So, long distance dating huh? I’m sure the majority of you are thinking to yourself as you read this opening line, why on earth would anyone do that to themselves? I would’ve said the same thing in the past, yet here I am, typing an article about my long distance dating experience.
Now as you can see from the title, long distance dating definitely has its ups and downs. As humans, we are designed for face-to-face interaction, and not being able to connect with or hold each other can take a detrimental toll on a relationship. Hear me when I say this, a long distance relationship will NOT work if both partners are not willing to dedicate themselves entirely to the process. In a relationship where your level of communication is already significantly stunted, it simply will not work when the effort is divided 70-30, 60-40, or anything less than both persons continuously making a conscious effort to give it one hundred percent.
If you’d asked me six months ago, I’d tell you that I would never in my life date someone that I couldn’t be with in-person, yet today I find myself smiling at my boyfriend’s thoughtful messages, counting down the days until I get to visit him again. I can confidently say this is the most secure and loved I’ve ever felt in a relationship, and I believe that me and my partner have implemented and worked tediously on one crucial skill in our relationship that has allowed it to be this way, despite the distance between us.
The number one, most important thing in a relationship is to communicate everything. When you can’t be with your partner physically, it can be hard to maintain closeness and intimacy in your relationship. Effectively communicating will help to not only keep disagreements based on miscommunications at bay, but also allows you to be more considerate of your partner’s emotions (and vice versa). For example, if I wake up in a bad mood and am having a hard day, my partner cannot see my body language and won’t know unless I communicate that with him. Now that he is made aware that I may need more support throughout the day, he may be more patient with me, talk to me with more gentleness than usual, intentionally try to put a smile on my face, etc. Communicating your needs and listening to your partner’s as well will help you to feel secure and connected within your relationship.
Despite the increased effort it requires to maintain a healthy long distance relationship, please, don’t let the hardships of long distance dating scare you. The right person will make the journey more than worth it.
By Gabrielle Bolton, Freshman, Howard University
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