There are some things in life that people don't understand looking from the outside in, and currently I have something I deal with daily that people don't understand.
"It's not real, it won't last, it'd be different if you were closer, etc."
And I'm not just talking about dating, I'm talking about friendships as well.
For some reason, 21 years ago, when the big guy upstairs created me, He put in a wire labeled "can-handle-being-away-from-the-ones-closest-to-her" or something along those lines. Away from my boyfriend, some of my closest friends, and I'm not a homebody so I hardly go home to my parents.
My best friend and I have known each other for over ten years, and yet have never spent more than one consecutive week together. How do I call her my best friend with such little time together? Because we communicate like there's no tomorrow. Text, phone calls, skype dates, letters, emails, etc. We've done it all. Oh, and the in-between dates - like hanging out in Wal-Mart for a few hours because that's the only way we can spend time together.
If anything, my communication skills have improved over the last few years. Communicating long-distance is not only important, but I firmly believe it strengthens the relationship. When your only option is to talk... you focus on that, and use it as much as possible. That's why Ellie and Aaron know me so well - both the good and the bad parts.
Is it frustrating? Do I wish I could hang out with them every day? Do they miss special things like birthdays and holidays? Yes. Does that make our relationship any less real or important? Not even.
It's not ideal, and it's not easy, but don't underestimate the strength of long-distance relationships.