By Nick Anstett and Kaitlyn Fowler
Elm Staff Writers
This week we are discussing long distance relationships. What do you do when choosing between a piece of home and your new life at college?
Nick says… Every college student carries something with them from high school whether it is a jersey, a trophy, a toy bobble head that reminds you of your best friend, or a girlfriend or boyfriend. I was one of the latter.
In many ways, college seems like an unfair roadblock thrown into what may have otherwise been a perfectly healthy relationship. Your high school significant other and you could have been happy and in love, and suddenly you find yourselves possibly hours apart and with hordes of new people. This was my spot for the entirety of my freshmen year of college. I was dating a girl that I was very much in love with, but often struggled with balancing a long distance relationship and adjusting to a new school.
I’m not going to lie, long distance relationships are hard and they are most certainly not for everyone. Although mine went relatively well, I still found myself missing out on a lot of adjustment and seminal college experiences. Moving into your freshman year should be about your adjustment first and foremost. It is up to you to decide whether you can adequately do that with a partner.
If you do decide to try and stick it out with your partner, here’s some advice I would have appreciated.
One: Honest communication is a must. Try to talk regularly whether it be text, Skype, or phone call.
Two: Give each other space. Both sides are adjusting to something new, and each person in the relationship needs time to grow themselves.
Three: Find the right balance of visits. Don’t spend every weekend trying to meet up with your partner. Spend time on campus with your new friends as well.
Long distance relationships are difficult, and in many ways I would strongly caution against them, especially in your freshman year of college. However, for the truly dedicated, it is certainly doable, it just requires genuine care and effort on both sides.
Kaitlyn says…Long distance relationships can be difficult. For some people, they can be absolute nightmares. For others, they can lead to long lasting and fulfilling relationships. Maybe you have gone from seeing your significant other every single day in school to now staring at your phone, waiting for that late night text message from them. Maybe it just started as a summer fling and now it’s something more. Either way, long story short, you’re here and they’re not.
For me, in my limited experience with long distance, it just couldn’t work. Maybe my negative experience will color my opinion on this in a way you won’t like.
When it comes to deciding whether or not to continue your long distance relationship, you need to be selfish. I know relationships are supposed to be a two way street, but you need to decide whether that voice at the end of the telephone is worth missing out on all the fantastic potential relationships you could have here on campus. I know that sounds self-centered and unfair to the person you’re dating, but I have seen countless friends pine away, waiting for their significant other only to find when they finally reunite, they have both changed and no longer seem romantically compatible. College is the time when we are supposed to be finding out who we are. It is a guarantee that in your time here you will change, at least just a little bit. That means your relationship will change as well.
If you think the two of you will still be just as close and strong in your relationship as you were at the beginning, than by all means, pursue it and be happy. I wish you the best of luck. But if you don’t see a future anymore with your long distance love, maybe it’s time to end it.
It is selfish to think of yourself first, but we are young and this is the time to be selfish, now, before we have mortgages, jobs, and “the real world” with whicih to deal. So go with your gut. Whatever makes you happy, do it. But don’t go for it halfway. If you are going to pursue your long distance relationship, put as much, if not more, effort in as you would a relationship with someone close by. Like all relationships, if you don’t try, it is doomed to eventually fail. So be selfish, put some effort in, and hopefully, whether you end the relationship or not, you will be happy in your love life.