With the summer long gone and West Chester University students almost done with their first month of school, reality has set in, but that doesn’t mean summer romances have to end. Many students used their summers to work, vacation, or intern, but some were counting on the summer to reunite with their significant others and revitalize their relationships. Long distance relationships, or LDRs, are a reality that is becoming more and more prevalent amongst college-aged students.
If being a college student isn’t hard enough, having your significant other hundreds of miles away certainly does not help. The term “long distance” is not a term that any couple desires to use as a description of their relationship, because it is frankly not a desirable situation.
“Long distance” is thought mostly to have negative connotations because it is associated with a lot of doubt concerning the realistic outcome. If one listens to all of the negative thoughts that they are surrounded by, they will never find that there are truly many more pros than cons.
Instead of sitting in doubt and sadness about not being able to physically be present in a significant other’s daily life, one must turn that negative energy into positive energy. The key to making long distance relationships work is to not create any more distance than there already is. In order to do that, both partners must communicate, communicate, communicate. Finding new ways to keep the relationship fresh and fun keeps it from going sale.
Luckily, modern technology has made it easier than ever for couples to stay in contact. Sure, Skyping and texting is crucial to a long distance relationship, but partners can step it up a notch by having certain days and times set aside where they can look forward to each other’s calls.
In addition, Skype dates are the next best thing to a real date. Pick a time where you can both sit down and eat dinner or lunch while on Skype. While you are eating, you will have that time to share how your day has been going.
Despite all of the new technology, old-fashioned mail still works as well as ever. It may even be better! Nothing compares to a homemade card or care package sent from a loved one. Today there are many sites, such as Pinterest, that offer ideas for people in long distance relationships. For instance, write your significant other a variety of letters. On the front of each, direct him/her on when to open them. Some examples might be “open when you’re sad” or “open when you’re homesick.” Send pictures of yourselves together, books, favorite candy, or a personal belonging that will leave them feeling more connected than ever.
Visiting is a huge factor in keeping long amounts of time apart bearable. Knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel will help make even the worst days go by more smoothly. While visiting may be out of the question for some college kids due to finances, both partners should be eager to get creative in finding ways to manage to see one another.
Planning the next visit will not only keep spirits high, but nothing can replace actually meeting each other’s friends, seeing each other’s apartments and viewing each other’s campuses. These few things are the best ways to stay in the loop and familiarize with the part of your significant other’s life that you miss out on.
One of the best aspects of being in a long distance relationship is the fact that it provides the opportunity to learn how to be independent while in a relationship. Most of the time, couples get so caught up in wanting to be such a large chunk of one another’s lives that they let their own hobbies and interests fall to the wayside.
College is a time of exploration and self-discovery, and the time spent alone could be a golden opportunity to do just that. Personal happiness is important to obtain before shared happiness. The more one is in tune with oneself, the more they can be in tune with their partner, making for a much more positive, healthy relationship, even when the going gets tough through long bouts apart.
In the end, remember to stay positive and connected. Time will pass faster than one thinks. After all, college is only four years.
Kirsty Palo is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at KP762793@wcupa.edu.