only lived thirty minutes apart. We showed love through physical touch and quality time. Once I moved away, we had to learn how to show love in other ways. It took nearly a year to figure out how to achieve this.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that even though we don’t have much time to talk, and we can’t physically be together, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me. I’ve taught myself to rely on other things to make me happy—God, my job, school and friends.

The most beautiful thing to come out of this hardship is we are not the center of each other’s universes. I can go on with my day even if he’s in a bad mood and won’t speak kindly to me. I’ve learned how to find my own happiness.

It’s almost like we are in relationship limbo. Although we are completely dependent on each other, we still have our own lives and hobbies. That’s something I would have never learned if we weren’t so far apart.

The only evidence of why we’ve lasted is because we are best friends. When something interesting happens during our day, we automatically want to tell each other. Without this bond and determination, I can’t guarantee things would have worked out.

Long distance has taught me a lot more about relationships than I ever knew was possible, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It may be true that two-thirds of long-distance relationships don’t work out, but it will build an unbreakable foundation if it does.

Claudia Young
About Claudia Young 58 Articles

Claudia Young was the Editor-in-Chief of The Arka Tech (2015-2016)