Long-Distance Relationships in College: Let’s Talk About it

If you asked me two years ago if I would ever consider being in a long-distance relationship (LDR) while in college, I would have laughed in your face. See, I was and still am very much a realist. The way I saw it, an LDR working out all through college was slim to none. You and your partner are growing, changing at a rapid rate, and you shouldn’t have to hold yourself back and make decisions for someone else. Plus, what’s the point of being in a relationship if you barely get to see the person? That was my logic. 

However, last year all my beliefs went out the window when I met a boy. I met him amid being a single, fun young woman navigating my last year of high school, with high hopes for college. When they say, “You will meet him at the most unexpected time,” it is true. Last February, my two college friends dragged me to a party with a bunch of foreign exchange students in Miami, and there he was. He was tall, blonde, blue-eyed and had an immaculate style.

Eventually, my friends and I were all in a group conversing with other people at the party and he was part of it. I started talking to him individually and we immediately hit it off. He told me about his family, his interests and his major, which was engineering. I am much more of a history buff myself, so this difference enticed me. He was refreshing and more kind than any boy I had ever met. I specifically remember telling my friend that “He melted my heart.” By the end of the night, he asked for my number and texted me saying he hoped I got home safely. I thought, what a gentleman! 

After that, we hung out almost every day for the next two months. We clicked on every level and I felt like I finally found my person - as cheesy as that sounds. The only thing was, he lived in Canada. By the first week of May, he would be back in Montréal, and I would be wallowing away in South Florida. During the last couple of weeks we had left together, we had many conversations about starting an LDR. We contemplated all the pros and cons that came with it. The answer was obvious: we had to at least give it a try. The last week he was in South Florida, we decided we were going to try long-distance and take it day by day. On his last day, we said goodbye with a lot of tears. 


Courtesy: Gianna Formica

The first month without him I cried every single day. I had never missed someone so much, and I was so confused by all the emotions I had piling up inside me. Luckily, since we are both proactive people, we planned a trip to see each other at the beginning of June. The first time he came back, I was as excited as I was nervous. Even though we Facetimed every day, thoughts like, “what if it doesn’t feel the same when we’re with each other in person?” raced in the back of my mind. However, the moment I picked him up at the airport, I knew all those thoughts could lay to rest. Of course, it felt just like it had before. Love like that doesn’t just disappear, even if you don’t see that person for a month. 

Throughout the rest of the summer, we saw each other two more times. I stayed with his family and it felt like home, filled with warmth and coziness. Each time we saw each other, our relationship grew stronger and stronger. But of course, there was still a big challenge lying ahead: me going off to college. He was worried he would be holding me back while I was exploring new territory at Florida State University, and even I must admit, thoughts like, “What if I miss out on the college experience?” popped up into my head. We kept going, though. Taking it day by day. 

During the first month of college, our relationship was tested. Now that we were both back in school, we had busier schedules and had to learn how to set time for each other. There were points where we questioned how we would keep doing this. I mean, our LDR has a lot of complications: money for flights, hotels (since he couldn’t stay in my dorm), we had no official endpoint to living together, and of course, the usual stuff - we missed each other so much to the point that it was making us miserable at times. However, we fought through it and kept booking flights to see each other. We saw and still see each other every four to six weeks. 

After that first month of college, we got into the groove of things and our relationship was the strongest it had ever been. We knew we wanted to be with each other, so we made it happen. And now it’s almost a year later and we’re still doing it. In fact, he is visiting me this week. People always ask me, “How do you do a long-distance relationship while in college?” and “Don’t you feel like you’re missing out on the college experience?” And the truth is, no, I do not feel I am missing out. I still get to go out with my friends and meet new people. I get to work on myself without any distractions. I still make choices for myself. And with all of that, I have a boyfriend who loves, trusts and supports me like no one else. 

Anything can happen, and I am not writing this to say I will have a happy-ever-after; I am writing this to challenge you, the reader: if you are hesitant to take the chance, just go for it. Sure, it might not work out, but it also could. Because after all, you can’t get good things without risks. 

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