Long-distance relationships require perseverance

Sept. 30, 2013

Samantha Morley
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Late afternoon, my phone rang. My boyfriend had received the best news of his life – he’d been accepted by Limerick University in Limerick, Ireland. He was ecstatic. I was less so, but hid it because he already had enough pressure.

We have received much criticism and apprehension from friends and family about our decision to remain in a relationship, but we believe that this trial could strengthen our bond.

According to Statistic Brain in 2012, long distance relationships comprise 32.5 percent of all college relationships.

If we are diligent with staying in contact and remaining honest with each other, then there is a high chance that we will come out of this happily. Long-distance relationships can work.

Upon hearing the news that my boyfriend would be moving, I did what most girls who love their man would do: I cried. I cried a lot.

At the time he got the letter, we had only been dating 10 months. I didn’t want him to leave yet. But I swallowed down the emotions and got to work helping pack his things.

A few weeks later, my boyfriend rented a Penske truck and drove to Boston where he said goodbye to some family and left the country.

He has been gone for a month now.

When someone you love is with you in person, a month goes by very quickly. When you love someone and they are 4,404 miles away, a month feels like a year.

Because of how far away he is, our relationship looks slightly different than a couple living in the same city. Instead of communicating over dinner at a restaurant, we talk over Skype.

Eight time zones apart, scheduling can be difficult, but possible.

We have also had to establish boundaries with people of the opposite gender. He once made friends with a very sweet girl from California and invited her over to his apartment where the two of them had a dinner that he cooked.

That really upset me. But we discussed it, and he assured me that he would be more aware. Now he hangs out with the girl in public areas and around other friends.

Mingling with female friends is fine, and I appreciate that he limits their time to public areas.

I am glad he has made a friend.

Long-distance relationships don’t work unless both parties communicate.

Before he left, we also had conversations about what direction our relationship should go. Should we continue to be together? Are we strong enough to remain loyal to each other?

Since he is my first boyfriend, there was also talk of ending our relationship because “I am young and may feel the urge to explore.”

We have discussed what could happen in the future, such as whether or not I will move to Ireland with him. There is a chance that we may eventually go our separate ways.

His or my career may take us in opposite directions. However, we have hope in our relationship and that it has the potential to strengthen our resolves as time goes on.