When I was going off to college all I remember is everyone saying, "don't waste your time staying in a high school relationship." Well, I'm currently still dating my high school boyfriend, and I can tell you that I don't feel like I am wasting my time. By staying in this relationship, I have learned a few things about long distance relationships, myself, and life.
Here are some of the lessons that I have learned through my long distance relationship.
1. They are harder than they seem. however, they are rewarding
Relationships can always seem hard but, try being 1,000 miles away from your significant other... Yeah, it's not easy. However, there is something very exciting about being able to see someone you haven't seen in a while. It's like a reunion where all of these different emotions overcome you, and your just super happy to see them again.
Whenever I see my boyfriend, we fall back in sync. It's like I just saw him yesterday and we just chat all day and goof off. We are very much a team whenever we see each other. I carry one bag, he carries another, he washes the food off the plate, and I put it in the dishwasher (I don't like dealing with icky food). We also like to take spontaneous trips to Walmart and look for the one item Walmart does not have. For us, it was a microwave. It is really nice to know that at the end of the day, I will see his face again and it makes every second being away from him worth it.
2. You learn to appreciate the present moments
When I am with my boyfriend I definitely spend less time on my phone. Being a millennial, I have social media and use it pretty often (Instagram is my favorite to scroll on). However, when we are together we stay off of our phones and pay more attention to the time we have together. I think both of us have learned that the little things in life matter more and you learn to cherish those moments. I have since learned to put my phone away more and look around every now and again, even if I get a push notification from Instagram I've learned to ignore them.
The world is much better looking through your own eyes then though a phone screen. Sometimes I am sad that we don't have a lot of photos of us, but then I remember all the times we have been together and the memories we have made. This is when I remind myself that life is short and moments are more vivid when you live it in real time versus through a phone screen.
3. Do not let a relationship stop you from discovering new things about yourself
I have heard so many stories of people saying they didn't do something because they wanted to hang out with their boyfriend instead (yuck). Being in a long distance relationship, I never have this problem or thought. No one should stop you from learning things about yourself. Try a new hairstyle (like I did). Buy that top you feel great in. Not sure if you like sushi? Try it, the fish won't bite you.
College is a time to grow, so you should try whatever you want. Explore the world and do not let anyone stop you from exploring, especially a significant other. There are countless stories of people who feel like they are "wasting time" or who have "wasted time" in a relationship. However, I don't think I am wasting time in my long distance relationship. I am still growing as a student, a leader, and most importantly a human. (I'm adulting!... Or trying to).
4. Trust is always key
You learn not only trust your partner but others as well.
Trust is something that has become a major player in my life. If your partner says they are with their friends at a dinner and they can't talk, you just have to trust them. If I didn't trust my boyfriend, then why would I have one, right? I have to trust that he is doing what he says he's doing.
To be totally honest though, after a while you start to care less and less about what they are doing 24/7. You learn to trust and it become so natural. With all this trust it opens up more time for me to relax and eat (and occasionally do homework).
5. You learn how to plan... really well
Planning ahead is HUGE when you are in a long distance relationship. We both look at our schedules and decide how much time will be involved in getting to and from to see each other and how long we can see one another for.
Also, since we are both broke college students, we have to get the good deals on flights, boats, and trains (yes, we have used all those modes of transportation to see one another). This skill has now translated into my daily life more as I learn to look ahead and manage my time accordingly. For instance, if I know he is coming I try to get as much work done as possible so I do not have to worry about it when he comes.
Overall, long distance is hard, but I feel that I can take each one of these lessons and apply them to my daily life. While this experience has been difficult, it has also been rewarding. I've learned so many important lessons from this that I will remember forever. So, if you're considering a long distance relationship, I would say go for it! It will do more good than harm.