BY TAQUISHA DRISDELL
While approximately 14 to 15 million people in the United States considered themselves to be in a long distance relationship, many people cringe at the idea of having a significant other miles away from them. Not only are long distance relationships difficult to maintain, but they also tend to be destined for failure in the long run. But is this really true? When people think about long distance relationships, they often forget to consider military couples, where one or both partners may be stationed away from each other. Sometimes, a partner may have to leave for extended periods of time due to job relocation. However, one of the most common reasons people end up in long distance relationships is because of college.
I searched the web for statistics in regards to long distance relationships, and here is the information I have found during my research:
- 14 million couples define themselves as having a long distance relationship
- 75 million married couples are in long distance relationships
- 5 % of all long distance relationships are college relationships
- 75 % of all engaged couples have been (at some point) in a long distance relationships
- 9 % of all married couples in the states are undergoing long distance relationships
- 10 % of all marriages in the states started out as a long distance relationships
As shown above, the numbers are pretty substantial regarding long distance relationships, with married couples and college students being the highest percentage.
One of the myths surrounding long distance relationships is that they are more likely to fail than other kinds of relationships. However, if married couples are in long distance relationships, then they could last. Everyone thinks long distance relationships are bad liaisons, but whether or not the relationships survive should only be decided by the couples involved. If they love each other enough, distance shouldn’t matter. It may be a struggle to be away from one’s lover for a long period of time, but sometimes it is worth the sacrifice.
Demetre Mitchell commented on how he felt about long distance relationships: “Long distance relationships can last if you have good communication and trust. Using technology can be a big thing when in a long distance relationship because you can skype and see each other through web cam.” From his experience, he feels as though long distance relationships are not as stressful as many people peg them out to be and could last because couples can still talk and see each other every day through technology. Even though couples who carry on relationships in separate locations use Skype or FaceTalk to communicate instead of seeing each other in person, the love is still the same.
From experience, they are not stressful and are not too hard to deal with. Of course, there is an emptiness from not being able to see your mate physically, but communication is the key to all healthy relationships. If you and your mate still communicate, the distance shouldn’t matter. By being away from one another, it gives the pair excitement when they are actually able to see each other; the time that they spend together will mean so much more to both of them, and they will cherish it. These moments could be considered the perks of being in a long distance relationship, but there is also negative connotations of being away from your lover for a long amount of time. Long distance may cause one to cheat. When this or similar situations occur, the relationship does not last. It shows that whoever messed up wasn’t mature enough to handle the long distance. Love should be stronger the any distance.
Senior Tracey Washington – a close friend who has been in a long distance relationship since his freshman year of college – stated, “My girlfriend and I talk every day, all day. I FaceTime her as I walk to class, eat, play my game, etc. Nothing has changed much; we get to see each other [in person] a few times out of the school year. Every once in a while, I [will] travel to her school, and she occasionally visits me as well. We also spend time together and hang out during the holidays. When it’s time to separate again, we still get upset, but we really love each other so we work through the distance. We have been together for four years, and no love has been lost between us to. I get excited when we talk and tell each other our crazy college stories. Now we’re both about to graduate and build our careers together in one place. If we were to separate again, I will still stick by her side because I know she’ll stick by me.”
I also spoke with Marlon Sykes, a student at Rockford University, who has been away from his child and the mother of his child for one year now. He has gotten distracted and argues with his girlfriend almost every day because she accuses him of cheating while at school. These arguments have pushed him into the arms of a girl at his school. He wanted things to work with his baby’s mother, but he says all the nagging and accusing has made him dislike her. Being away from each other has made it easier for him to move on, but he still communicates with her because of his daughter. Other than maintaining his relationship with his daughter, he doesn’t want a relationship with his daughter’s mother because she is too insecure.
Being away from the one you love can be healthy or unhealthy; it all depends on one’s tolerance, patience and desire to be with his or her significant other. Some people can’t deal with long distance relationships, and it causes them to become insecure and afraid that they’ll lose their mate to someone closer. A couple that has been together but finds themselves apart at some point will need to make some adjustments in order to make their relationship work. This does not mean every relationship that does not plan for the changes is doomed to failure, but it does suggest that long distance couples have more work to do in order to maintain their relationships at healthy levels.
Julia S.’s opinion on long distance relationships is a slightly different take on the issue compared to Washington and Sykes: “I didn’t like being in a long distance relationship because boys tend to cheat. So I just knew, with us being apart, my ex was going to do whatever he wanted and not think about me. My assumptions were right; he began cheating shortly after we started going to different schools. According to social media, he was messing with multiple girls, and they would post pictures of themselves. He didn’t think I would found out. However, I did, and we broke up when I confronted him. Long distance relationships don’t last, and I don’t like them. Men are cheaters.”
While some couples think a separation may only last about 14 months, many may end their relationships in the first five months if the couple feels that it will not work. This result could be partially due to long distance couples worrying about their partners cheating with others. However, there is no evidence which suggests those in long distance relationships are more likely to cheat than others.