Going the distance: making a relationship work despite the miles



by Alison Carson

Long distance relationships: A staple of the college dating scene, they are often attempted but usually short-lived. The social pressures of college can create an environment conducive to jealousy, temptation and drama.

However, if it’s the real deal, a few simple measures can help make a long-distance relationship fulfilling and successful.

Trust is the number one necessity in long- distance relationships. If you begin questioning what your significant other is doing at parties or who he or she is seeing when you aren’t around, major drama inevitably ensues. Both people need to be willing to check jealousy at the door. If you have the slightest suspicion the other person would cheat, don’t even start the relationship. If you start feeling insecure, bring it up right away and don’t let it fester.

You should also set dates to look forward to. Before getting into a long distance relationship, it’s important to have something exciting to work toward. Planning out when you will see each other makes the distance and time apart seem a little shorter and builds anticipation.

Another key rule to keep in mind when you actually get to see each other is to make sure the traveling goes both ways. One person can’t be making all the effort. Both people need to be willing to spend the gas money or plane ticket. Otherwise, resentment will build.

For the times in between seeing one another, you should try to talk every day. With today’s technology, it takes almost no effort to shoot off a text message or write on your significant other’s Facebook wall. By talking every day, the other person still feels like a part of your life . Sending pictures of what you’re doing or something that reminds you of him or her helps keep the connection alive.

There is a “but” to this general rule, though. Talking 24/7 can make things seem mundane. Couples in the same town don’t feel a need to talk about the little things just for the sake of talking. There shouldn’t be a need for overcompensation in a long-distance relationship.

You should also try to hang out via webcam. Almost everyone has Skype or iChat, and seeing each other helps you feel like you are actually hanging out. You can even watch TV or a movie together thanks to technology. Getting a visual helps keep things fresh.

Finally, surprise your significant other. It’s easy to become discouraged while dating from a distance. Little surprises like flowers, a card or even a handwritten note (yes, people still write those) are thoughtful gestures that remind the other person why all the hard work is worth it.

While long distance relationships are by no means easy, they are definitely possible. A strong relationship can  develop despite the distance, and as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.