Facing Reality in Your Relationship Before You Hit College

You say you’ll visit eachother…

26 February 2011
by Alex Doran

Background: I went through a long distance relationship for a year. We dated an entire year, then I went to school to be with her. That next summer, when I had to go back home, we broke up and couldn’t handle the distance.

Intro: So there you are. Standing with your acceptance letter in hand. You turn to your high school sweetheart and celebrate as that smile feels like it will last forever. But wait. Your girlfriend is not going to the same school. Uh oh.

Many high school couples have had to face the demon of a long distance relationship. It really can be one of the most difficult things a couple will ever have to endure. Many couples can never make it work, but it does work for some.

In order to decide what to do, you’re really going to need to evaluate the situation.

Step 1: Realize you are not special

Don’t take this the wrong way! Every couple is unique and special in their own way! But, You’re not special.

Now, I know you think that you saying “no no no. you’re wrong! My girl and I got something real going on. We have something “special” and no other girl could ever compare to my girlfriend.”

Okay okay. I know she has the greatest smile, and you love how she snorts when she laughs, and her nose does the cutest little wiggle when she is thinking really hard about something. Just keep in mind that every other couple in high school is saying that exact same thing. I know that you feel like you have to eat fly swatters just to stop the butterflies from flying out of your stomach sometimes, but relax. Take a deep breath and really think about what is at stake here.

Step 2: Think about what you’ll really be going through
When you get to school, there are going to be so many new experiences ahead of you, and you want to be sure you can experience them all in a safe and productive way! Are you going to be able to hang out with that new group of friends the first weekend you’re there if you have a Skype date with your girlfriend? Are you going to be able to go talk about that awesome band you saw if you were too busy texting your girlfriend about what color your drapes will be when you get married? Probably not. It’s important to be realistic about your relationship and really assess if you can make it work, and if you’ll be able to really experience college with the situation you’ll be in.

Another reason to be realistic is keep in mind you are very young, and you will be meeting so many new people, including people of the opposite sex. Now, with hormones flying and sometimes alcohol being involved (drinking underage is never a good idea) it’s easy to get caught up in a moment and make a mistake you may regret for a long long time. You never want to hurt the one you love in a disastrous way, and this is possibly one of the worst ways to do it: cheating.

If you stay in a long distance relationship, you will inevitably miss part of the college experience. For some people, that’s okay and they still make it work with their loved-one. For other people, it’s impossible to not get wrapped up in the college scene and end up breaking up with their partner.

Step 3: What do you personally need in a relationship? 

What is it that you personally need in order to be happy in a relationship? Do you need that personal contact? Or is talking/texting/Skyping enough? What do you need in order to be happy? You say now that you will drive to see her every weekend! But wait, there’s this really cool band coming to town this weekend, I’ll just go next weekend. Oh wait, there’s this really awesome party I wanted to go to. It’s a never-ending cycle really.

I know you don’t want to hurt your partner, and it’s hard to think about breaking up with them because you don’t want to be selfish. Ultimately, your happiness is what matters. Can you get what you need from this long distance relationship?

If you really need to make a list of pros and cons, do it. This is a big decision either way, and needs to be addressed in a mature and well-though out manner.

“So what will it take to make us work?”

I cannot tell you that. Every couple is different and needs to find out what will work for them. Some couples I know make it work just fine and only need to call each other once a day. Some people need to hear from their partner after every meal, every class, and every time they brush their teeth. It’s going to be different for every couple and for every person really. I wish I could give you some universal tips/secrets, but there really aren’t any. It’s going to be up to you.

Good luck, and keep in mind that everything works out for the best in the end.

By: Alex Doran

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3 thoughts on “Facing Reality in Your Relationship Before You Hit College

  1. yeah not worth the pain. i ended up missing out on so much, sports, travel, loads of sex. then it hit me sophmore year and life was BLISSFUL

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