When I first went out with my boyfriend, I wasn't expecting anything to come from it. He was in the Marines, stationed in South Carolina, and it was just a stupid Tinder date because I was bored and I thought he was funny and cute over Snapchat. Not only did he live an eight-hour drive away, but he was also heading out of the country for Christmas. I never thought I would ever hear from him again after I got into my car and drove back home.

But, I did, and a year and a half later, going on that coffee date was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Right from the start, I knew if he and I were going to date, we would have to face a long-distance relationship for roughly two to three years- whether I finished school first or he got out of the military was up to fate. For us, being apart is normal. We're so used to talking through FaceTime rather than face to face and not seeing each other for weeks on end is more familiar than hugging. We've probably blown more kisses through the phone than having had real kisses.

Would I love to be just a minutes drive away from him?

Absolutely.

Would I trade my relationship for anything else?

Never.

There's no reason for you to feel bad for me when I tell you I'm in a long distance relationship.

There's no need for anyone to say, "oh, that sucks' or "that's annoying" or "I don't know how you do it" because I really do love my relationship.

Being away from each other is just something we do. It lets us be independent, focus on work and school, but still allows us to support each other. Sure, long-distance relationships aren't for everyone, but couples make them work. No relationship is normal and like every other relationship, it takes patience, learning, and commitment. The only difference between a 'normal' relationship and a long-distance relationship is is that our 'date nights' consist of eating dinner together over FaceTime instead.