Long-distance relationships get a bad rep. I’m here to make the case that they’re actually not that bad. (I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out).
As someone who has been in a long-distance relationship for over a year, I am fully aware of the stereotypes and doubts that are generally held against the concept. I have seen countless TikTok videos claiming that all college long-distance relationships from high school (or in general) will be over by Thanksgiving–at the very latest. I know the natural prejudice amongst the general public is that long-distance relationships are supposedly a breeding ground for infidelity and I’m sure we all know at least one person who has a villain origin story from a failed LDR. I get it — these concerns aren’t necessarily invalid.
However, as a first-year here at Northeastern, I was pleasantly shocked at a phenomenon I observed within my first month — there are many other Northeastern students in long distance relationships! I was surprised to find out that one of my now closest friends has a boyfriend who goes to Lafayette College. Other friends and many people I continue to meet are in an LDR.
When you go into college in a long-distance relationship, you’re told it’s going to be an alienating thing to do. Truth be told, I’ve had adults in my life who only want the best for me gently tell me they want me to have “the college experience” and that they would love to see me “go into college single”. But for me, being in a healthy LDR does not take away from the college experience. In fact, it greatly improves it. And meeting others in an LDR actually forms a bond with them over a shared experience, a level of connection and understanding that would otherwise not have been achieved.
For me, an LDR gives me the opportunity to focus on self-growth. It enables me to focus all of my effort and energy towards my academics, join clubs that suit my interests, and form strong friendships. The level of independence I have already achieved here at Northeastern would simply not be possible if I had my boyfriend at my side at all times. Of course, if he went to Northeastern and not to a school in New York, I would inevitably want to work my schedule, to a degree, around seeing him. Personally, I enjoy spending my time around those with whom I am most comfortable. I fall into a routine very quickly, and don’t always seek out new experiences. So, instead of falling into a predictable routine here at Northeastern, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and watched myself grow — without having to compromise on a trusting and happy relationship.
And as all others in an LDR will know, it is incredibly rewarding to confide in your significant other about your respective experiences at the end of the day, and even better when you get to see them in person. On the occasions that I get to see my boyfriend, all of our attention is purely devoted to each other. This is a rarity in a normal relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. Long-distance relationships are difficult. Both people have to be trusting, supportive, and communicative. There will be adjustment periods and the general difficulties of being far away are ever-present. But once you get into a groove, an LDR can be one of the best things to happen to you.