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Challenging your long-distance relationship woes

10/18/2010
By:

Jessican Giannone

Staff Writer

The phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a widely preached line of advice, and has been for quite a long time; but so has the phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” In a long-distance relationship, a person can never predict how separation from a loved one is going to turn out. Every college kid has their own outlook on this topic. There will be ups, and there will be downs, but there is one universal line of advice that everyone can go by: Distance isn’t a matter of situational concern, but rather, perspective.

When you’re sitting at home alone, wondering what you would be doing if your significant other were there, a number of feelings can arise. You might feel lonely, bored, unmotivated, or simply sad. You might also feel more independent, constructive, busy, or even stronger because you can maintain the same lifestyle you had, without the person that played the biggest part in it. Some may say the separation depends on the relationship; others may say it depends on just the individual. No matter what doubts there may be, they are not written in stone.

The point is that no one’s situation is the same, and regardless of the variety of opinions about maintaining long-distance relationships in college, the only one that should matter is your own. When you’re in college, there are many events going on keeping you busy. Our time is consumed with classes, homework, clubs, events, etc., but we all carry on our responsibilities differently.

It seems hard to imagine a simple life while juggling school on top of the stress of trying to make time for your “partner.” Although, the reason why it may seem so hard is because people have been saying so for the past hundreds of years. “Oh, I don’t believe in long-distance relationships,” or, “You’re young, don’t be tied down when your boyfriend is so far away.” Sometimes, half of the stress is really from the idea that it’s not going to work, when really, it’s not that bad.

A number of contributing factors that play a role in how successful long-distance relationships can be are age, goals, stages in life, financial issues, schedules, workloads, and so much more. But aside from all the obstacles that can come along with distance, the only one to truly “worry” about is yourself. It’s kind of weird to think of yourself as an obstacle, but when you think about it, what other instance can have more of an impact on your life than that of your own attitude?
Getting back to the cliché phrases about separation, it is evident that the two weren’t created by the same person. That tells us that the success in a relationship depends on the perspective of the individual. One person is busy missing someone and ready to give up on the emotional turmoil the relationship brings, while another is getting on with their day, remaining unaffected by an “inconvenience.” The true tester of the strength in a relationship is will power; will power not only for success, but for strength in yourself to not be biased by anyone else’s experiences but your own.

If you’re one of those people that is having doubts, just try to keep yourself occupied with constructive tasks, and look forward to the next time you will see your boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course, it sounds simpler than it is, but try to remember that the hardest part is the idea of the whole situation, not the actual situation.

There will be days when it is hard to focus because you miss them, or are worried about what they might be doing. “He has a lot of girls on his floor,” “his roommates are partiers,” but those feelings would be the same even if they were 20 minutes away.

It’s just the time between your meetings that tends to drag on. You just have to remind yourself that until you see the person, you can fill up that time with things that benefit you instead of becoming consumed with worry about everything.

The most important thing to remember is that a relationship doesn’t change just because two people are far away. It is the same whether you are close or distant. It sounds silly to say that a relationship is based on geographical relation, doesn’t it? So keep in mind that it’s all you; your attitude versus your life. The question is, are you up for the challenge?

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