She said, He said

By Jessica Hartman

Many times, couples blame the death of their long-distance relationship on lack of time together. However, what really caused the relationship to go south is simple – it’s the lack of commitment.

I am living proof that long-distance relationships can work. I was with someone for more than eight months while I lived in Tampa and he lived in Los Angeles. There was commitment, trust and communication, and the relationship worked wonderfully. He flew to see me about once a month, and I flew to see him when I could. He even moved to Tampa after those eight months to be with me. It’s hard work, but if the couple is meant to be together the result is well worth the effort.

Couples who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from each other have a difficult task in front of them. Their relationship will be different from those of couples who live close together – they’ll miss each other, trust will be an issue, and many other problems could arise. Despite these hardships, long-distance relationships can work. In fact, there are many pluses to living far away from a significant other.

Because they don’t see each other as often as regular couples, the people in long-distance relationships will cherish every moment they get to spend with one another. The anticipation of the next time they get to see each other will be their saving grace when time apart gets to be too hard. This is also why frequent trips are necessary.

As devoted as the couple may be to each other, it is nice to be able to have separate lives. There isn’t any pressure to spend more time with the other person because he or she isn’t there. No one is waiting at home after a late night at work, no one will complain about messy living habits and no one will complain about too many nights out with friends. However, this is also where trust and communication come to play. Couples in long-distance relationships must have an elevated level of trust in the other person, because it’s very easy to hide things.

All in all, couples who decide their counterpart is worth the distance only need three things to make the relationship work: trust, communication and, above all, commitment. If they are committed to going through the good and the badtogether, no matter what, the relationship will work. Without this commitment, the relationship will crumble.

By Tristan Wheelock

I have been in long-distance relationships that have worked and ones that have not. In retrospect, it seems pretty easy to determine why some failed and some flourished.

In an ideal relationship, couples are committed exclusively to each other. They trust each other completely and are devoted to one another. This balance is often difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Usually in a relationship, there is one member who feels more strongly than the other. Even if the affection is equal in the beginning, time usually skews this balance.

Let’s start with the failed long-distance relationship. It was initially face-to-face but was eventually driven to long distance by circumstance. Because it worked so well in person, the assumption was that distance couldn’t possibly change it. Unfortunately, reality is a harsh burden. The relationship eventually crashed and burned into a fiery pile of emotional wreckage.

It was difficult at the time, but analyzing it with my now more savvy and perhaps hardened perspective, I can pinpoint why it didn’t work. I was emotionally invested, very much so. While this may seem like a good thing, it really was not.

I became paranoid and overbearing. I fell into the trap that I think most guys fall into when they really care about someone. I wanted to control the girl in question because I was afraid she would hurt me or do something she and I would both regret. However, my concerns were unwarranted when considering the girl’s past, and this served to drive her away rather than adequately communicate my feelings.

Since that failed, painful, difficult and sometimes ridiculous infatuation, my perspective has evolved. I have invested less of myself into the relationships I’ve had. This might sound callous – maybe even mean – but it has been effective, kind of fulfilling and, at the very least, painless.

Recently, I have become involved in another long-distance relationship. This time around, there is more mileage between us but less lovey-dovey stuff. I think this grounded approach is what has made this particular relationship a success.

I am not paranoid when she is away, even if we don’t see each other for a couple of weeks. When we are together, we are both laid back because we are not putting too much of ourselves out there. It’s not deep, but it is fun. Isn’t that what relationships are supposed be?

I think men get so caught up in their desire to perfect their connections with the opposite sex that they end up blind to the real purpose of what they are doing. Men are trying to get to know someone, have fun, share experiences and maybe a little something else. If you’re reading this, you are most likely in college, young and in a good place in the world. So why not act like it? Be stupid and silly and have fun, and despite distance, you may be able to pull it off.