Long Distance Relationship Tips: Visiting

Happy Monday! This is the beginning of a series of posts I’m planning to share on long distance relationships. John and I started dating halfway through our senior year of high school and have been long distance (for us, MA -> TX) for almost two full years now. I remember panicking the summer before we left for school and google searching “Does long distance work?” (Hint: Don’t do this. It doesn’t help.) and couldn’t find much help. These posts will be directed at a college-aged crowd dealing with long distance, but could apply to a variety of people.

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I’m in Austin this week visiting John while he’s interning for the summer, so it seemed appropriate to start with the importance of visiting. Being in college is not the easiest time for most to have an extra $200-500 lying around to travel far and visit, but it’s important to make sure you put in the effort to keep your connection strong. Freshman year, based on our schedules and available funds, we found that we could manage two visits on top of seeing each other on a couple of breaks from school. I saw John about once every two months during this time. This past year, we were able to up it and I saw him about once a month, which will probably continue to be the trend for the next two years.

While being so far apart has seemed to be a curse in many ways, I think it has been a blessing in some. If we lived closer together–say, if John were in NYC–we would probably visit too frequently and would both miss out on part of our own, independent college experiences because we were at the other’s university for such a large portion of our time. We’ve both been able to maintain our individual college lives and haven’t missed out on anything because of our relationship, which is something I made an effort to prioritize before we started.

As I said, however, visiting is important and it’s key that you make the most out of visit. I’ve seen many diagrams that show three parts to relationships: mental, emotional, and physical. My theory on long distance is that your mental and emotional relationship grow stronger (I guess that’s a plus, haha), but you miss the physical component for most of the time. Making time to visit each other allows you to continue to mature as a couple in the physical side of your relationship.

Lastly, for me, visiting is always a little bit of a struggle. It’s easier to go long distance when you start to forget the little things that you love about  physically being with the other person, but visits bring all of those memories back all at once. The first time John visited me, I spent most of the visit crying because he was going to have to leave eventually. I’ve found that the best way to cope is to live in the moment and try not to dwell on the end date of the visit, but rather know that there is an end date to the long-distance portion of your relationship.

Please let me know if there are any other long distance relationship topics you’d like me to cover or questions that you have! Until next time!

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Long Distance Relationship Tips: Visiting

On Texas

I used to be a Texas hater. The politics, the Bible belt, the state narcissism. It was all a huge turnoff. Then I started dating someone who wanted to go to college in Texas (and still thought he was crazy). Then I went to Texas in February.

John + Allison in Texas in February. See how happy I look?!
John + Allison in Texas in February. See how happy I look?!

Living in Boston has taught me a lot about myself. First, I thought I would love living in a place where everyone agreed with me on all political issues. Growing up in Kentucky, I was ready to flee the legislative grips of Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul; however, I quickly realized that the flip side had its own downsides. I’m frustrated when citizens with conservative viewpoints are written off as inhuman or worthless, and I have found that without having contact with people who think differently than you do, it’s really easy to dehumanize them in your mind. Primarily, this comes in the form of assuming all Republicans are idiots. I’ll admit I occasionally let myself slip into this mindset, but I try to remember at all times that Republicans are humans, too, with different experiences and backgrounds than my own to form their opinions from. Their opinions should not be valued any less than my own.

The Northeast has also led me to realize that I love tacos, barbecue, and an amazing restaurant scene (read: Texas). Boston is an awesome city for many things and reasons, but food is not one of them. Texas has food on lock. I’ll make a separate post sometime about my favorite Houston eats and you’ll likely hear about my favorite Austin eats over the next week while I’m visiting, but I feel like people who are not from the south don’t quite understand what delicious food tastes like. Or maybe no matter how much I love to hate the south, I will always have a little bit of it with me in my tastebuds.

Final awesome part of Texas? The weather in winter. Picture this: Leaving Boston hours before a huge snowstorm hits and landing in 65-degree Houston before enjoying a weekend of sunshine and 75-degree weather. I get the winter blues like crazy and being able to go anywhere that has awesome weather in February is an absolute dream.

Brace yourselves to hear even more reasons why I’ve learned to love Texas over the next week while I visit John in Austin. Until next time!

On Texas