Long-distance relationships, also known as the worst thing you could possibly and willingly partake in, are absolutely horrible in college. I learned that a long-distance relationship simply does not work with undergraduates. As undergrads, we are trying to figure out our career paths, and, for most, that can be difficult. We are still developing and figuring out what we want to do with our lives, and what our ultimate goals are, which means we have not reached full maturity, especially not enough maturity to hold a long distance relationship together while finding ourselves.
A successful relationship needs two key factors: trust and communication. These components are established through daily interaction, not only physically but also emotionally. Distance diminishes these two components because you are simply not with the person. You can’t interact with them physically because they are not tangible. This is not only holding hands or hugging but also seeing how they feel or how they express sadness, love, happiness and joy.
For instance, if you have a falling out with your other half, the situation or reason for the fight might be silly, but if you are away from each other, you over think the conflict and the reasoning behind it. It takes longer for you to get over what happened in a long-distance relationship than if the situation was handled in person, where you could talk it out and calm each other down. Arguments turn into brief instant messages over the phone and normally ended in “K.” Physical interaction is a key factor in communication, because he wasn’t with me physically, comforting me.
Couples grow with physical interaction. If you’re not with the person, you don’t even know how your partner likes his coffee in the morning. Does he actually drink coffee, or does he put more cream than sugar? Little details like these help you get to know your partner better. Imagine if you sent them a care package that included a gift card to Starbucks, but later found out they only drink Dunkin Donuts.
Not only does distance hamper growth, but social media ruins your life. Social media causes stress in relationships because insecurities stem from not receiving the amount of attention from your partner that you would experience if you were physically together. With insecurities, you over think everything imaginable, and it causes you to distrust the person. A simple Facebook “like” becomes the equivalent to cheating. If my boyfriend wasn’t texting me for a period of time, I would distract myself by going on Instagram. If if I saw that he liked a photo from one of his female friends, I would become enraged. Thinking that he didn’t time to talk to me but had time to like another girl’s picture would infuriate me.
As a result, girls find themselves wondering, “Why did he like her picture? Does he want her? Who is this bitch?” Distance creates insecurities that make you question things. It becomes a game. At this point, you are no longer enjoying your relationship because you are too busy stalking your boyfriend or girlfriend to see whom they are following or what they are liking. Seeing what your partner is up to becomes the first thing you do when you unlock your phone, answer messages, go on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Above all, the hardest challenge long-distance relationships face is that, after a while, the distance gets old. The relationship becomes a bore. In a long-distance relationship, the ultimate goal is to be together again. Whether the time apart is three months, six months or a year, each day is consumed by both parties counting down the days and talking about how much they miss each other. Every day consists of hours of Skype calls, text messages and phone calls that end in the same frustration.
Subsequently, the communication dies, and you just want to see and spend time with the person. While on Skype, my boyfriend would tell me about his day and we would talk but after a while we would just lay there, on opposite ends of the internet world, staring at each other, saying how bad we wanted to be together physically. I would get bored of hearing about his day and not being a part of it or being home the majority of the time because the one person I actually liked hanging out with was in another state.
The lack of maturity in our ages doesn’t help. We’re not ready to take on distance at such a premature age in college: the place you go to figure out what you want to be and do with your life. From my experience, long-distance relationships should not be an option for any undergrad. Humans need physical interaction with one another. It’s the only way they will truly bond and grow.