The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
By Mackenzie Boyce
Whenever I tell people my boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship during the school year, I’m met with never-ending questions about how I can make it work. In reality, long distance has its good and bad sides, especially when it comes to dating a boy you met before starting college. My boyfriend and I met at the end of my senior year, and although having a “high school sweetheart” seems to be a fairytale, it certainly comes with hardships.
Going home for Summer and Winter break means time with your significant other, free from concerns about deadlines, papers or assignments. Over break, you can maximize time with that special someone without the stress of college interfering. It’s the perfect time to fulfill those cheesy couple bucket lists for Christmas and summer, to do those activities like baking cookies, wearing matching holiday pajamas or taking a beach trip.
While it may be difficult to find time to talk during the school year, at the end of the day there’s always someone there who cares about you. On my hardest days I know I always have my boyfriend to call, and he’s always there to listen, no matter how many miles away he may be. Even if we can’t be together all the time, being in love is special, and having that person who can act as an escape from school or stress is so important.
Luckily, technology makes it easy to be together even when you’re apart. Facetime is so necessary in a long term relationship. Establishing expectations for communication is necessary, and having a good relationship involves setting times for calls or texts, as well as discovering how often you need to talk to make it work. There are so many great alternatives for spending time together. I recommend Netflix Party, which allows you and your partner to watch the same show or movie at the same time.
Not spending time together is obviously the most difficult part of long-distance. Sometimes it can feel like being apart physically is making you grow apart emotionally. You don’t make the same memories, which can be a strange experience after being used to spending so much time together and knowing the same people. Even if this isn’t the case, I find the lack of validation provided by face-to-face communication difficult to cope with. It can be hard to express feelings over text, and sometimes it can cause more frequent fights than if you were together in person.
Another aspect of long-distance many people struggle with is the lack of participation in college hookup culture. Sometimes it can feel lonely watching friends talk to guys at bars or parties, knowing you won’t be able to have that type of physical intimacy until the next time you go home.
Long-distance has its ups and downs, and when going into this type of relationship it’s important to assess whether or not it’s worthwhile, and if you are emotionally ready for that type of commitment. In the end, if you love him the good times make all the bad days worth it.