Going the distance

Making a long distance relationship work

If you have found yourself in a long distance relationship for the summer or may be in one starting this school year, everything will be OK.

On a personal note, I understand how long distance relationships work. I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year, but what you may not know is he lives in California. I know, shocker. Did I just hear you just gasp? OK, maybe I am being dramatic, but most students, especially here in Big Rapids, freak out when they hear the word California. They freak out even more when I tell them the love of my life is a six-hour plane ride away.

Now if you are in the same long distance situation or are nervous about being away from your crush this summer, I have a few tips for you. First of all, breathe in and, now, breathe out. Good, that’s better.

In order to succeed in a long distance relationship, you need to follow a couple of ground rules.

First rule of thumb is if you do not want to be in a long distant relationship, get out of it. Tell your significant other you do not want to continue seeing them and that is the end of that. Problem solved.

Since you have decided to continue reading, I know you are interested in my second rule. If you cannot bare to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend goodbye, then do not break up. Do not give up on what you want. It is as simple as that.

The third rule is you have to trust each other. Without trust, you have no relationship wherever you are. That includes a five minute walk or a six hour plane ride.

My fourth rule is plan for your future. Living apart is a constant battle of communication, plus it can be expensive. Think about traveling from Big Rapids to sunny San Francisco. It’s a pretty penny, but personally it is worth it.

For my fifth rule, you will have to function by yourself. You need to find a way to fill your days with activities so you are not spending all your free time waiting for a phone call. When I say activities, I do not mean find another romantic interest. I mean stay busy with school, your job, extra-curriculars or whatever interests you wish to pursue.

If you are afraid your honey will cheat on you, then you have no trust in him or her and you did not follow my third rule, trust each other. Are you even reading or just pretending to look busy while chilling in Big Rapids?

Focus and listen to my final rule. My sixth rule of a long distance relationship is to figure out when each of you will be in the same city or state again. If you have something to look forward to, your future will not seem as lonely as you are currently making it out to be.

Just remember to be truthful to yourself and to whomever is willing to go the distance with you. Make up your own rules if you don’t like mine. I have been living in a different state from my boyfriend for nine months, but without him in my life I would have a bigger heartache than only being able to see him once every month or so. We make it work and so do more than half of other college students in long distance relationships. I think you can too. n