Our Story: Austin and I have been married since May 2017. We met each other my last month of high school and Austin’s last week of his freshmen semester at BSU in April of 2016. I won’t go into detail of how I knew he was the one on this post, but I instantly knew that I was falling for him FAST! At the time, Austin was living with 5 roommates in Boise (where I am from) but he is originally from Idaho Falls so when the semester ended, his apartment lease ended and he moved back to his home in Eastern Idaho. We went on a few dates before he moved for the summer and it was pretty evident that we liked each other.
When we first started dating long distance, we weren’t “official” but we had to get to know each other somehow! You can know facts about someone just by texting a lot, but you learn the most by going on real life in person dates. So, Austin drove from Idaho Falls to Boise a LOT that summer. We quickly fell in love and knew we were in it for the long haul.
That’s crazy though, right? We knew that once the summer ended Austin would be moving back to Boise and I would be moving to Rexburg. We kind of put off the inevitable and then one day during one of his weekend visits we had “the talk.” We basically had to decided if we were going to stay together and figure out a time where we would both live on the same side of the state for more than a week or break it off because neither of us liked dating long distance.
I was already enrolled at BYUI and had an apartment contract so we had to at least date long distance for a semester. “The talk” was difficult and awkward. We loved each other, but we knew that if one of us left the colleges we were attending to move to be closer to one another it would have to eventually result in marriage because giving up the life we were both so excited to have on different sides of the state was going to be a really difficult sacrifice for one of us.
Austin was passionate about attending BSU. I was so excited to live on my own for the first time in my life! Ultimately, we were both torn because neither of us wanted to move back to our “hometowns” which is what would happen if we wanted to live close to each other.
I made the decision that I would move back to Boise after one semester at BYUI before I even left for rexburg. I loved Austin. I knew how much Austin loved BSU and the program they had for his major. I knew that him living in Boise was good for him and that he would do really well there.
The day came for me to move to Rexburg. We both cried (edit: I *might* have gotten teary eyed – Austin) as I drove away, but we knew that it would only be for a short time.
After that, I visited as often as I could- almost every other week! That semester was hard! But we both learned a lot and in the long run, it made us love each other deeper and take advantage of the time we had together in person.
Consider yourself lucky if you live in the same town as your significant other. Long distance isnt for the faint hearted! It really is a test of love. Though you may not see your S/O all the time, be ready to spend all your time making it work.
After making long distance work for over half a year, here are a few tips we learned during our long distance dating journey! We hope it helps you love birds fighting the good fight!
Address the Issue
Although it’s obvious, you’d be surprised by how many people put off talking to their significant other about the fact that they’re dating long distance.
BEFORE you even live in far away locations from each other, talk about it! And no, I don’t mean just talk about how hard it’s going to be. If you love this person you have to expect that it’s not gonna be easy! Here are a few suggestions that I’d recommend discussing;
-Are you both willing to work together when it gets hard?
-Will you be honest if a new person enters in your life so someone doesn’t get led on?
These are sometimes uncomfortable to talk about, but nevertheless, it’s something that needs a little time.
Miscommunication can be so easy. Without being able to read the other persons body language, hear their tone of voice or be able to ask direct questions, we can often get easily confused or offended due to another’s comments.
When Austin and I dated long distance, the number one problem we had when we got into a fight was due to a miscommunication. After several disputes we discovered a trick that helped us better understand each other.
When feelings get hurt just remember that the last thing your partner wants is for you to be hurting. So, instead of getting upset, ask:
“You may have said something differently but this is what I heard” and repeat back to the person the way you understood the comment. Then, say, ” this is what I felt” and explain why the comment hurt your feelings.
Also, try to look at it from the other persons perspective.
You are off the market
YOU ARE IN A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP! DONT DO ANYTHING YOU WOULDN’T FEEL COMFORTABLE ABOUT YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER DOING!
I get jealous so easily. If a girl looks at Austin in any type of flirtatious way, claws come out. I knew it. Austin knew it. BECAUSE WE TALKED ABOUT IT!
Talk about that stuff. After Aus and I talked about it, I knew and TRUSTED that I didn’t have anything to worry about as far as other women went.
For me, a blonde, spiritual young woman at BYUI (aka a dating war zone) I just had to be straight up with guys. I would either directly tell any guy who was trying to be flirty that I was dating someone already, orrrrr I would wear a “fake engagement ring” (Thanks Walmart! $8!) and flash that baby enough that no guys would come close to me.
