Relationship, a word many people create a stigma around. Being in college, many females do not tie themselves down because they want to be able to pursue different aspirations and not have to worry. The same can go for males as well. A committed relationship does not have to stop you from pursuing your goals, and distance shouldn’t either.
I have been in a long distance relationship for seven years and here’s the kicker, I’m only 21. I’m a Jersey girl and he’s a New Yorker. Many may judge our age and say there’s no way you know who your soul mate is when you start dating at 14 or 15-years-old. Just like anything else in life, not all relationships are planned. I did not think that at 14-years-old and a freshman in high school that my relationship would last as long as it has. It just happened.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts for long distance relationships that I have learned along the way, and have helped me maintain my sense of self.
When you’re entering college and you have a boyfriend, you should not feel that you have to stay close to please him. At the end of the day you have to plan your future for you. You have to do what makes you happy. If your boyfriend can’t understand that, then maybe he’s not the one. Do not settle on making him happy. There will be compromises along the way that will have to be made on both ends, but never sell your self short on goals you want to accomplish.
My boyfriend has been very supportive of me and the crazy dreams I have. When I first entered college, I was a bit hesitant about making decisions and would consult him before with my choices. But after a while there was no need for that. I wasn’t consulting with my parents, so why consult with him? I quickly realized that I had to do things on my own and make my own decisions. There’s nothing wrong with asking for advice, but make sure what you want is a priority.
Don’t Neglect Those Around You
You can still be in a relationship and not have to be with your boyfriend the entire time. He has his friends and you have yours. You both had lives without each other before you met, and that should continue throughout the relationship. Whether people want to believe or not, space is essential in a relationship. Now, don’t take that literally and never see each other.
When we first started dating, I would avoid my friends and spend as much time as I could with my boyfriend. I was on a natural high of being with him. That did not last long because after the first few months it was summertime and he wanted to hang out with his friends, which left me to hang with my own. I’m not saying that when I spent time with him I never talked to my friends, but I didn’t split my time equally. Leave that line of communication open and find a balance. Do not expect your friends to always be the rebound.
Do Find a Hobby
When all else fails, your boyfriend has something to do and your friends are busy, then you resort to a hobby. Find something you love to do, whether it be writing, reading, exercising, etc. Find something to keep you busy. My passion is writing and I could spend hours on end with a pen and paper. When you’re good at something, pursue it. You never know what it can evolve into.
Don’t Forget Your Personality
You are your own person and it is easy to lose sight of that in a relationship. Also if you are currently not in a relationship, don’t go looking for one. That’s always a fail. Do not rush love because love is something unplanned. When Mr. Right comes along you will know, as cliche as that sounds. Regardless of who you end up with, remember your worth and stay true to the person you are.
So it’s not completely true that long distance relationships are disastrous. They can absolutely work if you’re willing to put the work in. Bring who you are as a person into the relationship and do not force change. If you do change along the way, just consider it growth.