When I started med school in the fall of last year, a lot of things were daunting to me: adapting to the rigor of med school, building a new community here, and starting a long distance relationship (LDR). I knew this was going to be a particularly difficult situation, because my boyfriend and I had just begun dating a month or so before despite being friends for half a year. It would be a different story if we had been together for several years and then began long distance, but we were just beginning a new relationship. However, we both agreed we would try it out, and I am not one to conceal the truth. It IS hard, especially when times get rough and you want nothing more than your significant other to lean on.
Despite the struggle an LDR has been, it has also been a blessing. Both my partner and I have grown so much from our relationship, and learned things about each other that we had not known before. We’ve learned to communicate with each other in numerous ways across different platforms, had conversations covering a vast array of topics, carved out dedicated time just to be with each other either on the phone or on video chat, and counted down the days together excitedly until our next reunion. It has become clear to me that honesty, trust, and clear communication are two extremely fundamental components LDR requires. Luckily, my boyfriend and I have developed that over the year we’ve been together long distance, although there is much more room to grow.
It still is very hard being apart from each other the majority of the time, but I can definitely say that I do not feel remote from him – I still think about him and message him often, and we find ways to make ourselves feel like we are with each other even when we physically are not. Anyone who says long distance relationships in med school can’t last is wrong, it just requires understanding and devotion from both parties, and passionate commitment to putting in effort to strengthen and develop the relationship.