Gettin’ Down with Long Distance

By The Elm - Sep 30,2012@9:03 pm

By Kristen Hammond
Staff Columnist

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, except when it doesn’t.

This week, I’m in an interesting situation. A good friend of mine’s not-so-official long distance relationship ended, while another friend is struggling with her longtime long distance relationship.

This made me think about all the freshmen who are here with relationships back at home and how they are handling it, which made me wonder “what makes a LDR work or fail?” Although I can’t be absolutely certain what causes a long distance relationship to work or not, I’ve thought of a few factors that might contribute.

The first thing that can make a long distance relationship work is the depth and length of the relationship. If you are in love and committed and ready for the hardships you may face, the relationship is all the more likely to work.

If you are just dating someone because you sort of like them and it’s only a few weeks before you leave, chances are it may not work. For someone you aren’t that serious about, the relationship may fall to the wayside with all the excitement of freshman year. A fresh start may end up being a good reason to part ways.

If you do decide to try to stick it out through college, communication is key. You must take time to talk to each other and keep the other informed. You are both going through big changes, and you want to let the other know. When there is a lack of communication, the bond between two people weakens, and then problems may arise.

A lack of communication also breeds jealousy. Let your significant other know who your friends are and what you are doing so they do not become jealous. With technology such as Skype, keeping a relationship alive is easier than ever.

Take advantage of the perks. This sounds a little strange in regards to making a relationship work, but the best way to make a relationship work is to have a fulfilling life on your own. This way, when you do speak to your significant other, you have things to tell them about instead of searching for things to fill the void.

Visit. This is easier for some than others, but it’s more about committing to a visit and making the time great, not how often you visit. Make plans to visit and stick to them. Repeated broken plans to visit the other could cause lots of tension.

Beware of “breaks.” These are the most complicated part of dating. While a break may actually improve a relationship that isn’t working, it needs to actually be a break. This means no calling, no texting until you have both cleared your heads. You two have separated from each other with the intention of talking about the future at a later date.

If you keep trying and trying and things still don’t seem to be working out, know when to end it. The longer you stick in a relationship that you are not happy in, the more you will hurt yourself and the other person. If you must break it off, be direct to make it less painless.

Cut communication afterwards, and getting over the relationship will be much easier. Remember, some things fall apart so other things can come together. Just because it doesn’t work with one person doesn’t mean it won’t work with another.

Overall, I think what really makes or breaks a relationship is the resilience of the relationship. If both parties really are willing to push through the hard times and talk the problems out, the relationship is more likely to work. For those in a long distance relationship, keep these things in mind.

The Elm

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