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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

The Trials and Tribulations of Long Distance

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MMM chapter.

No one ever said that a long-distance relationship would be easy, but I never imagined that my boyfriend and I would be separated. We always had the plan that we would be together and see each other every weekend, and we would live happily ever after. However, the pandemic put a wrench in our plans and we had to regroup. I never saw myself doing long-distance because I had some preconceived notion that it is entirely impossible, but when I was put into this situation, my only choice was to give long-distance a shot. 

For starters, my boyfriend’s name is Joel. We met during our junior year in high school, back home in San Diego, California, through mutual friends since we all were involved in theatre. When we started to apply for colleges, we didn’t exactly discuss our future plans but we both, coincidentally, ended up in the greater New York area. He is going to college on Long Island and I am going to school in Manhattan, which made it extremely easy to see each other. Our freshman year was spent getting extremely acquainted with the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) every weekend so that we could spend time together. 

I immersed myself in his suburban college town and Joel learned true city living when visiting me. It felt like we were in a movie every moment we spent together in New York; it was truly surreal. We danced in the streets, sang in subways, ate amazing food, saw Broadway shows, drank too much coffee, checked out museums, and we just lived in the moment. It was what I had always imagined living in New York with my boyfriend would be like. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw (The Carrie Diaries version), every time I was going back and forth from Long Island to the city. We were just flitting about in our wonderful bubble of New York love. 

Hit with reality, March 13th, 2020 snuck up on us and everything changed. March 13th happened to be my birthday and we still didn’t completely understand the true severity of Covid-19 at that point. Joel and I went to a tattoo parlor, we spent the day in Central Park, went to a restaurant for dinner, took public transportation, and I hugged a stranger on the street. Then two days after a whirlwind of birthday shenanigans, I found out I would need to leave my dorm and go home. Joel would find out a few days later that he would also need to leave his dorm. However, I went home before him and we were separated for over a month. I was counting the days until we would be back together, and at that point, I decided that this long-distance stuff is extremely hard. 

A few of my friends are in long-distance relationships and they make it look so easy, but it is truly one of the most heart wrenching experiences, especially as a college student. When I found out I would not be going back to the city for the Fall 2020 semester and Joel would be able to go back for some in-person classes, I felt like my whole world was turned upside down. Not only would I be missing out on the life I built in NYC, but I also would be missing out on experiencing that with my boyfriend. 

Currently, we have been apart for just over 2 months and it has been an eye-opening experience. I’m not going to sugar coat it, long-distance sucks, and people who make it look easy are extremely strong. I am grateful that I am able to see Joel’s face and hear his voice every day on FaceTime and we get to have movie dates on Zoom. We are still able to do most of the things we did when we were together in person. Joel and I love a competitive game of chess so we play against each other all the time. We send each other memes constantly. We send each other letters in the mail, keeping both love and the USPS alive, one letter at a time. 

Recently, after I saw Tiktoks of couples getting each other’s favorite things out of specific categories, I thought that Joel and I could do that and send each other those things in a package. It’s the little things that make long-distance completely worth it and it’s the little things that make the time go by faster. As easy as it is to be sad and revel in it for the entire four months, I’m deciding to make the most of it with Joel and see it as a turning point in our relationship. Pandemic dating is hard enough as it is and adding long-distance to that cocktail makes it even trickier. 

Every day I remind myself that the day I get to pick Joel up from the airport, all of the trials and tribulations will be completely worth it. This crazy time, known as 2020, has certainly broken us all down and built us back up again. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I must say, I appreciate every moment with my boyfriend so much more now.

Hi there! I am a senior at Marymount Manhattan College, double majoring in Digital Journalism and Politics & Human Rights. I am an Editorial Intern for Her Campus and I am the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus MMM. Fun Facts: I love playing tennis and creating amateur TikToks in my free time.