Long-Distance Dating: Is It Right for You?

Chances are, you know at least one girl that follows the same tragic pattern: girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl graduates high school, girl moves away to college, girl marks her calendar four years ahead as the day that she can be reunited with her boyfriend. Some people view girls in long-distance relationships as unaccepting of change and accuse her of simply trying to hang on to what is familiar and comfortable. Others applaud the commitment it takes to make a long-distance relationship work. Long-distance relationships are tricky; everyone has their own opinions about the practicality of long-distance dating, and this type of relationship comes with its own set of unique trials and perks.

Is a long-distance relationship right for you?

Everyone has their own philosophy about relationships: what makes a good one, what style of dating is appropriate for college, how long a relationship should last, even who is deemed dateable. The problem is that people also think that their dating philosophy is universal. But college women are vastly different from one another. A graduate student may want a different type of relationship than a freshman. A girl that requires deep connections for intimacy will want a different kind of relationship than a girl who doesn’t want to be tied down. So when people spout their strong opinions about how long distance relationships keep you from evolving as a person, or how casual dating makes you insecure and devalue yourself, consider what feels right to YOU. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you regret missing out on experiencing new people romantically? Or does that pale in comparison to a lasting, comfortable relationship, even one that is strained with distance?
  • Are you in a long-distance relationship because you’re afraid of change? 
  • Are you comfortable with only seeing him/her sparingly? 
  • Do you feel like the connection you have with your significant other is special and couldn’t be replaced? Have you ever tried seeing who else is out there?
  • Are you happy for the majority of the relationship? (Or just content? Indifferent? Sad? Angry?)
  • Does your significant other make you feel special, even from far away?
  • Do you trust him/her? Does he/she trust you? Do you communicate well?

If you have evaluated what is important to you and what you can handle, and still have decided that you want a long-distance relationship, think about the pros and cons of having an absent boyfriend.

Perks of a far-away pookie bear

  • Not having date night means extra time you can dedicate to your studies. Sounds nerdy, but relationships take a lot of time to maintain. Even when you plan study dates, we all know that the concentration on calculus soon shifts to anatomy...
  • You will really appreciate the time that you DO get to spend with your sweetheart. Instead of bickering over trivial things, you’ll be more focused on how happy you are that you finally get to cuddle!
  • Relationships in college move quickly. One day you meet, the next day you’re texting constantly, and within a few short weeks, you’re practically living together. Long-distance dating can pace the relationship, so the abrupt beginning isn’t closely followed by an abrupt ending. Instead of major milestones (like the first date, the first kiss, the first sleepover and living with each other) happening in a short amount of time, long distance relationships force you to really get to know the other person. You’ll be less likely to get ‘caught up in the moment.'

Consequences of a far-away cutie bunny

  • You might miss out on meeting new people because you’re so serious with your current relationship. Had you not been involved, you might have met a really great guy who you can actually be around more than once every few weeks. Or, getting too wrapped-up in keeping a relationship going takes away time that you could be spending making new friends.
  • Jealousy, a lack of communication or excessive contact can keep you from experiencing all that college has to offer. You might find yourself not going to a party so your boyfriend doesn’t suspect you of flirting. You might feel so much anxiety when you haven’t heard from him for a while that you become distracted from making friends or paying attention in class. Or, you may be so busy constantly calling, texting and Skyping your partner that you miss out on activities around campus.
  • Long-distance can mean a greater struggle to create and develop an intimate connection. It may seem small, but the everyday aspects of dating create a bond that allows couples to strengthen their relationship. Hand holding, grabbing coffee before class and those oh-so adorable tickle fights on the quad are all important in creating intimacy. Without intimacy, a couple will be at a standstill in their relationship. When their bond does not develop, it is possible to emotionally disconnect and lose interest and attraction.

In the end, only you can decide if long-distance dating is right for you. Just like any relationship, there are both good and bad aspects. No relationship is always smooth-sailing, not even when a couple is together 24/7. But whether you’re dating someone at your school or someone who lives far away, don’t forget to get your flirt on!

By: Erin Jones | Image: Source


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