Long distance shouldn’t be the end to a relationship

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Graphic by Simran Dhaliwal

Since late December, I’ve seen my boyfriend in person a total of eight days. Between getting sick — again — being in and out of the doctor’s and then flying off to exchange in England for a semester, physically getting to one another is next to impossible.

Our relationship was one of the biggest reservations I had about going on exchange.

We were roommates before we got into a relationship and we had never not lived together in our year together.

Moving across the ocean was going to be a massive change and there was an unspoken worry between us when it was supposed to happen.

Would we be able to talk as much as we normally do? Keep up with each other’s lives?

Honestly, it’s been effortless.

It really hit me the other day that long distance relationships are the breaking point for some couples.
People seriously just can’t handle that distance from their significant other, and now that I’ve experienced it myself, I just can’t understand why.

What’s a relationship about? It’s about love and trust.

It’s making time for one another, even when you are stressed yourself.

It’s a commitment that you must see through and actually try to get it right.

None of that stops no matter how far you are physically from your partner. It all stays the same, even if you have to approach it from a new angle.

You trust them enough not to have to keep tabs on them at all hours of the day.

You make time to talk to them, even if their schedule is completely different from yours.

You still have to put in effort to share things with them and make them feel special, even if you can’t to their face.

That’s just what you do if you love them, and you don’t have to be conscious of that effort.

In short, long distance isn’t hard at all, if your heart is in the right place. Of course you’ll miss them, but it’s worth it. It’s just that simple if you really want your relationship to work.

If you can’t handle a little time apart, I think that might be a problem for you, not for your partner. Distance gives you the opportunity to act out, sure. But it also forces you to be completely independent of your partner — an authentic human autonomous of anyone else and their decisions — like everyone should be in a relationship.

You don’t lose yourself when you have that first kiss or the third date. You are your own person; you can make your own decisions.

If you think you can’t handle a long-distance relationship for whatever reason, be it time commitment or the threat of cheating, those will likely still be problems no matter where you are in the world.

And seriously, it’s not like anyone is ever really that far away from each other these days. Especially in the internet age, I am up on literally everything my friends are doing at home in real time.

From our various group chats on Facebook — chats for friends, work friends, double dates, the whole works — to Snapchat and Instagram stories displaying photographic evidence of what everyone is up to. As long as I have cell service, I’m right there anyway.

The same goes for my boyfriend — when something happens, we still message each other first.

It’s just like being in class at school, we’re separated but we’re giving each other updates on whatever stupid parking job someone did that day or how outwardly gross the communal bathrooms are.

On top of that, Skype is a really useful tool.

We can be just as silly over video chats as we are in real life. We even keep up on Riverdale together using the screen-share feature, so we see it at the same time as the other.

We put in effort to make each other feel special, and there is nothing about that statement that is exclusive to long distance.

It’s seriously all the same, as long as you put in the effort, even in a different way.

Long distance is never a reason to break up unless you’ve got underlying issues.

Every relationship is different, but if you love someone, you make it work. That’s all there is to it.

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