Writing this post is a little funny to me because when I originally started dating Jack (almost two years ago!) I never, ever thought we would stay together once college came around. In fact, we both kind of made a point in agreeing that we would break up before we left, but obviously that just didn't happen :) This post was super requested, and I thought around Valentine's Day would be the perfect time to share. I'll start at the beginning!
At the end of senior year around graduation, Jack and I decided that we probably weren't going to be breaking up for school. As much as we wanted to go to college without limiting ourselves or feeling restricted, it just didn't make sense for us to break up when nothing was necessarily "wrong" in our relationship. SO, to make the transition a little bit easier, Jack spent the summer in Door County instead of at home. This way we got used to seeing each other less and less, and although it was hard, it definitely made the idea of doing long-distance in college more bearable. I even went up to Door County one weekend with my best friend to surprise him!
In the middle of August, I went on my big trip to New York, Rhode Island, and Maine, and Jack came along. It was the best trip because I spent two and half weeks with my dad, Jack came for the majority, and my brother came for Maine. Spending so much time in my favorite places with the three of them made it one of the best trips and so memorable. Of course, this was completely different from the rest of the summer because instead of seeing Jack sporadically, we were together 24/7 for two weeks straight. Spending so much time together made us realize how compatible we really are, and how much we love just being together and spending time together. That said, the timing between the trip and heading to school wasn't the best (I was home for 24 hours between Maine and heading to Lehigh). Going from being together 24/7 to me leaving for Pennsylvania was so hard, and when it was coupled with my difficult adjustment to school, it made me miss him even more.
Before I left (just for reference, Jack goes to school in Wisconsin!), we laid out some ground rules. Different things work for everyone, but setting up some guidelines was really helpful for us. We talked about what we each wanted and then found a way to meet in the middle. This worked out super well at the beginning!
However, I went home in October and saw Jack for a weekend and it made it so much harder to come back to Lehigh for the second time when I wasn't loving it here. I felt like every time we got to spend time together it made spending time apart harder.
This semester, things have been going smoothly. Spending a month at home over winter break was the perfect time to feel settled at home and give us opportunities to figure out what worked last semester and what we wanted to do differently. At the end of the day, we just knew we had to be patient with each other and respectful. We know where we stand with each other and we trust each other enough to not have to worry about what the other is doing. We don't keep secrets from each other, but we also don't do anything that would be something that needed to be kept secret. In short: we respect each other and try to look at things from each other's point of view, without getting in each other's business.
It's been working so, so well. Jack is coming to Lehigh for the first time to visit in just over two weeks!!! I can't wait.
Long distance can be hard, but so worth it. There are times where it's even kind of fun... like picking each other up from the airport or getting to spend a whole month together over break doing our favorite things. Jack even sends me postcards almost everyday to school, and they seriously are the cutest. Little things like that make it different from just being together all the time. It makes the good times great and the hard times bearable.
To all of you in a long distance relationship, best of luck! Do you have any suggestions, tips, or things that work for you?