They say distance makes the heart grow fonder.
For some couples this is true, and their relationships become stronger every second they spend apart. But for many others, the miles are too much to handle, the relationship suffers and eventually it comes to a painful end.
If you are a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman, brace yourself, because starting college can be the biggest struggle for a couple. College changes a person, so it’s necessary to accept that most long-distance relationships do fail. You can either choose to fight tooth and nail, or sit back and hope for the best.
One of the qualities necessary in a long-distance relationship is trust. Duh, right? It is the key to any relationship, but for one with distance involved it is absolutely essential.
You think your significant other is the bee’s knees and it’s likely that someone else will too, especially when there is alcohol involved. If you don’t trust that person to say ‘no,’ you are going to have a lot of fights in your near future.
Julian Hernandez, a senior criminal justice major, whose girlfriend lives an hour away says, “I have only known a handful of long-distance relationships that lasted. Living away from each other can make things complicated, especially if you like to go out and have fun. I guess you just have to trust each other.”
Another obvious, but no less important thing every long-distance relationship needs to survive is communication.
Texting, calling, video chatting, Facebook posting, instant messaging, Tweeting, Snapchatting. We do these things on a regular basis, but with school comes homework, parties, meetings, jobs, projects and sometimes your significant other can get lost in the mix.
Be sure to keep your priorities in order, because if you both are at the top of each other’s list it is much more likely to work out.
“We make sure that we either Skype or talk on the phone every night and ask how each other’s day was. We fill each other in on the big stuff and most of the time it doesn’t feel like we are nine hours away,” says Keely Hunt, a junior apparel merchandising major.
Self-restraint is another thing to practice religiously. Obviously, don’t get involved with that attractive stranger you think is a good idea when you are all liquored up and caught in the moment, but restraint also applies to other situations.
If his roommate has a couple of girls come over, calm down. If she is tagged in a picture with some dude you don’t know, relax.
When you haven’t seen each other in weeks the tension can build and the smallest fight can be explosive and possibly fatal. Learn to pick your battles, because after weeks of not seeing each other that stupid argument could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“I would be lying if I said that the distance didn’t make things hard,” Hernandez said.
“Distance can turn simple conversations into an argument. Don’t sweat the small stuff and believe that they care as much about you as you care about them.”
When you finally do see each other, it will be great. Be sure to do something special as a couple. Give the person you are fighting for a reason to do the same. Have a moment they can remember when they are lying in bed at night feeling empty because you aren’t next to them.
Speaking from experience, surviving a long-distance relationship with your love and sanity intact is sort of like a marathon. Soon after the start it begins to seem impossible and you are so tired that you don’t know if you can go on. But after a while you break through the ‘wall’ and, for the most part, it’s smooth sailing after that.