The truth behind what a long distance relationship is really like

Audrey Whitaker '19, Managing Editor

Long distance relationships of any kind can get crazy.  It’s hard being away from your best friend for any amount of time, no matter how far.

My best friend is in college in grand rapids.  We were dating for about a year beforehand and had known each other for 2 years at that point. Breaking up never once crossed my mind, I assumed that long distance wouldn’t be any harder than the norm, and we took things as they came.

While my long distance relationship hasn’t been incredibly difficult or challenging for any reason, in particular, it’s definitely been a lot harder than I expected it to be.

   Basically, you do all the normal stuff. You fight, you get jealous, you misread, say sorry and makeup. But all over the phone, and only in the time between classes, homework and studying and practice. Oh, and from miles and miles away! long distance just means it might take more time and lots of patience.

Since August, it has become abundantly clear that trust is what allows our long distance relationship to work.  We each recognize that we are people with our own lives, wherever we are. No relationship of any kind can survive without trust.  Long before our relationship became long distance, Liam and I knew we could trust each other to keep things healthy and speak up if anything changed.  We don’t worry about where the other person is, what they’re doing, who they’re with because we know it’s nothing that would put our relationship in jeopardy.  A relationship with anyone you can’t fully trust isn’t worth the effort an LDR requires.

Photo courtesy of Whitaker ’19
Whitaker and her boyfriend enjoying time together.

That being said, you’re still gonna worry, you’re still gonna miss them.  That’s why communication is so important. It’s nice to have a ritual, a certain time you text or talk on the phone, a tv show you both watch or even writing letters.  Letters are the ultimate 21st-century novelty; they arrive unannounced and you can keep them as long as you want. Letters are personal, fun and even therapeutic, plus they don’t interrupt anybody while they’re trying to study.  It’s really important to be comfortable talking issues out, and realizing how hard that is over text. Not being able to hear the tone of voice or see the speaker’s face can take so much meaning out of a conversation, and the reader could take things the wrong way.  Facetime is great for talking out issues.

Realizing that your life doesn’t stop when your isn’t around is super important.  If you’re constantly thinking about how much you miss your best friend, yeah, you’re gonna be bummed all the time.  Stay busy with the other things you love in your life, stay focused on school and hang with the amazing friends you have around you, and take care of yourself too.  Treat it like a breakup, but less sad, because at the end of the day you know you still have someone awesome dying to hear from you.

Long distance may not be fun, but it’s definitely worth the challenge with the right person.  If it’s not for you, you’ll know, and that’s fine! Just make sure you don’t blindside the other person or wait until Christmas break to break up.  I’ve been super lucky, to have met my best friend, someone I trust and is always there for me. Sometimes it really sucks, but it’s definitely true that distance makes the heart grow fonder.