I was involved in a long distance relationship in high school with a guy who lived roughly 2,000 miles away. It lasted from late sophomore year until early senior year when we decided to take a break. We rekindled our relationship when we both moved to Crookston to attend UMC. Currently, I am a senior and this is my first semester at UMD. My boyfriend still resides in Crookston which means once again I find myself battling the perils of a long distance relationship. Of course, 421 miles is significantly better than 2,000 but no matter what the distance, it is always hard. My relationship has been defined by long distance since the get-go which has provided me with plenty of knowledge and experience when it comes to this topic. In every relationship there is the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good. Sustaining a long distance relationship can be very rewarding. Some of the happiest moments in my life happened when I saw my boyfriend for the first time in several months. Every time I saw him after being apart, our relationship always got stronger which means absence really does make the heart grow fonder. When I was in high school, Skype was not widely used but now almost all laptops have built in webcams which makes it easier to see him besides pictures.
The bad. Long distance is one of the biggest strains a relationship can have because it can be an underlying factor that starts many fights. Fighting is a hassle for any relationship but it is particularly a hassle when working it out in person is not an option. Dealing with heated phone conversations that end in hang-ups and not being able to get him to pick up again for hours goes with the territory.
The ugly. Cheating is a big theme seen in long distance relationships and it is a big reason why people choose not to enter them. In the past, many people told to assume that my boyfriend was probably cheating on me but I chose to ignore them because I trust him. Jealousy will always exist but it should not be an overarching issue. If both parties are committed to each other then cheating should not be a problem. Ultimately, it all comes down to how much you can trust your partner; these relationships will never survive without complete trust and honesty.
Long distance relationships are hard to maintain and people have to be really committed to making it work. I have seen many long distance relationships fail but I have also seen them flourish. In the end, if it is meant to be then it will find a way to work and it will be worth it. Many people thought I was a fool for getting involved in a long distance relationship that would surely fail but that just goes to show; don’t knock something until you’ve tried it.
BY KATIE BENUSA firstname.lastname@example.org
photo credit: The U.S. National Archives at flickr