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Does Distance Truly Make the Heart Grow Fonder?

Long distance relationships are never easy.

"For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, and self-sacrifice." —John Burroughs

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship has had to spend time apart at some point. With long distance relationships, that time is simply longer; it makes things harder. There is no simple way to fix the strain that a long distance relationship can put on a relationship, whether it be new or even years old. For some, the saying is true, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” however, there are others who end up relating more to “Out of sight, out of mind.” I can say, without a doubt, I am one of the aforementioned individuals. I am a big ol’ sappy mess when I love, but that is not without great cause. I love my partner. When we’re together everything is bliss. Time stops, and the short amounts we get to spend together make my heart swell. It hasn’t been long, but long enough, we’ve been playing this game, never truly defining the relationship until recently, due to us being in different states due to education.

Those of us who believe that distance does, in fact, make the heart grow fonder know this to be true. The other person is constantly on your mind. You worry about them, you want to support them, and you want to be there for the big events in their life. But unfortunately, you can’t because education comes first or the weather ruins plans for a weekend together. Even though with each passing minute it is longer from the last time you were physically with them, that sweet little part of your brain chimes in to remind you that with each minute, you are getting closer to seeing them again. And with that, your heart swells again overcome by the glory of love.

Love, in and of itself, is extremely difficult to define. It can take so many forms. I love him as my best friend and as a partner. This is not something I ever want to lose. I thought this was also where his mind was at, considering he had told me we were in this for the long run. However, life gets difficult, the distance wraps its coils around you like a boa constrictor. Not for me, but for my partner. In my opinion, love should be strong enough, if you’re with the right person, that it shall prevail no matter how far you are stretched.

But now, of course, I must acknowledge those with an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset. At least from how I understand it, since I do not feel as though this is the right mindset. Of course, a relationship takes its toll in daily interactions. As one individual gets busier, communication begins to end. Or if not that, the conversations become dry, almost forced due to time differences and obligations. I cannot say that this is not partially my fault. I am upset when I cannot talk to him, so when I do get to talk to him, there is anger, but more importantly, there is love. There is always love. As he gets busier, I sit with my depression; it provides company that he cannot at this moment. It makes sense to not want to start a relationship right before someone who you have been with everyday for a month is going to leave. But we did, and I thought it would work. Maybe it will.

Sometimes it truly is the issue of distance, and not being able to see each other as often as you both would like. I think that when that is the issue, something should be done. Yes, FaceTime is not being together—it is not the same as being held and comforted by your significant other, but it is something that at least allows you time with them. Trying to plan trips is difficult, but if you love each other, it will all be okay. Working through your issues within the relationship can be difficult, it is hard to verbalize negative emotions when there is such a large distance between the two of you. However, holding those emotions in can only make the situation work. If there is no communication and trust between the two of you, there is no relationship. Admitting there is an issue is hard because it means that something has actually derailed your relationship; you must talk.

Each individual falls somewhere on the spectrum, whether it be closer to a fonder heart or closer to out of mind. Each relationship has its issues, some worse than others. Some can be worked out. Some cannot. Whatever is to happen shall be, the universe will throw a wrench in your plans, but it is always for the best. No matter what, love is still love, whether we are together or not. If things fall apart, he will still be my best friend, he will still be there. This is the agreement we have. But it really does make you wonder, does distance actually help make the love grow stronger? Are you happier when you see the other person? Or does it fall apart? Crumble to bits when one of you goes to touch it? These are questions I do not have answers to. I can only hope those in this situation fall more on the “distance makes the heart grow fonder” end of the spectrum, rather than the other. It takes courage to start on a journey like this, being in love and being far away. It is not always easy, but if it is love, it will always be worth it in the end.

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