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Monday, August 31, 2015 | Last updated: 12:52pm

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Rules of Engagement

Absence make the heart grow fonder? Yes, it does

By Kellie Rowe          Posted: 07/16/12 11:41pm         

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” But when it comes to long distance relationships, does the expression hold true?

It goes without saying there is nothing easy about long distance relationships.

For one, there’s obviously a good possibility you rarely have the chance to see your significant other.

Amongst the sea of “I miss you” texts sent back and forth, you might find yourself growing bitter as you watch couples pass you by on the street, holding hands and cooing at one another.

When fights arise, it’s easier to talk about problems face-to-face, because you most of the time, you can tell exactly what someone else is feeling by the look on their face. I realize we have phone calls, texting and Skype now, but technology can only take us so far.

Temptation is a factor in every relationship, but when you’re each in a far-away city — most likely a setting full of college students — for many, it can be hard to stay strong. All too often we live by the out of sight, out of mind type of thinking.

Recently, I was faced with a similar situation. I had been seeing a guy who lived a few hours away from me and we both worked so much, hang outs were few and far between.

One day, about a month into these “hang outs,” I was walking down Grand River and tripped over the curb, taking what was undoubtedly the most ungraceful fall of my life. Luckily, on my way to my impending doom, I was caught by a stranger passing by.

The stranger — a tall, dark-haired guy about my age — laughed as he caught my flailing arms and through his perfect smile, he said, “Are you okay?”

Embarrassed, I regained my balance, adjusted my clothes and nodded. He started to ask me questions about where I was going in such a hurry and I told him I was heading to The State News.

Ten minutes of back and forth small talk later, he ended the conversation by asking for my number.

That’s when I was faced with the question: Was the guy I saw every few weeks who lived hours away worth dissing this charming guy practically lived in my backyard?

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Yes he was worth it and yes, this phrase is true.

You learn to appreciate the time you do have with someone when you’re in a long distance relationship. You appreciate the miles you drove to see each other and the moment you’re back in each other’s arms.

Even if you can’t see it when you’re dating someone, think about what happens weeks after you break up with them.

After the anger fades and you realize your relationship is actually over, you start to remember all the good things about them. It’s like the reason you broke up starts to fade (sometimes), and you miss the little things — the flower necklaces she made you, the way he flipped his baseball hat backwards when his favorite song came on the radio, and so on and so forth.

Call me sappy, but I think long distance relationships, though far from easy, are absolutely beautiful.

And even though I let that beautiful stranger on the street go, I let something a lot better into my life that day — a long distance relationship.

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