I survived a long-distance relationship

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I graduated from high school a single young woman. I was 17 and would be turning 18 soon, and I was fully prepared to meet someone while I was away at college. I even expected to meet the one (you know, my future husband) in that Hollywood way that all college students meet their life partners.

As life would have it, I ended up dating a friend of mine the summer before I went to college. We had met in the 7th grade and pretty much became best friends. Then high school came along, I started dating, he started dating so we grew apart. But on my 18th birthday, we made the difficult decision to be together.

“Difficult decision?”

I would be going to Texas State, and he would be attending Texas A&M Kingsville–an entire three hours apart from each other. It may have been a very short distance compared to others’ long-distance relationships, but we figured it would be hell nonetheless.

Fast forward to today and you will find that we are still as in love with each other as the first time our hands touched on the couch at our friend’s graduation party. We will both be finished with school in December, and then we’ll be getting married in April 2018.

Four years ago, if you had told me where we’d be in 2016, I honestly couldn’t have pictured it. There were many, many times when all the frustration, tears and fights were almost too much to handle.

But we managed to pull through.

How?

  1. VIDEO CHATS

SKYPE WILL SAVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

If it hadn’t occurred to you already, video chatting is what holds LDRs together. I got to see his amazing smile every single day, and we’d keep each other company while we did homework. And by “did homework” I mean “watched YouTube videos for ten hours at a time while we tried to do homework”. Although it hurt that he was just pixels on a screen and not actually there, it really did help to be able to see him. Try Skype, Google Hangout, Facetime, Snapchat and other video chatting apps.

2. Communication

Talk to each other as often as you can. Whether it’s by text, Facebook messenger, Snapchat or even a good ol’ phone call, take time to talk to each other. One of the biggest mistakes I made that put a lot of stress on our relationship was neglecting him while I was busy rushing a fraternity

3. Visits

Obviously, this was a favorite of ours. Since we were both in marching band, we had to schedule our visits around our football schedules. But the beautiful thing about college marching band is that, unlike high school, we weren’t required to go to every single game (HALLELUJAH!). So if I was free, I’d drive three hours to Kingsville and stay for a few days, and if he was free, he’d drive to me. Savor each of those precious moments you have with each other. You never know how long it’ll be until the next time you get to visit.

4. Spontaneous visits!

While playing hooky to go spend time with your boyfriend is frowned upon, I did it SO many times. I would take advantage of the classes that didn’t take attendance and leave on a Thursday (when I still had class on Friday), and stay until the following Tuesday (when I had class on Monday). This was easier for me to accomplish later in the fall when football season was over, and in the spring since I didn’t have to work around band. Obviously, I don’t condone skipping class to visit your significant other. But the look on his face when he opened the door totally not expecting to see me sure was worth it.

5. Staying optimistic

This one’s the most difficult to practice. At one point, we realized that we’d have to spend three months without seeing each other. When he left San Marcos that night, I cried myself to sleep. I wanted it to be a year from then. I wanted to be in my apartment, with him beside me. Those feelings didn’t waver, and now I get to wake up to him every single morning. My dream has come true.

Try not to let the college dating environment get to you (which is another topic for another day). Stay strong and one day, it will all be worth it.

By Aissa Martinez

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