Can you commit to long-distance love?

Bethany Dionne

At some point or another during college, and often in high school, people in relationships are faced with a long-distance situation. For many, long-distance relationships do not faze them. Others however, have had a much harder time and are left with negative thoughts.

“It’s definitely not easy being in one,” said Michelle Streckenbach, a junior biomedical science major, in regards to long-distance relationships. “When you want to see your boyfriend or girlfriend, sometimes you can’t and that’s frustrating. Plans get broken, hearts get broken; it’s usually just a very stressful situation. Only the truly lucky make it through.”

Kevin Stewart, a junior broadcast journalism major agreed. He was in a relationship over the summer, but he and his girlfriend broke it off because they could not see each other until the end of November if they stayed together, and they had not been together for very long to begin with.

“I think if the couple has a strong relationship, and can see each other often enough it shouldn’t be a problem,” he said. “But in my situation, it just wouldn’t have been worth it.”

John Forner, a junior history major, feels that long-distance relationships are difficult, and when the relationship is not strong, it fails. He also said that the additional stress of a long distance relationship is difficult for college students and people our age.

“I mean college is hard enough, and to try and have a serious relationship on top of that just makes it worse,” he said. “It’s compounding a problem.”

Some students realized that long distance relationships are difficult for freshman to handle because everything is so new to them. They are trying to get used to living on their own, getting to class and doing their work, meeting new people and getting involved in extra-curricular activities. The additional stress of a boyfriend or girlfriend at home or another school can make the transition that much harder.

Lauren Jenson, a junior nursing major, has been with her boyfriend for two-and-a-half years and struggled freshman year because it was hard to balance a boyfriend at home and a new environment.

“My freshman year was so uneventful because all I did was talk to him on the phone and think about what he would say if I did something wrong,” she said. “I was always worried about what he thought and never did things for myself. I was too wrapped up with him and now that we experienced that, we do our own things and are not always so worried that the other is going to do something wrong.”

Emily Flinter had a similar experience her freshman year. The junior media studies major felt like she missed out on things going on at school because she tried to talk to her boyfriend as much as possible. He went to college in Wisconsin and it was difficult to talk to him because of the time difference. She said she would blow things off if he called so she could talk to him.

Pete Gallay, a junior media production major, is optimistic about long distance relationships. He has never had one, but will experience it next semester when he goes away for Semester at Sea.

“I feel like it may be very difficult with the distance and lack of communication,” he said. “But our relationship is strong.”

People handle long-distance relationships differently, depending on the circumstances. While some people are able to see their significant other often, others cannot because of distance and conflicting schedules.

Christine Benvengo, a junior occupational therapy major, has been with her boyfriend for a year-and-a-half, and has been away from him for the majority of the relationship. They have conflicting schedules while at school, so are only able to have planned phone calls on Sunday nights.

John Radzinski, a sophomore journalism major has learned a lot in his relationship of almost three years. Last year, it was difficult because his girlfriend was still in high school and did not understand the craziness and strange schedules college students live with.

“It’s a lot better this year, now that she sees how different college is,” he said.

Sophomore Jeff Fontana mentioned the need for commitment in a relationship. He and his girlfriend had to be apart over the summer, when they were home on break, but he said that talking a few times throughout the day and the couple of times they got to see each other helped. He said that as long as both people are committed to each other, there is hope.

As many students explained, long distance relationships are hard to get used to and can be trying for both sides. If both people are understanding and listen, it can work.

Benvengo mentioned the need to be interested in the other person and what they are up to, and also to be understanding. Jenson agrees and adds that this is a difficult time in our lives, and relationships can be hard. But if it is strong, it will last.

“Long distance relationships are the hardest thing that anyone can go through, especially in college,” she said. “But if you can get through that, you can get through anything with at person.”