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The Yellow Clover


Learning From a Long-Distance Relationship

Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought I'd post today because even though I am not single, I'm having to spend this day alone. For those who don't know, my boyfriend lives in England and I live in Northern Ireland which means that we only really get to see each other every 2 or 3 months. 

Being in a long-distance relationship is something that I had never really thought about before until last year and I was convinced that it was something that I would never have to experience - I thought it was only for couples who had partners in the army, couples who had fancy jobs and had to travel a lot, or young American couples who went to university in different states! However, as is the same for many different couples, people go through periods in their lives that take them in slightly different directions meaning that they have to be apart for a while. 

Sam was so much more to me than just a boyfriend when I was living in England - he was one of my best best friends too. He was (and still is) pretty much the only person that I've ever felt comfortable being 100% myself with and I could honestly go and talk to him about anything. I think that's what I miss most about being away from him to be honest; I miss that sense of freedom that I feel when I'm around him, that sense that I can be completely myself and I don't have to hide anything or hold anything back.

Although it is one of the hardest things I've had to go through, I really am trying to remain positive throughout this experience. God led me back to Belfast and although I'm still trying to figure out all of the reasons, I definitely think one of them was to improve my relationship with my boyfriend - as crazy as that sounds.

Before I moved away I felt like Sam and I already had a very strong relationship but I know that there's always always room for growth and improvement. 

1. I believe it's important to be independent; of course when you're single but also when you're in a relationship. Sam and I used to be together all the time when I lived in England so maybe God separated us for a little while to teach us how to be independent without each other. Ultimately the stronger we are as individuals, the stronger we will be together and for each other. 

2. Since moving back to Belfast my relationship with God has been growing and as a result I've been talking to Sam a lot more about that. If I was still living in England I don't think we would talk as openly about God as we do now simply because we were very wrapped up in our own little world and God wasn't always being put first. 

3. Having time apart from people makes you appreciate the time that you do get to spend with them so much more. I'm really learning how important it is not to take people for granted and to love even the little things in life like watching tv together, cooking together, even washing the dishes together! 

Now just a wee warning, this next one is very gushy-lovey-dovey so look away now if you're not into romantic cheese!

4. Being in a long-distance relationship has taught me that it is possible to fall in love with someone over and over again (told ya it would be cheesy)! Of course I still love Sam when we're apart but when we get to spend time together all of my feelings for him grow more and more and it feels like we get to go through that shiny and new 'honeymoon phase' of our relationship all over again. I've also noticed that each time we're together again after time spent apart I find more little quirks and traits to add to the already extremely long list of things that I love about him. 

Ok, cheesiness is over haha! 

Basically, what I've been learning over the last 7 months is that long-distance relationships don't necessarily have to be a huge waste of time. Yes, it sucks being so far away from your best friend, especially on days when you really really just need a cuddle, but if you've got a positive mindset it is possible to survive it. Everyday I miss him more and more but I know that this is just another temporary period in our lives and one day (hopefully soon) God will reunite us making us stronger than ever!

- S xo