For anyone about to have a relationship become a long-distance relationship, this is for you.

Before I get too into this post, I’m going to be super raw and honest with you. Almost everyone will tell you your relationship won’t last. Don’t let this allow doubt to creep into your heart, rather use it as incentive and motivation to invest in your relationship even more. You and your partner are more than capable of making this work. But it’s going to be exactly that: work. Work at it and work at it everyday. When it’s finally all said and done, look back and be proud of how much stronger and closer the two of you are. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

In just 4 days, my long-distance relationship of two years will no longer be known as that: “long-distance.” But what’s absolutely incredible is when I think about the past two years with Luke, the word “distant” is the furthest thing from my mind. Despite the 1,080 miles between us, I’ve always felt close to him.

Luke and I have been best friends since 8th grade, and, even after I moved halfway across the country after middle school, we still kept in touch. It wasn’t until the summer after our sophomore year that we made it official, and we’ve been happily together ever since. So, how’d we make it work?

We would have “visits” or “trips” about every two-three months (this last stretch equaling 4 months), alternating who was flying to who. But that meant about 60-90 days in between of no physical contact or face-to-face conversation. Sure, we have Skype and FaceTime to help us there, but I promise you it’s not the same at all.

I think, first and foremost, one of the most important things in a long-distance relationship is trust. This is probably true even for non-long-distance relationships. If you don’t have trust, you won’t make it.

Secondly, you need to be understanding, forgiving and gracious. I put these all together because I believe they all go hand-in-hand. It’s really really easy to take the written word out of context, meaning giving the benefit of the doubt is so important when it’s your only means of communication. If misunderstandings or hiccups occur, try working them out on a phone call rather than text if possible. “Hugging things out” isn’t really possible when you’re miles apart.

Finally, believe. If you really truly believe that they’re “the one,” act like it and it will happen.

If you’re doubting whether or not your relationship can survive the weight of distance, just remember that there are plenty of “success stories” out there. You can do it too.

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