Deciding to go away to college is always a huge mix of emotions, and not to mention a major learning experience. You leave behind your friends and family to embark on your new journey in life, which can be very hard, and for some people, they also have to say goodbye to their significant other, which is usually even harder. Luckily for me, after one semester of being apart, I have found that the distance between my boyfriend and I has actually made our relationship stronger.
I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend, Noah, for two and half years. We met in our tenth grade Latin class and bonded over our love of Wes Anderson films and the Arctic Monkeys. We had the classic high school sweetheart relationship, (ups, downs and drama included) and when it came time to graduate I was headed to a campus in New York while he was headed to Washington DC. At first, we decided to just go our separate ways, but in time we learned something new about our relationship.
After spending the summer before freshman year apart, Noah and I realized how much better life is having one another to share it with, and although being far apart seemed scary, it was something we were willing to try. After hours of talking and crying, we finally said goodbye and our long distance relationship began to flourish. We FaceTime each other during our lunch break on busy days and on weekends, we call each other to share exciting news about our classes and clubs and we even visit each other about once a month. I always say that I’d rather have a crazy life with him than a normal life with someone else. We make it work in our own, unique way.
Being distanced from Noah has made me realize so many different things about my relationship with him and my relationship with myself. First and foremost, I realized how much I really do love this person and how 252 miles does not change that. I also noticed how trustworthy he is, and I never worry about him sneaking off with another girl or lying to me. I know if he did not want to be with me, he would be honest, seeing that we broke up for the summer to make up our minds. Noah has also proven to be extremely supportive and understanding through all of the chaos first semester brought. I never realized how much he wants to see me succeed and how much he wants to be there cheering me on. One of the best things that has come out of being distanced is that we are so much closer as boyfriend and girlfriend because we appreciate each other a lot more than we ever have. Seeing each other every day in high school, being in the same classes, having the same friends and living two minutes apart never really forced us to realize how wonderful the other person is because we never had to step back from everything and be apart.
Only seeing Noah once or twice a month inevitably has allowed me to spend a lot of time alone, which I actually have loved. Of course, I miss him every day and wish I could come back to my dorm after a long day and just lay in bed next to him, but just having myself to interact with most of the time has allowed me to become so much more independent and strong. I rely on myself to do pretty much everything, and I figure out things that I would normally ask Noah to help me with all on my own. I always knew I was capable of doing anything, but I was never put in the position to consistently depend on myself only. Noah never stopped me from being myself, but there is nothing more enlightening than spending time alone for long periods of time. The first time I went down to DC from New York to visit Noah was the first time I was traveling anywhere alone. I was nervous because I had never done anything like that, but now that I have done it, I trust myself more than ever.
Many people will question your relationship and make you think twice about it being the “right thing” for you, and remind you that “x percentage of people meets their soulmate in college,” and the whole nine yards, but only you and your significant other really know what your relationship is made of. It is not a walk in the park and there are times where I do break down because being with Noah is all I want after a long day, but everything is so worth it. Trust, support and communication are essential to having a healthy long distance relationship. It may not work out for everyone, but it is always worth the shot. If the love is there then nothing can break that, and in my case, distance really did make the heart grow fonder.
Lead Image Credit: Kristina Litvjak via Unsplash