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Sex + Relationships

I tried long-distance and failed! Here’s what I learned.

College is a time to meet new people, try new things, and, frankly, change! Personally, I loved my high school experience and, at first, I was scared that college would not live up to expectations set out by movies and TV shows. However, another thing that contributed to this fear was being separated from my high school boyfriend. There are so many opinions about long-distance relationships and, really, I don’t think there is one answer. However, we tried long-distance, but ended breaking up and here are a few things I learned from that period in my life.


Sometimes, distance is good

Being in a long distance relationship means being independent, while stilling possessing a very close connection to home. For my freshmen year of college, I went to school over 400 miles away from hometown. So, talking to my boyfriend made me feel connected to my life back home. That distance can seem daunting, but was also a good thing. It spiced up our conversations and left us with this ability to grow independently from one another. Relationships are nothing without growth, so spending some time a part serves as a way to experiment with this increase of independence. As well, a relationship surviving through through these times a part can prove the strength of your connection and the willingness to make the relationship to work.

If I had gone to the same school as my ex-boyfriend, I feel as though I would just be known as “the girlfriend” to mutual friends. My current roomate is thankful that she and her boyfriend don’t go to the same school. She said she likes making her own friendships without being tied down to the detached label of “the girlfriend”. However, longing for a hug from your boyfriend when you’re having a bad day really makes the distance seem insurmountable sometimes, I get it. But, considering these points, distance can be good!



Trust and communication are key

I grew up taught that trust is the most important thing and that is no different concerning relationships. Trust is a complicated thing, but the feeling of trust is something simple. If something doesn’t feel right, communicate that. If you and your significant other are not on the same page, it can lead to a snowball of tension. College is a meaningful time and it’s important to focus on what’s in front of you. So, when trust and communication are lacking in your relationship, it can be hard to focus on yourself and your first-hand experiences.


People CAN change but, honestly it’s okay

As a sophomore in college, I am happy to say I am not the same person I was in high school. It depends on the person in regards to how one changes, but I say with the upmost confidence that all people change in college. Some can completely derail and lose focus, or some can step-it-up and mature; however, in some way, shape, or form people’s attitudes, approaches, and opinions can alter after experiencing the introduction to college.

In a relationship, it can be hard to accept that the high school boyfriend that you graduated with is changing, and that’s totally understandable. So, primarily, it’s up to you to determine whether being together is something you want to persist, after all of this change. It may take some time, but I’ve accepted that my ex-boyfriend changed. Yeah, it may suck to realize that the person you once knew is gone, but hey, that’s life and trust me, it’s okay. If it’s just a phase, the universe may cause your paths to cross again in the future. College is a time to focus on your personal growth; it’s exhausting to feel anchored to the past.


Breakups are a form of growth

After attempting long distance, my boyfriend and I ended things, but that’s okay. I learned that college is a place based on independence, so I truly feel that I came out the other side of this breakup a better person. From this relationship and attempting long distance, I feel as though I grew. During the breakup, I found strength in my friends, my studies, and my family. I feel as though I became more connected and closer with the people that helped me through it and it gave me time to really focus on myself and what I want.


Leaving for college is exciting and nerve-racking and having a boyfriend makes things a little more complicated. Not to say that long-distance is hopeless because I do NOT believe that. I’m just saying it sucks to think of leaving your significant other for extensive periods of time. There are pros and cons and it’s important to discuss them with your partner and yourself. After all, college is a time to focus on YOU. Listen to yourself, take a deep breath, and understand that change is good and happens for a reason.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Elizabeth Webler

U Mass Amherst '22

Elizabeth studies philosophy, political science, and communications at UMass Amherst. Favorite topics to write about include politics, personal growth, and current events. She loves reading, watching SNL and exercising in her free time!
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