It was July 29, 2015, when my boyfriend left to go to Alamogordo, New Mexico due to military orders. The nine months that we had spent together in the same state flew by fast and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I was an emotional wreck for days and saddened at the thought that we would have to spend two and a half years away from each other. 

He was seven hours away and since he was in the military taking time off can be a difficult process. We tried to see each other on 3-day weekends and holidays, but it wasn’t always possible. As frustrating as it was, we were dedicated to making it work. We used facetime, talked on the phone, and would text throughout the day. Now my boyfriend is home for good and our relationship is stronger than ever. There are a lot of things that we learned during our time apart. 

When you are in a long distance relationship the time that you do get to spend together is very special. Every time we would get together we would fall in love with each other all over again. It would reassure us that we made the right choice to stay together. We would value each second we would get with each other and when we had to go back to living our lives in two different states it hurt, but we looked forward to seeing each other again. 

To keep the spark alive, we would try new things when we would see each other. We went on a trip to Sedona, AZ where we went wine tasting and volunteered at a dog rescue together. When we couldn’t get together we would send each other care packages on random occasions as a token of love. 

Even though we lived in separate states, we were able to focus on planning our lives. I graduated college, started my career and started writing for publications. He gained more job experience, enrolled in some college courses and started thinking about how he wanted his future to look once he converted back to civilian life. Now that we feel content as individuals we are able to share our success together and be support systems for each other. 

All good moments come with a few bad times, but even when we would argue and have to jump over hurdles we both stayed fully invested in our relationship. Working through all of the bumps in the road just proved that we were both dedicated and that made everything worth it. 

In a long distance relationship, you have to fight twice as hard to make things work. Going months without seeing each other can take a toll on your relationship, so you have to be creative and try different things to keep the love alive. 

Since my boyfriend has been home, we both got new jobs and were able to move up within our careers. After two and a half years of being miles away from each other, we are now able to grow together as a couple and invest in our dreams. 

Making our relationship work is very rewarding and it showed us that if we could spend two and a half years with miles between us, then we could make it through anything. When the odds were against us, we survived and we are living proof that the distance really does make the heart grow fonder.