Distance means diligence

Maintaining a relationship can be hard work. But adding distance into the mix can make matters even more challenging and complicated. However, with constant work and effort, a long distance relationship can be just as prosperous as any other.

James L. Simmons, a counselor at the Center for Human Development, said the chance of survival for a long distance relationship depends on the couple.

“What do the people do? Do they call every day? It depends on how they structure the relationship and if they visit each other. It depends on how they relate in the relationship,” Simmons said.

According to The Counseling Center at http://www.campus.umr.edu, communication is the first key to a successful long distance relationship.

“Living apart forces you to talk about issues and what’s going on in your life,” said Samuel Lee, a 21-year-old junior construction and engineering technology student from Jacksonville.

Lee has been in a relationship for about a month and has been away from his girlfriend for a little over a week.

“Talking over the phone forces you to talk and have something to say. If you can’t have a conversation with the other person, you have no relationship,” Lee said.

Another key to having a successful long distance relationship, as stated by The Counseling Center, is trust.

Cheree McKnight was with her boyfriend for one year. Within three weeks into the fall semester, her relationship suffered because of the distance.

“I didn’t know what was going on in his mind and he didn’t know what was going on in my mind,” said the 18-year-old freshman pharmacy student from Miami. “It was complicated, frustrating and confusing.”

Couples in long distance relationships may find it more difficult to trust each other because they cannot see the other in person.

Lee admitted that his girlfriend has a difficult time trusting him while he’s in Tallahassee.

“It’s hard for her to trust me because I’m in Tallahassee and around all these girls,” Lee said.

“But as long as you have trust, the distance don’t matter.”

The Counseling Center also states that couples in long distance relationships need to have independence from one another, with a certain amount of dependence for each other. This is encouraged so that each person in the relationship has an opportunity for personal growth.

The Counseling Center encourages individuals in the relationship to get out and do something. Go see a movie with a friend, play a sport or write about your feelings in a journal or in a letter to the other person.

The most important thing is to not stay alone.

A great deal of alone time can give individuals a chance to just think about how much they miss the other person.

“Being apart makes you want to see the other person even more,” McKnight said. “You don’t realize what you’re missing until it’s missing.”

The work and effort couples put into their long distance relationship can determine the outcome of the relationship.

As the saying goes: Hard work pays off.

Contact Shayla Cooper at scooper01@att.net