There is a question that plagues every couple knowing that they will have to part soon: can we do long-distance? While Hollywood has made successful, heartfelt, and hopeful long distance relationship movies that inspire every couple, the answer is not so clear in real life. In reality, most relationships have obstacles that are only amplified when hundreds or thousands of miles separates them. Yet despite all of the known impediments, people still want to try.
College is a huge environment with many different fish in the sea. This idea tempts many, but what it boils down to is this: is that fish worth it? So many couples end their relationships thinking that they will miss out on the “true college experience.” Yes, missing out on that nameless fish may not be fun the night of, but in the long run, there are definitely positives to making a long-distance relationship work.
Before even thinking about taking your relationship to the difficult stage of long-distance, you need to have a solid foundation. Feeling comfortable in your relationship is a huge deal and usually can only be achieved by being together for more than a few months. You also must be clear with each other about what your status is: open to seeing other people or not. Even though “open” seems to be popular in theory, it usually only leads to insecurities and guilt if you feel you crossed a line. The comfort of a closed relationship can sometimes help the fact that you are know miles and miles apart from one another. A long-distance relationship provides you a reason to go home and constantly gives you someone other than your mom to cry and complain to knowing they won’t judge you.
The cliché “distance makes the heart grow fonder” could certainly be true in some cases. If you used to see your boyfriend or girlfriend all the time, having a your heart try to beat out of your chest when you see them again after you’ve been apart is definitely a perk. Plus, you get to cram all the good stuff of a relationship into a short amount of time. Having a few amazing days with someone you love versus one hazy night with someone you barely know sounds like a pretty clear choice.
In the end, this is what you need to decide: are all the inevitable hardships, miscommunication, and sucky nights of being alone worth fighting for? Do all those bad times really outweigh the possibility of maintaining a relationship with someone who deeply cares about you? Personally, it’s all about being realistic. If you’re going to attempt long-distance, you need to have a plan. Know roughly when you’ll visit each other, always communicate, and realize that it will not be as easy as it was at home. If you can survive this as a couple, then distance will definitely bring you closer together.
By Jessica Levy