Ok, let’s start by being very clear. Long distance does not mean 4-hour drive distance. In this situation, long distance means 8 hours transatlantic flight and no less than $800 plane tickets. I found it super disrespectful for people to say they are in long distance relations and literally can visit each other with less than a 5-hour drive. I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you are in the same time zone or country as your significant other, no matter the number of miles, it’s not a long distance relationship.
I met my now fiance back in 2012 while he was studying abroad at my University. For all of you new around here, he is Spanish. We met each other in April, even though he was not leaving the island until the end of July. I was going away for the summer. So we had to say goodbye right after the semester ended. #sad
We did spend a lot of time together. We had a lot of free time, mostly because during that time we had Spring Break but also the University of Puerto Rico employees held many strikes. For all of you not familiar with what goes on when there is a strike at the University of Puerto Rico specifically on the Mayaguez Campus, you might want to read this first.
Being in a long distance relationship has ups and downs. For me, the ups were more significant than the downs. I hope that this post helps others who are in a long distance relationship to see beyond the worst part of it.
During those three years of long distance relationship, I only had to care about my social calendar. I never had to put myself or my boyfriend in a position where we had to choose which birthday party, wedding or other celebration we needed to attend and consequently decline other invites. Yeah, sometimes it was a little weird having a +1 and not going with your significant other. But hey, what are friends for, right?
Close to Zero Relationship Drama
When we spent time together was over the phone or video calls. Depending on our schedules that would mean that we will talk for about an hour per day. We did manage to talk to each other every day or every other day. My boyfriend and I just shared how our day went and supported each other. We understood if the other person was busy and was not available to talk. Ans since we love each other, they were not any reason for us to be arguing or mad at each other.
No Hurt Feelings
We all have that one friend that disappears after starting a new relationship. Well, me being in a long distance relationship meant that I disappeared only when I was out of the country. While he was visiting, all of my friends understood that we needed to spend time together. So they were ok for me ghosting for two or three weeks. Which I never end up doing. We had double dates and went out with them as well.
I would say this is my favorite part of being in a long-distance relationship. Getting gifts on the mail, beautiful romantic messages and even surprise visits. To keep the romance alive in a long distance creative you have to go above and beyond with your creativity. When my boyfriend was having a bad day, I just will go online and order him some pizza or his favorite burger and got it delivered to his apartment. For his birthday I will get him a cake and he used to do the same for me.
Not being single took away all of the dating drama that usually takes place during college. I never had to wait for a boy to call me back or ask me for a date. Having a boyfriend did not stop me from going out and partying. But it did let me experience it in my way. I just wanted to have fun when I went out to a party, and could not care less if a guy approached me that night or not. I will add that this gave me a lot of confidence on how I dressed and glammed up. Since I was not trying to get anyone’s attention, I wore whatever felt comfortable and look cute.
Being in a long distance included a lot of daydreaming for me. I will always have the motivation of being with him un the future and was counting the days until he arrived in Puerto Rico or I was flying to Spain. Since both of us were students and saw each other during breaks, that meant that we always had something planned and were looking forward to the end of the semester.
Focus on My Grades
Lastly, having a serious relationship that did not take so much time from me allowed me to focus on my grades. I had little to none distractions while I was completing my Bachelor’s degree. Also, it’s very important to mention that since my boyfriend was an engineering student, who is very good at math. His tutoring lessons not only helped me get an A in Calculus. But also, allowed me to test his patience on so many levels. 🙂
After all, maintaining a healthy long distance relationship requires a lot of determination and perseverance from both sides. The most important thing to do is to never test the trust of the other and that’s it. Just be happy!