Dating through the distance

Couples must reexamine the qualities of their relationship before enduring long distance.

Jaime Svinth and Julia Mortimer

From casually flirting in class to awkward first dates, high school often marks students’ entry into the dating world. For some students, dating can be more than just casual, and may even lead to a future after graduation. However, for couples going to

Jaime Svinth

separate colleges, maintaining this relationship has its implications.

When it comes to deciding whether to stay together or break it off before going long distance in college, couples must first examine the qualities of their relationship that make them fit or unfit for extended time apart.

Here are some indicators of a promising long distance relationship:

The couple has their own lives outside of each other.

Being many miles away means spending the entirety of one’s time away from their significant other. They cannot accompany one another to parties or to simply get coffee, like before. If couples routinely experience and do everything together, forced separation will be difficult. However, if couples enjoy doing activities apart from each other already, it will be an easier transition to the long-distance life.

The couple trusts each other, but express doubts and concerns when they’re valid.

No matter the distance, communication is key. When both people communicate what they feel and remain open, both feel heard and respected. If a couple has already established a healthy way of resolving concerns, this will set the foundation for expressing worries, while also developing trust that the other person is communicating exactly what they feel.

The couple communicates often, but not obsessively.

It is simple to keep in touch with one another without being physically present. However, constant communication can leave each person glued to their phone . Couples that feel the need to talk, call or facetime for many hours each day may miss out on experiencing life as a college student. If a couple already struggles to balance the amount of time they spend texting each other, an expectation for communication should be set so each person can live in the moment while still feeling connected.

The couple sees a common future after college.

Committing to long distance means more than just loving someone. It means that the couple can envision a potential future together after college. Ideas about marriage, lifestyle or children may not align. It might not be worth spending years apart only to inevitably end the relationship because of differences.

Some couples may feel inclined to stay together because setting expectations and setting future goals are intimidating topics to talk about. However, choosing to stay together out of comfort and habit to avoid a heartbreak will only lead to a tougher, more hurtful reality check in the future years. While long distance may be for some couples, it certainly is not for others. It is up to each to discuss and decide what is best for them and examine if their relationship is worth going the extra mile to keep in touch.