Honestly, a big helper was the fact that I just avoided talking to guys all together. The best way to avoid any unfaithfulness is to never give it a chance.
That was completely 100% my decision. It wasn’t Austin telling me that I couldn’t be friends with any guys, I gave myself that rule. I wanted my focus to be all on Austin. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!
Someone asked me if I regret any missed friendships I could have made and my response is no. I became BEST friends with my roommates and that was all the friends I needed.
Honestly, when you’re seeking to progress in a really serious relationship, you shouldn’t be friends with the opposite gender anyways. You won’t be friends with that person once your married sooooo… why make the friendship in the first place?
(Harsh, but that’s just my take on it)
When you miss someone, all you want is to be with them .Thanks to modern-day technology we can almost do that with the click of a button! FaceTime was our saving grace. We set times regularly where we could talk face to face…through a screen. It helps if you make a schedule so you guys can get in a routine!
We would talk every Wednesday and Sunday at 6 for 1.5 hours.
The scheduling was good! This may sound weird, but if you Skype everyday, sometimes you run out of things to talk about and the conversations can get awkward and forced, even if it is with someone you love. Giving ourselves a couple days a week to talk for 1.5 hours was awesome! It was long enough to make us both feel like we were current in each others lives but not so often that the Skype dates became a hassle. It was something we both looked forward to! Those Skype dates were the highlights of my week when Aus and I lived far away from each other!
Make visiting each other a priority! I get it, its hard, gas is expensive, work is hard to get out of and you probably have so much homework. I have been there! But you HAVE to make time to see each other. Aus and I tried to visit each other 1 or 2 weekends a month. One time we went a whole month without visiting each other and it was miserable. It was honestly probably one of the most rocky months we had simply because we couldn’t be around each other.
You can text and Skype all you want but the best way to grow your relationship is to be together in person. Hugs are important! Kisses are important! Getting butterflies before he picks you up for a date is important!!!!
When I reflect back on our long distance days, it makes my heart smile. I remember how AMAZING it felt to finally be able to be together in person. There are few moments that top that first hug you get when you two embrace in a long-awaited hug.
Make a plan
You can’t date long distance forever. Make a plan of when you will both be living in the same place. If you don’t have an idea of when one of you guys will be moving closer, then whats the point of dating if its gonna be like that forever?
That may be harsh buttttt having a set day where the long distance gets to end is so helpful!!! I had a countdown for the day that I would move back to Boise so I could be closer to Austin. It was really nice for the hard days to know that in x amount of days, I could be with the one I love.
However.. this was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. I LOVED BYUI! It was one of those places that I felt like I finally belonged. But.. I knew I loved Austin more. I knew that the life I would make with him was far better than going through life by myself in Rexburg. It was a hard decision but one I am eternally grateful for. literally. I am married to my best friend because of that.
Is moving back too much commitment? How do I know if I should make the move?
I am going to be totally honest. It’s a huge commitment. Austin and I fought about it in fact! We were both stubborn and wanted to stay at our current colleges. But we loved each other SO MUCH!
It was scary. We knew that moving back was a big sacrifice for me. AND if I did move back, we would mostly likely get married. WHICH WAS SCARY ON ITS OWN! That’s a big commitment!
When I was trying to figure out what to do, I prayed about it a lotttt. I was frustrated because I wasn’t getting an answer.. like at all. So, in my prayer I said, “Heavenly Father, I am moving back to Boise to pursue dating Austin.. if this is wrong, let me know. If it’s not, then I will move back at the end of the semester.” That was that. I didn’t get an overwhelming feeling pushing me to go or to stay. But I knew that Heavenly Father has promised to always let us know if we are about to make a bad decision. Since I didn’t have any bad feelings, I moved.
That experience in itself was a big spiritual awakening for me. It taught me that I can make my own decision. I don’t have to wait for Heavenly Father to tell me what to do. Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands, decide on something and ask Heavenly Father to tell you if its wrong.
Dating long distance is hard, but losing the one you love is harder and sometimes you have to make sacrifices to make sure that doesn’t happen. Love is beautiful and the greatest thing on earth… as quoted on Aquamarine (aka my favorite movie ever)
Good luck! You can do it! LONG DISTANCE CAN WORK! DEFY THE ODDS!