I was a junior in high school with a major crush on Jen. We went to prom, met each other's families, and spent as much time with each other as possible. The school year ended, and Jen was about to move to Oregon to attend university. We knew that we would either have to seriously commit to each other, diving into a long-distance relationship, or part ways. It didn't take much time for us to decide that we wanted to stay together. Although we had only been getting to know each other for a few months, I knew that I wanted to marry Jen.
We endured the beginning of our long-distance relationship, learning, by trial and error, to communicate efficiently despite being far apart. We learned to reap the benefits that a long-distance relationship can offer. Not being in the same place as each other forced us to concentrate on our friendship, removing distractions that young couples encounter. We recognized each other's values, goals, and dreams and began planning for a future that we knew we wanted. Faltering often, we learned to love each other effectively, even from far apart.
Since parting ways after high school, we've been spending each semester apart at schools in different states. We make the most of our breaks from classes, spending time with family in California and Oregon, camping with friends, visiting new places, and working to build the foundation for our future.