Kelsey Rohwer: The real deal about long distance

The first time many of us give long distance relationships a try is when we make the ever-brilliant decision to stay with our high school sweethearts.

But a relationship like that goes up in flames as quickly as you can say, “free tequila shots” or “hot girl down the hall.”

Because, quite simply, long distance relationships suck. You spend most of your time being irritable and cranky. Still we all consider attempting the long distance relationship, however stupid or awful it may seem. We do this because we think our relationship can handle it – that it’s strong enough to last. That is our first mistake.

When you take your relationship and stretch it across an ocean or even a few states, it no longer resembles a relationship. Instead, it becomes two individuals who call each other everyday and spend their time miserably missing one another.

Even when you two get together, it might seem like things are back to normal. But when you spend three days straight doing nothing but spending time together in bed, you realize this isn’t what a relationship is supposed to look like.

The question isn’t whether the relationship can handle it; it’s whether you can.

My freshman year of college I tried long distance with my high school boyfriend. We were both under the impression that our relationship was in some way special and we shouldn’t break up just because the calendar said so. For a while the relationship handled it, but slowly I began to realize that individually, I could not. That’s when things began to falter.

The relationship can be as great and powerful as you think it is. But in the end, it comes down to whether or not the people in the relationship are cut out for long distance.

Facebook and other technologies certainly don’t make it any easier. We may not easily admit to Facebook stalking in general, but if you’re in a long distance relationship there is no question that you will Facebook stalk the absolute crap out of your boyfriend or girlfriend.

I can think of no better situation that exemplifies the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” All it takes is coming across a questionable photo from last Thursday night for our imaginations to go wild. Who is that chick? Why is she standing so close to him? Is that his hand on her thigh or the other guy? Is he wearing a V-neck? He never wore V-necks for me. Does he look drunk? I wonder if he bought her that drink. I bet she’s a slut. Her boobs are bigger than mine.

Just like that, your boyfriend is cheating on you.

Though you think it may help, Skype makes everything even worse. It’s like one huge tease. Here’s the person you’re dying to see, right in front of you on this dumb little screen, but you can’t have them. All you get to do is talk to them – as if you don’t do enough of that already.

A relationship isn’t some exclusive all-powerful entity, it’s made up of two mistake-prone human beings. Shit’s going to happen.

So as you and your significant other make plans for the coming semester, be smart. The decision you make is not a testament to the strength of the relationship, because quite simply, long distance isn’t for everyone.

If you haven’t already experienced the end of a long distance relationship, you might have to soon. In just a few weeks, some of us will be heading home to see our high school boyfriends and girlfriends.

While winter break will be great, the start of term, and the prospect of spending many cold nights alone will chill even the best long-distance relationship.

Kelsey Rohwer, a junior majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet columnist.

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