Long distance relationships and college students go hand-in-hand.
Most young adults with significant others find themselves battling long car rides or daily phone calls and Face-Time dates for at least part of the year, whether it be while school is in session or over break.
Students at Keene State College spoke out on this issue.
Sophomore at KSC, Avery Black, said that maintaining her long distance relationship over the summer wasn’t as difficult as some say it is.
Black said, “I don’t believe a relationship needs to [have] constant contact, so it’s alright to not always
be talking and in each other’s face.”
The hardest part about the distance, Black said, is obvious.
“It was hard sometimes to hear his voice or see him on FaceTime, but not have him physically with me. Over the summer I did find myself missing him an exceptional amount of time.”
Meg Gilbar, also a KSC sophomore, would agree with Black.
“The most difficult part for me was not being able to physically have any contact with him,” Gilbar explained, “It resulted in feelings of loneliness and abandonment. I felt as if being in another state made it seem as though we were miles and miles apart and as if he wasn’t really in my life anymore.”
KSC sophomore Simon Mauchly is seeing someone who will be out of the country for the better part of a year, spending some time in Thailand and South Africa.
“It’s hard because you don’t know when you’ll see them next sometimes, and it can be hard keeping in touch when you’re both in different countries,” Mauchly said.
For Gilbar, having a boyfriend back home while she was away at college was more stressful than anything else.
Gilbar said, “[My first year] I had trouble connecting with others and getting close to them because a part of me was always held back or reserved for my boyfriend.”
“It’s kind of hard for me, because you really don’t know what they’re doing while they’re away, and vice versa,” Mauchly explained, “But it definitely can be a good thing to spend some time apart.”
While Black was able to turn the distance into a positive aspect of the relationship, Gilbar was unfortunately not so lucky.
“My relationship lasted a year and three months,” Gilbar said, “We were able to see each other a lot during the summer, but after I left for school visiting was minimal.”
Black, who thoroughly believes that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ went on to add that the distance has actually been good for her relationship.
“Being away definitely makes me love him more, since I miss everything, even the dumb little things,” Black stated.
“In my case, it was more ‘out of sight out of mind,’ or even ‘out of sight, get off my mind!’” Gilbar explained, “It was stressful balancing a long distance relationship as well as school work and friends.
It left me with good grades and a rocky relationship and just a few friends when I could have made many more.”
The distance between Gilbar and her boyfriend, however, gave her a better view on the relationship.
Gilbar explained, “I began to understand that my boyfriend had issues with trust and was constantly fighting with me and questioning me on who I was talking to and the gender of the people I was hanging out with. I can see how good things could come out of a long distance relationship, though, like learning to communicate better and how to handle issues in a different way.”
Gilbar continued, “I feel I missed out on some parts of college my first year but I also grew so much as a person because of the stress of keeping my relationship going.”
“I felt accomplished and significantly stronger,” Black said. The long distance portion of her relationship ended when the couple, both KSC students, reunited last week.
Black explained, “Just because he was away didn’t mean he was anything less to me and that’s a beautiful thing, just to feel so comfortable with someone and to have him whether he is a five minute walk or a three hour drive away.”
“I don’t think two people should end a relationship just because distance is involved,” Black said, “If your hearts are both really in it, then the distance is nothing compared to the time you get to spend together.”
Jill Giambruno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org