They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. And to a certain extent, I agree with that cliché.

However, even though it’s a popular cliché, long distance relationships still tend to have quite a bit of negativity attached to it. My name is Hannah and I would consider myself a “victim” of long distance relationships. But before you go on assuming things, I have some explaining to do.

The first thought that tends to come to mind upon hearing the phrase “long distance relationship” is a significant other—boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, crush etc. That’s what most cheesy romantic movies have lead us to believe. (Thank you, Nicholas Sparks) However, at 16 (almost 17) years old, I have a fairly large number of long distance relationships and I can assure you that all but one are not romantically fueled.

With the number of long distance relationships that I have, you might think that I intentionally become friends with people that live thousands of miles away from me. But trust me, if it were up to me, I’d move closer to each of them in a heartbeat. I suppose the root of my situation is that I live in a state that sits in the middle of the ocean and that my life revolves around a sport that requires a great deal of traveling. In addition to that, I have a few family members and close friends who’ve moved away for various reasons.

[one_third]…long distance relationships have pros and cons. Unfortunately, the vast majority of society tends to focus only on the cons.[/one_third]

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Of course there’s a lot to learn from long distance relationships (let’s call them LDRs) and perhaps I still haven’t learned them all. But, if there’s anything that you take away from this blog, know that like anything else, LDRs have their pros and cons. Unfortunately, the vast majority of society tends to focus only on the cons. In my experience, however, more often than not, the pros outweigh the cons. There really is a light at the end of this seemingly never ending tunnel. And if you are someone that may be in a position like mine and you happen to be looking for that little glimmer of hope or that little push to keep going, this is it: Things will get better and life does go on, as cliché as it sounds. Don’t let the pessimists tell you that the whole thing is pointless, because I can assure you that 99.9% of the time, that pessimist is wrong.

Aly & Erica

Two years ago I had the pleasure of meeting my friends Aly and Erica. They’re possibly the most lovely pair of sisters you’ll ever meet. They rarely fight, they’re kind, easy to get along with, and they’re not only sisters but best friends. They live every beach bum’s dream in a house two minutes away from the famous Hermosa Beach, California, aka the home of beach volleyball. Two Thanksgivings ago, Aly, Erica, and their perfectly tanned parents flew here to Hawaii for a week for an annual beach volleyball tournament that I also happened to play in.

[one_third]…as long as the effort and love is still there, it all pays off, I promise.[/one_third]

Even though they were only here for a few days, we clicked. Because we’re so close in age and have played the same sport most of our lives, we connected on just about everything. It was really quite nice to be able to relate to someone so much although we’re from two completely different areas. Soon, it felt like I’d known Aly and Erica for at least a year when in fact we’d met only a few days ago. After they left, I was sad and thought that we’d probably never see each other again. However, that didn’t happen. After keeping in touch through social media, texts, emails, etcetera, I was in fact reunited with the lovely pair about a year after meeting them. It was like nothing changed.

After catching up with them and spending what little time I had with them, I learned two things:
1. Being positive in situations like this is not only more helpful to you and your emotions but the others’ as well, and
2. No matter how much physical distance may be between you and the other person, if both of you make an effort to keep in touch and savor the relationship, 2,467 miles will feel like just a few yards. Managing LDR’s isn’t easy, but as long as the effort and love is still there, it all pays off, I promise.