Home Opinion Dear Shelby: How to make a long-distance relationship work

Dear Shelby: How to make a long-distance relationship work


Shelby Corliss
A&E Editor

shelby corliss

With class, homework, sleeping when I can, and trying to maintain a social life, you’d think a relationship, especially one that’s long distance, would be out of the question.

Although it’s hard, the task to maintain a healthy long distance relationship while in college is completely do-able (and trust me, it’s worth it).  Maintaining a long distance relationship takes a lot of work, but it mainly comes down to three things: time, talk, and trust.

Until a couple years ago, I was the girl who laughed at relationships. Being only 18, they seemed pointless and overall, just stupid. I have my whole life ahead of me, letting a guy interfere with that wouldn’t exactly make sense. My opinion of relationships didn’t change overnight, but I learned the hard way that you don’t mean to fall, it just kind of happens.

Senior year of high school came and it was over before I knew it. I looked forward to my last summer at home with friends, but having a boyfriend definitely wasn’t what I had planned.

After four months of keeping him in the friend zone, hanging out here and there, and finally realizing what a great guy I had in front of me, I decided to give the jock on the football team a chance.

It wasn’t anything serious, at least it wasn’t supposed to be. After all, he was moving two thousand miles away at the end of summer. The end of July came and went, and so did he. Zack moving to Arizona was one of the scariest and saddest things I have ever had to deal with. Never in a million years did I think I’d be saying goodbye and ‘I love you’ in the same teary-eyed sentence to the guy who was about to get on an airplane and leave me and this town behind.

In order to have a lasting long distance relationship, it’s important to make time. It wasn’t long after Zack left that I flew out to see him. One time turned into two and then three, four, and five. Plane tickets aren’t cheap, but I’ve done more traveling in the last year than I’ve done in my lifetime. Planning a visit to see the one you‘re with, actually being there, face-to-face, and spending quality time together is not only vital, but it’s so much fun. Having something to look forward to really helped me to keep going. Goodbyes don’t get easier, but they’re definitely worth it. While you might have a trip planned to see your lady or gent, that alone might not be enough.

Talking is another essential part to making a long distance relationship work. It’s important to stay in close communication with your significant other when you’re far apart, but it’s okay not to be glued to your phone 24/7. Whether it’s texting, calling, Facebooking, Twitter, or Skype, there are so many ways to keep in touch. From my experience, even when you don’t have much time to talk, a simple “I miss you” text, can make a difference. It’s also imperative that your significant other feels like they’re a part of your everyday life, even from a distance. It’s as simple as mentioning a date idea for the time they visit, or what the weather is like where you’re at.

Then there’s trust. Just because you’re not with him all the time, you don’t know who he’s with, or what he’s necessarily doing, doesn’t mean you should be worried. Long distance will test your relationship and the trust you have in a person, just don’t let it break you. Let me fill you in on a secret, if you talk, it’s likely that trust won’t be too huge of an issue.

I can’t make any promises that what worked for me will work for you, but I hope that if you’re in a long distance relationship or thinking about starting or ending a relationship because of distance, that you give it a chance before you throw the idea out the window.

Giving up is the easy choice, but it’s the hard choices in life that are going to be worth it in the end. Being two thousand miles apart from the guy I wanted to spend every moment with was beyond tough, but Zack moved back this fall. We only live an hour apart now and are stronger than ever. With time, talk and trust, a long distance relationship is totally maintainable in college.

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