I’ve been dating Andrew for all four years of college. I love him more than anything but long distance relationships are not a cakewalk. You don’t just go about your business in two different parts of the country without ups and downs, and most importantly, commitment.
The summer before I went to college I was terrified of a long distance relationship. The effort needed didn’t scare me, but the stories of other relationships falling apart messily did. I didn’t want a mess, just to be with my best friend.
Andrew was my first boyfriend, so I went into the whole thing completely blind. All summer before freshman year I avoided bringing up college or defining what we were, because I was afraid the answer would be “nothing.” Until about a week before I left, we had a short talk where we both said we were exclusive and that was it. We weren’t even “official” yet. But off we went, him in Buffalo, me in New York. About a week into school we said our first “I love yous” and we both knew without certainty how committed to each other we really were. That was the key, I think, to the success of our relationship. We knew that we were exclusive and in it for the long haul and that we both cared about each other more than anything else. The understanding and commitment were, and still are, key.
Since we were decently far apart for the past three years, and extremely far apart this year, we don’t see each other often. But we do make every effort within our means to see each other as often as possible. When we were both in the same state that was about once a month, and now, it’s once every few. So when we do spend time with each other, we spend a lot of time doing our favorite things.
That part sucks. It really really sucks, and it’s hard. Sometimes it’s easy just to get really busy and focus on my work and school and everything but there are quiet moments where I miss Andrew and I just get sad. It sucks not being able to see your best friend every day, every week or even every month.
We also make an effort to talk on the phone or face time as much as we can. Between Andrew’s work and mine it’s tough, but we manage to get as many in as possible, just to catch up and so we can hear each others’ voices every once in a while. We do text all day, every day, but even then we go long hours without hearing from each other.
But that’s easy. What’s hard is knowing how to balance our time when we are together. Summers, especially, make it hard to balance working with spending time together with spending time with our friends, most of whom are all in the same friend group. Sometimes we want to hang out together, but it’s also important to not really smother each other and spend time with our friends and families, too. This is something that took a little while to work out, but now it comes more naturally.
But I am glad that going to separate schools allowed us to have our own separate lives and our own separate times to grow. I would have loved to be able to go to school in a place where I could see Andrew more often, but I am extremely thankful that my friends aren’t just Andrew’s friends, and that my college experience was my own, and that my own challenges and growth were my own. Though, it was absolutely wonderful to have Andrew to share the ups and the downs with. And I am incredibly lucky that both of us have grown together through all this time, rather than apart.
There’s (hopefully) only a few more months left until Andrew and I are in the same city, preferably less than five minutes from each other. This whole thing has been extremely hard but this is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s incredibly important for me to get to be with Andrew after I graduate, which is why I’m more than willing to move down to Atlanta and get a job there, so we can figure everything out after. He means the world to me, and (hopefully!) me to him.
I’ve been missing Andrew a ton lately, but I’ll see him next week when I get back from Florida, and hopefully soon everything with a job and such will start lining up. Long distance is extremely difficult, but I know in the end everything will be okay and as it should be.