How a Long Distance Relation Was the Best Thing For Us

Happy Friday! This is the third blog post in the long-distance relationship series and I have been getting tons and tons of questions. Most of the questions are about how we were able to survive five years long distance or why I am writing so positively about the whole thing. Today I thought I would clear up these questions once and for all. While being in a long distance relationship for most of the time we were dating was never easy, it was the best thing that could have happened to us.

Zach and I were only 17 years old when we were applying to colleges. We had only been dating a few months and had no idea where our relationship was going. I was looking for a VERY specific program that only a few schools in the nation offered for college and Zach was looking for a school that he was going to feel comfortable at for the next four years. Unfortunately, the schools I was looking at and the schools he was looking at were not the same schools. We had to decide if we were going to follow each other off to college or if we were going to put ourselves first and do what was best for each of us individually. It might sound strange to hear that looking out for ourselves as individuals before looking out for us as a couple was the best choice we could have made, but it was.

Had one of us followed the other off to college, there would have been so much added stress and pressure to our relationship. One of us would have needed to give up their dream of what they wanted from college. It would have been nice to be able to see each other more than once every other month and it would have been easier at the beginning, but in the long run I believe whoever gave up what they really wanted would have ended up resentful. Deciding to chase our respective college dreams allowed us to "have it all" in a way. If I had to do it all over again, I would be making the same decision.

Along with wanting different things from the colleges we selected and applied to, we also had very different college experiences. Zach was a business major and took mostly afternoon classes with a fairly typical course load. He loved hanging out with his friends and participating in the fun things college offers. He went to concerts, would go golfing, helped found a fraternity, and went to parties. I, on the other hand, went to college with a very specific goal: to get out of school with the most amount of education in the least amount of time. I took the maximum amount of credits I could since getting done with school quickly was more important to me than free time. On top of that, I joined a sorority that ate up almost all of my free time with philanthropy work. Since we were at different schools, having such different goals, schedules, and experiences worked out for us. It would have been incredibly difficult to justify my crazy schedule when I wanted to hang out with my boyfriend and I doubt I would have been able to get done what I wanted to get done in five years. Zach would have likely missed out on parties and fun things with friends when he felt like he had to prioritize me ALL THE TIME. Being at different schools really allowed us to get what we wanted out of college without feeling guilty about it.

If Zach and I had gone to the same school, we would have had to choose between our relationship and getting what we wanted out of college. It seems backward to say that by choosing what we wanted over our relationship we actually strengthened our relationship, but I am not sure we could have stayed together this long if we had compromised on what we wanted for our future instead of choosing ourselves first. What choice have you and your significant other made that has had the biggest impact on your relationship? Do you think we are crazy? Let me know in the comments below!