Long-Distance Relationships: They’re Not So Bad!
You and your honey had the next four years planned. You planned your outfit around his letterman jacket, he would carry your books, and everything would just be…perfect.
But college had a different idea. The letters came and the angry ink spelling out your different futures stomped all over your perfect sandcastles.
There will be mixed feelings that accompany this; however, you must put them aside to make important decisions. You may feel angry if your partner did not get into the school you’d both agreed on, but you have to decide whether you will accept student status or not. You have a small window to do so and this decision must be made first! Next, you must decide whether you two will even stay together, would it be worth it? Finally, if you have both agreed to stay in this relationship you must decide what your relationship will look like now?
It’s imperative that you understand that no matter what, in September, you will feel alone sometimes. Actually, pretty often and there is no amount of technology that will change this.
Because I’d attended high school with my boyfriend, we were used to seeing each other daily. College changed all of this and no amount of promises to see each other, Seventeen articles, or sad songs prepared me for this. Although we lived in the same city, our hectic schedules and lack of transportation made it as bad as if we didn’t. I felt severely alone and we initially tried to overcome this by Skyping or talking on the phone constantly.
Many new college students fall into this trap of thinking that by texting or calling their partner constantly, they will somehow forget that they are indeed alone. However, while waiting for a reply, you will see other couples and reality will hit home…and that reality will suck. Hard.
Additionally, my boyfriend and I began to realize that we were missing out on a lot by doing this. When your mind is constantly somewhere else you will not be able to seek out and enjoy your own college experiences. I know one guy who can Skype with his girlfriend for hours and not even speak to her. He would simply have her on the webcam. However, he often missed the crazy impromptu conversations that came from meandering into someone else’s dorm room to say, “What’s up?”
Undoubtedly, long-distance relationships are hard. It forces you to remember what it’s like to be an individual and to create (or brush off) your own identity. Yet, because of this they can also be incredibly rewarding. Take the time to explore campus clubs/organizations, and new courses that you wouldn’t have taken normally (due to your preoccupation to take classes together). You may find a new interest that you want to pursue. Maybe you’ll even change career paths and find something much more rewarding than your initial ideas for the future.
Plus, by doing this, when your partner finally gets in you won’t have to waste two years: one spent impossibly trying to recreate a relationship with technology, and the second finally learning your campus.
Instead, you will have a much more fulfilling college experience. You will both have more friends (increasing your network after graduation), more things to put on your resume, and more memories to look back on with fondness. Oh, and your tuition money will have been put to good use.
But even better than all of this, you will find your relationship much stronger. Time may make the heart grow fonder, yet it will also foster trust, appreciation, independence, and teach you more things about yourself and your partner.
In conclusion, don’t run away from a long-distance relationship. Time spent on your own may be exactly what your relationship, and more importantly, what you need!
Talkback: Are you in a long-distance relationship? How did you make it work?