The Truth About Long-Distance Relationships
As I watched my boyfriend get further and further away from the airport security line I was standing in, I found myself waiting for some sort of movie moment. As his body transformed from what I knew to just a blob amongst a sea of people, I sought out my life-changing moment delivered by the voice of Morgan Freeman to make sense of everything I was feeling. But alas, nothing. My boyfriend continued on to the life he knew without me and I got on a plane back to Austin to do the same. This is my reality. And I am here to share my truth about the ever-so romanticized, long-distance relationship.
By Mykaela Johnson
Photography by Bianca Carina Photography
I know, my introduction made the whole process seem somewhat somber, however, my whole purpose in writing this is to debunk the myth that long-distance relationships are desirable, picture perfect scenarios. Conversely, I want it to be understood that it is doable and something I am immensely grateful for within my relationship. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 6 years (I know, crazy huh?) and have been distanced from him for nearly two years. I find that the essential ingredients to a healthy long distance relationship grow and evolve each day, however currently I can list three things that are working for me that I have deemed the three C’s:
I think the first step to having a successful long distance relationship is acknowledging the responsibility and commitment involved in what you’re doing. I know I make it sound like a binding contract, which it is not, however it is something you and your partner should discuss well in advance. It is something you may argue and cry over, but know that it is something that is ultimately up to the both of you to argue and cry over, no one else. Discuss every aspect of your relationship and acknowledge how it may or may not be impacted by distance. The important takeaway from this component is that you both should understand and communicate your expectations from one another while distanced.
This step is one I personally dread. It is one that requires admittance and concessions from both parties. It is compromise. If you and your partner get to the point where you do decide to pursue long distance, you’re going to have to schedule times to eventually see each other. At one point in time, my boyfriend was out of state, so this was very difficult for us. Your girl is not big on changes of plans; if my mind is set on a date, I’m determined to make it happen. However, in my determination, I oftentimes neglect to acknowledge my partner’s time and what dates work for him. I’d hate to add another C, but really, the best way to handle this is communication.There is always going to be some sort of scheduling conflict or additional hurdle, but communicating what you both want well in advance leaves room for visits on desired dates to happen. Regardless of scheduling, seeing my boyfriend after some time apart is truly the most rewarding, heartwarming feeling.
Last, but arguably the most important ingredient is care. When approaching this step, I try to view my relationship as something tangible; something that can be nurtured and groomed. I cannot put enough emphasis on taking care of your relationship, especially when you are distanced from your partner. I have determined that care comes in many forms and is of course dependent on the people, time, and space involved in the relationship. For me, I find care through communication. Hearing my boyfriend’s voice at least once a day helps me know I am in a healthy, fostered relationship. No matter how busy we get or how flustered I am, I always try to speak with my boyfriend at least once a day on the phone. This definitely isn’t the only way I feel care in a relationship, it is just a prime example. Care can show itself in many different ways amongst different people. The point is, no matter how you approach it, you want to put in the effort and time to keep your relationship wholesome, which will urge your partner to do the same.
Long distance relationship can be extremely scary and certainly are not easy. I still find myself challenged each day at how to live my best life away from the one I love the most. Which is why I want you to read this testimony at face value. Do not take what I say to be THE truth, but ONE truth amongst a world of others that all hold validity and value. If there is one take away that I want you to have from this, it is that it can be done. It may not be the “Dear John” moment you always fantasized about and it will take a lot of work, but you will still be contributing to a love greater than your own. And whether it is distanced or around the corner we all deserve love in this life.