The phrase “it’s not for the weak at heart” is an expression that describes the infamous long distance relationship.
The midnights to wee hour arguments, the absence of the other person’s caress and the omen of infidelity are something that typical long distance relationships couples experience on a daily basis. With these factors alone, many men and women have been left pondering whether the relationship is worth the battle.
In many cases, a couple may see the long-distant relationship as a waste of time, energy and finances.
But for those who weather the storm and maintain healthy relationships, life can seem very different. The demands of a long distance relationships can provide couples with both positive and negative experiences.
“For people, and in particular college students, it can be very trying to have a long distance relationship,” said Darlene Abkerson, a clinical psychologist in Tallahassee. “Most students can’t handle the stress of being away from their significant companion for long lengths at a time. Of course, communication is critical, but most times, the relationship eventually ends.”
Cassie Stanton, a senior pharmacy student at Florida A&M from Washington, D.C., is in a long distance relationship and often finds it difficult.
Her boyfriend attends school in North Carolina. She understands that it is best if both of them are committed to graduating first then the relationship will fall into place later.
“Not being able to see each other as often as we would like is the greatest hardship,” Stanton said. “But being able to say I’ve dated in college would be the only thing I could say that I’ve sacrificed.”
She doesn’t apologize for dating in college,and is disinterested in the idea of breaking up during college. Stanton uses social media such as Facebook, Skype, Facetime, and text messages to make it more exciting with her boyfriend, she is very confident in the stability of their relationship.
“I believe our relationship will last,” she said. “And if it doesn’t, it won’t be because of the distance. It will probably be because of some other factor in our relationship.”
Making time for each other, the couple synchronizes visits while at home in Washington, D.C. and away at school. This type of arrangement has improved the couples communication skills. This means that when they get together they have fewer arguments and they have more time to enjoy each others company. Although Stanton’s relationship seems to be a working, other students aren’t as confident about getting involved with long distance relationship.
“A long-distance relationship will never work,” said Dremond Harks, a junior criminal justice student from Miami. “If you’re in college 300 miles from your partner and all you have to connect you is text messages and phone calls, it won’t work. And to add even more pressure on it, you have the temptations of getting romantically involved with others on campus.”
In addition to infidelity, people involved in long-distance relationships also face the issues of living in different time zones, insecurities, celebrating holidays without each other and the whole factor of distance.
Staton believes all those issues can be overcome.
“To each its own…if the two people are willing to have a long distance relationship then I think it could work,” Stanton said. “You just have to trust one another and have faith.”
According to psychologist Abkerson, faith and trust are two major factors for any relationship.She believes that if there’s no faith or trust, people tend to build false accusations and doubts toward a partner’s loyalty. One’s insecurities about trust, Abkerson said can become a hindrance.
“If in the back of your mind you don’t want it to work,” she said. “It’s not going to work.”