How to Keep "Sparks" In Your LDR

I fell in love with her when we were together, then fell even deeper in love with her in the years we were apart. -Dear John

"Only one more chapter," I promised, fighting tired eyes and wondering to myself if I actually meant it this time.

On countless nights I have found myself trapped in this situation, debating whether to turn another page or to put the book down on my nightstand. Some books are less enthralling than others, making it easier to mark my place and call it quits for the night. But, this is never the case when I have a Nicholas Sparks book in hand. Time stops as I lose myself in his cleverly written love stories.

Famous for his romantic dramas, all 21 of his novels have made the New York Time's bestsellers list and can be found in over 50 different languages. With over 105 million copies printed, Sparks' books line the shelves in bookstores and homes around the world.

What's the reason for his undeniable success? Easy. Everyone loves a good love story, and his are some of the very best.

Addicted to his compelling plots, I have read quite a few of his novels over the years. And I've found that even though the characters differ from book to book, the themes are consistent. Sparks doesn't create picture perfect scenes of blissful love without including the struggles that all couples encounter at some point in their relationships. Realistically, he presents the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. The inclusion of these conflicts make his fictional love stories much more relatable; it is in these conflicts that I am captivated, unable to stop reading.

As I have become absorbed in the lives of many characters, I have found truth in Sparks' written words. I have made connections to my own life through certain lines in different passages. Utilizing Nicholas Sparks' written wisdom, you too can use quotes from his novels as guiding principles to navigate your long distance relationship.

When people cared about each other, they always found a way to make it work. -True Believer


When you're separated and don't have the good fortune of being able to spend time together in person, communication is really all you have. Essentially, in a long distance romance, no communication means no relationship. Though you may wish that you could trade phone calls or FaceTime sessions for time spent together in person, distance has unexpected advantages. When you're apart, you only have the ability to talk to one another. Through these talks, you will quickly learn more about each other than you did when you saw each other everyday. This unintentional emphasis on communication will help you learn about each other's past, present and hopes for the future. You will grow to know each other's interests, favorites and dislikes. You will reveal embarrassing moments, share personal secrets and craft inside jokes. Between deep conversations and lighthearted silly ones, you will develop a real sense of who the other person is on the inside.

Plus, dating in 2017 has some added benefits! From texting to Snapchat, there has never been so many ways to stay connected. Having these options makes it much easier, especially as you navigate busy college lives. It can be hard to find free time, but when people care about each other, they always find a way to make it work. Sometimes it's as simple as a sweet text good morning or a 10-minute phone call in between classes that can make your day better. You will find yourself trying not to laugh at funny texts while you're studying in the library or agreeing to video chat while you do your homework. These actions may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but this effort while you're apart will help you feel as though you're still an important part of each other's day.

Sometimes you have to be apart from the people you love, but that doesn't make you love them any less. Sometimes it makes you love them more. -The Last Song


Anyone who has had to wait for something they really want knows how the weeks can seem to slowly drag on. The countdown can seem never-ending. But sure enough, one by one, the days go by. In a long distance relationship, it's important to not stop living while you're impatiently waiting. In fact, live all you can -- it's a mistake not to.

Couples are often so excited to spend time together and because of this tendency, other aspects of their lives such as friendships, hobbies and free time can suffer. Distance forces you to maintain your independence despite being "with" someone. So take advantage of this time! How you choose to spend it is completely up to you to decide for yourself. But, it's important to recognize that you aren't just filling your time -- you are becoming a happier, more interesting young adult. Even though you are developing your lives separately, ultimately you are becoming a better person for your relationship.

She was struck with the simple truth that sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people. -The Lucky One


When people find out that you're in a long distance relationship, an unwelcome question that may follow is, "Why?"

I'm sure you struggle to put these reasons into words as they come from such indescribable feelings. But, if you had to try to make sense of it all... Do it for the butterflies you get in your stomach, knowing that when you reunite, each tough day before that will no longer matter. Do it for the long awaited first embrace by the baggage claim solidifying that you've made it back together again. Do it for the only person who could make it all worth it - the one who gives you something to look forward to constantly.

Although the initial moments of reuniting are sweet, what follows feels even better. Finally being together means getting to enjoy all the routine things that most couples take for granted. Find joy in simple things like holding hands in the car or going grocery shopping together. Even a lazy, ordinary day spent watching Netflix on the couch can be made extraordinary by doing it with the right person.

Meanwhile, some of your favorite memories will result from the adventures you planned during your time apart. Making these exciting plans will give you something extra special to look forward to. Whether you're crossing something off your bucket list or just running errands, your time together will always be unforgettable.

Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy. Remember that.  -Message in a Bottle


These words. This piece of advice from Nicholas Sparks is possibly the most meaningful of all.

Long distance relationships are particularly difficult. Distance means being away from the one person who could make your rotten day better or a good one, great. Distance means being able to count your limited number of visits on one hand. Distance means being willing to sacrifice a lot for what seems like only a little to others. Without a doubt it's hard. But, if you're lucky enough to find someone who loves you for all that you are are, the miles won't change that. Remember that. 

Sources // Dear John / The Last Song / The Notebook / Safe Haven

Have you been in a long distance relationship? What was the hardest or most rewarding part?