Absence Can Make The Heart Grow Fonder

Savannah Brown, Contributor/Copy editor

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There are currently 14 million couples in the United States who are considered to be in a long distance relationship (LDR), 40% of these relationships will fail, according to Statisticbrain.com. For someone who is in a LDR, this percentage scares me. If you are like me, you will Google every question you have, big or small, in hopes that you will do the right thing in order to keep your relationship going.

It is scary being in a relationship, you never know if the person you are choosing or thinking about letting into your life will walk all over your world or be apart of it. Being in a relationship forces you to gain a certain level of trust but being in a LDR forces you to grab that next level. LDRs come with their own challenges and sometimes the problems that may arise are harder to deal with.

First off, throw a pity party. Stay in your pajamas all day and cry while watching sad movies for a couple of days. After that, go back to your normal routine and if you do not have one make one. This is a good time for you to complete unfinished projects, learn something you have always wanted to learn and go out with your friends. Make sure you keep yourself busy.

Learn how to trust your significant other (SO)  like never before. It is hard to believe what someone says when they are not with you. When you are hundreds or thousands of miles away from each other it is normal to feel insecure. Is my SO going to leave me? Are they going to find someone better? Are they with someone else right now? etc. The key to this is to have faith that your SO will continue to love you and be faithful.

Jealousy is one of the hardest things to overcome. When my boyfriend, who is in the air force, arrived at his technical school he was lucky enough to find out that one of his childhood friends was also going to school there. They would hang out often and no matter how childish it sounds, I would get jealous.  While they would get breakfast together, go to the beach and see movies, I had wished I was the one doing these things with him. On my behalf it took a lot of looking in the mirror repeating to myself, “Stop being crazy!”.  It is lonely for the girlfriends/boyfriends left behind but that does not mean it is not also lonely for the ones who leave.

Communicate as often as possible, even if it is writing a letter to one another. When my mother and father were in a LDR they wrote each other everyday for a year; they were together for 20 years. My Aunt and uncle were who were also in a LDR wrote each other every day for over a year and they have been together for 27 years. When you do not communicate, often your lives begin to pull apart. Imagine a game of tug of war, the middle of the rope is beginning to break and only a single thread is keeping it together. This is your LDR, you both are living separate lives and that thread is what keeps you two connected, this is also your communication.

Your troubles are not worse than your SO and if you keep telling him/her that they are, you will push them away. In a situation like this it is hard to not play the victim and wallow in self pity. LDRs are much like breakups there is the missing, the hurt, the less frequent communication and so it is understandable to be sad. However, at some point you’ll ask yourself what’s more important, my relationship or my sadness?

Learn how to be patient. There are going to be times where you want to see your SO even though you can’t, it may even make you angry. “When you want to be with someone and you can’t, you get frustrated and so you have to learn to basically deal with it or move on. If you don’t want to move on then you learn how to be patient.” said Sarah Curtis, my mother.

LDRs are never easy and there will never be a point when they are, they only get easier over time. The most impactful thing my mother told me was “It sucks big time, sometimes you just have to deal with it because it is something you can’t change. You have to roll with the punches and act like an adult even when you don’t want to.”

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