If you're both an ambitious person and hopeless romantic like I am, your dreams and goals will inevitably pull you away from someone whom you've fallen head over heels for.
You'll be faced with being forced to think about three words that can be even more daunting than "I love you": long-distance relationship.
Before you take that leap of faith and decide to have a “Hey There Delilah” or “Dear John” type of romance, ask yourself, "Is my significant other really worth it?"
As brutal as that question may be, no one realizes how tough a long-distance relationship really is until they're thrust into one.
All of a sudden, it will seem like your life is one big countdown until you see the person again, and for some reason, you'll feel like you're noticing more and more happy couples all around you once your significant other isn't physically there.
If it takes two people to be in a relationship, it takes two strong people to be in a long-distance one.
Here are three signs that should make you press “pause” and rethink wanting to take that step with your significant other:
1. You already feel like you're always putting more effort into your relationship.
Are you always the one in the relationship to text a simple “Good morning!” or “Have a great day” to the other? Are you the only one who remembers the other's favorite snack and always manages to pick it up whenever you go grocery shopping?
When you know there's an event or day that's important to your SO, are you always excited to celebrate, even though you know that if the tables were turned, you'd probably be celebrating on your own?
Do you feel like you're the only one in your relationship who realizes memories are worth more than things, and that life comes at you so fast, you shouldn't take one moment with your SO for granted?
People express their love in different ways, but if you're always the person who goes the extra mile to show your SO you care, that won't change once you enter a long-distance relationship.
Distance exaggerates feelings, and if you already feel like your efforts aren't being reciprocated, you may feel lonely and abandoned when you and your SO are miles apart.
2. You're always the first to say, “I'm sorry.”
When you and your SO get into an argument – whether it be a full-blown fight or a silly disagreement – are you always the first to extend an olive branch?
Contrary to what many think, vulnerability is a sign of strength, not weakness. When you're the first to try to make amends, you are showing you're mature enough to put any bad feelings between the two of you behind, and that you have enough humility to admit you make mistakes and are far from perfect.
The person who “returns” to their SO first after a fight knows love should ideally be much larger in magnitude than the strength any disagreement bears.
It's important to realize people deal with conflict differently. Some people put up walls and take a longer time to cool down, but if you're always the one running after the other person, reaching out and realizing that what you have is stronger than any disagreement, you will be the one whose texts go unanswered and calls are purposely missed in a long-distance relationship.
It's time to ask yourself, "Do I really want that?"
3. Your SO doesn't acknowledge or calm your insecurities.
Everyone has their insecurities, and thanks to past relationships, some of us may have them more than others. Does your SO notice the insecurities you may have and make the effort to calm them?
This one is a two-way street. If something or someone in your past has made you especially insecure, you do need to realize your present SO is a whole different person.
On the flip side, your SO also should acknowledge your needs and care about you enough to calm your fears and insecurities.
If you feel like you'll never be good enough or perfect enough for your SO now, while you are physically together, your insecurity level will skyrocket once you are apart.
If your SO doesn't make the effort to help you feel safe and always loved now, don't be so jaded to think they will once you are oceans or miles away from each other.
Reality check: If you're sitting there, nodding your head after each of these three warning signs and recognizing the feelings all too well, you maybe should have evaluated your relationship a long time ago.
A relationship should be two-sided, and it should make you feel secure, loved and valued.
When you think of the people you want your best friends to be in love with, you'll only want the very best for them. You should never accept lower standards for yourself, especially when you know distance will require strength from both of you.
If you make the decision to not be in a long-distance relationship with your SO when life pulls you apart because of these three reasons, know you are stronger for it. You cannot always be a martyr, sacrificing yourself when you know your efforts would never be reciprocated.
Your SO will eventually realize what they took for granted.
They will look for you in every other person they date, and they will never find you because by that time, you will have already realized you're worth more than what you've been getting.