Distance: Will you make it or break it?

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Victoria Barayuga

According to Statistic Brain, 40 percent of long-distance couples break up.

“And they all lived happily ever after,” is the most famous fairytale line that many people dream about when they think of their significant other. In reality, it takes a lot of work to reach that happily ever after. Couples are faced with problems such as trust issues, personal insecurities, and fights caused by different point of views. Those problems alone are tough to deal with face to face, but when distance becomes a factor, every fight becomes amplified more than it usually would.

There are two ways to look at long-distance relationships: distance makes the heart grow fonder or distance makes the heart wander. From personal experience, distance only drew myself away from my former boyfriend of two years.

Different scenarios can create distance such as the military or going away for school. In my case, the choice of what college to attend is what created distance. According to a study done by The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, 25 to 40 percent of college couples are involved with long distance. For many college freshmen, they leave high school with high hopes that they will become the couple that conquers distance, but when they are placed into new scenery and meet different people, it becomes difficult to avoid temptations.

Being young and naive, I never listened to adults who told me, “College is the time when you will meet many new people.” Like others, I was determined to stay committed in a long-distance relationship. Many teens that enter into college haven’t had the time to mature enough to see what else is out there. Once they enter college, it becomes a culture shock because they are now surrounded by a wide variety of people and opportunities that will give them the chance to discover more about themselves.

For those who have ever been in any type of relationship, knows that it’s not easy. It takes a lot of time and hard work. Between trying to understand where the other person is coming from and being able to compromise with one another, eats up a lot of emotions. As a college student, balancing schoolwork on top of trying to keep a stable relationship can be exhausting. It’s hard enough for someone to find the time to do homework, keep a job and maintain a social life, but adding in a long-distance relationship to the equation is time consuming.

A long-distance relationship leaves a person to become vulnerable, vulnerable to the cheating, the lying, and secrets that may happen. It’s easier for a person to lie when he or she are in a relationship separated by distance because it’s easier to hide information from his or her significant other. In these types of relationships a people have to be committed in order for the relationship to work. They have to be loyal and trustworthy because those are two main factors in keeping a long-distance relationship functioning. If there is no trust or loyalty then the whole relationship will be full of lies, dishonestly and fights; all signs of an unhealthy relationship. It’s easier to blame one another and, due to the distance, harder for two people to communicate through the issues. Without constant communication, the flame between one another burns out and at that point, there’s no other choice but to break up.

Yes, strong relationships are more than just a physical attraction but having that physical presence makes a difference. Distance can ultimately ruin a relationship. Eventually just hearing a voice and reading words becomes lonely and dull. Seeing people hold hands, hug and kiss becomes torture for someone in a long-distance relationship. To some, physical presence is just as important as trust and loyalty in a relationship. Knowing that I’ll have someone to run to when I have a bad day brings me comfort, someone who knows me better than anyone else.

After a while, counting down days becomes exhausting, waiting by the computer becomes pointless and phone calls turns into a tiresome routine. Long-distance relationships are a challenge and requires copious amount of patience and time. These relationships are not for the weak hearted, but that doesn’t mean those who couldn’t stay in one aren’t capable of having a healthy bond. It just means people have different views on what are important factors in making a relationship last.

There are couples that are strong enough to withstand the distance but the amount of time and work a long-distance relationship requires adds on more stress and effort than what a college student is already bombarded with. Not saying that distance will kill all relationships but it will hinder couples that haven’t been apart.