When it comes to relationships, I hear people say quite often that long distance doesn’t work. People are usually shocked when I tell them that I have been in a relationship for almost three and a half years. They are even more surprised that my girlfriend and I go to two different schools that are over a hundred miles apart. It isn’t easy to keep a relationship going with someone when you live more than a two hour drive away from that person; it takes a lot of effort from both people to work past the humps and glitches that the distance will inevitably bring about. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.
I first met Tulia Palacios on the bus to school in the ninth grade; she had recently moved to my town in New York from Miami, Florida and was still getting used to her new surroundings. She quickly became a part of the group of friends that I had known since elementary school. It took me about two years to ask her out, but in the eleventh grade we finally became a couple. It was little more than a year from that point when we were confronted with the biggest dilemma that high school couples face: where do we go with this after graduation?
I felt called to some form of ministry, and Tulia’s heart was set on family court law. Early on, we established that we would not let our desire to stay close to each other override our career paths when deciding what colleges we would attend. She chose Albany and I chose Nyack. Even though we were going from a five minute walk apart to a two hour drive apart, we were determined to last through college.
The two most important things that are needed to maintain a long distance relationship are determination and consistency. Determine that you will stay together, and be consistent in communication, commitment, and faithfulness. It will not work unless both people involved are prepared to do whatever is necessary. Remember that when one person puts in one hundred percent effort, they can only have a fifty percent effect on the situation. It takes one hundred percent effort from both people.
Don’t be discouraged if you come to a time in your life when you are faced with the challenge of living far away from the one you love. When you find someone worth the time and effort, you do what you have to do to keep them around. As long as both people are willing to do what it takes to keep things going, long distance does work.