Is long-distance worth it? This is a question many in long-distance relationships might ask themselves at one point or another. Is it really worth spending four years of college in a long-distance relationship? My answer is that if both people think it’s worth it, then it is. From my experience, the semester has been difficult doing long-distance. There is the constant ache of missing the other person and not being able to see each other, the constant desire to share your life with the other person when you can’t really share everything. Suddenly I found myself at times feeling more bitter than I ever did as a single person when faced with couples able to go to college together.
I knew going into long-distance that it would be hard, but now, two and a half months later, I can say I really knew nothing going into it. Long distance can either strengthen or break a relationship, and it can be scary knowing that truth. Often, a fight is felt much more when you aren’t able to see each other in person, arguments seem to have more weight when it can only take place over some form of technology. Both people have to be more than 100% committed, 100% willing to help each other make it work. More than ever, I have felt my relationship become more of a partnership and team, and long-distance has brought us together in that we have to help each other more.
There is a certain stigma in college towards doing long-distance, especially in freshman year. Sometimes it can be difficult to look at the four years of being apart and see it as a realistic future. Finding another person doing long-distance is always an exciting moment and can create real bonds–sharing where your significant other goes to school, and talking about how much you miss that person. I know that it has been a great help finding people in similar situations that can give advice and share experiences.
On the positive side, long-distance has definitely upped the “appreciation factor”. I appreciate every moment we have and I don’t think I will ever worry about being taken for granted. Our communication is so much better now that we have to communicate everything to each other, and we both work to make time to Facetime or Skype. I’ve learned sending letters or small gifts is an intensely thoughtful way to remind your significant other that you’re thinking of them. This can be done even on a budget; I sent a small pin with an image of a bagel on it that said “Wishing you were schmear” for about a dollar.
So is long-distance worth it? It depends on so many factors–how willing both people are to make it work, how much trust exists between those people, and how much both people really want to be in the relationship. At the end of the day, long-distance is not really the ideal form of a relationship; however, if both people want the relationship and long-distance is the only way, then so be it. For those reading this who are doing long-distance: have hope, tell your significant other how much they mean to you, and remember that you’re doing this for a reason.