WEB EXCLUSIVE: Survive the distance

Alexia Harris

Aside from the constant “hating,” my relationship with my boyfriend was great. He was there for me no matter what and would break his back to see me happy. He was genuinely a sweet guy.

But, when spring semester ended, it seemed like so did our relationship. We met at Kent State, so because we both went to the same school, distance did not pose a problem. It was not until finals week that it hit me — we would be six hours away from each other for three months.

Three months is a long time when you are used to spending every day with the love of your life. Three months is a really long time when you can’t drive across town to see your significant other but instead have to drive across the country. Three months is like a lifetime when you don’t have your other half there to console you when you feel like crap.

My mom used to tell me a little distance does a relationship good, but too much distance can prove to be damaging.

I told myself I could do it, you know: keep our bond despite the physical distance between us. But, I quickly learned it was easier said than done. The first couple of weeks were the hardest. Jealousy got the better of us both.

Every time I would be talking to him on the phone, and I heard a female’s voice, I thought he was cheating. Or, if he heard a male in my background, he though the guy was trying to get on with me, when in reality, a random guy just happened to be walking past me.

It became even harder when he started working for a construction company, and we hardly ever got to have more than a 10-minute conversation. I was always thinking, “Is he really building a pool or building his relationship with another girl?”

I would let my imagination run wild. It was at this point every conversation we had began with an argument. Our relationship was failing.

Sometimes I would think, “Maybe it would be better if we just broke up.” But I knew I would not be satisfied with that decision. When I spoke to him about my doubts and us not being together, he was hurt and upset that I would even think about not being together.

I had to remind myself I was not the only one in this situation. He was too. We were in this together. I wanted to see him, just like he yearned to be with me. Both of us were lonely.

I started to do some research to see how couples survive being away from each other for long periods of time. I needed help, fast!

Alina Ruigrok, independent relationship expert for love-sessions.com, says “reunions gives you the opportunity to catch up on each other’s life in person and to be able to share physical and intimate activities together, which will fulfill both of your needs and desires.”

Sending loving messages via text messaging and e-mail also help.

By following the advice of numerous Web sites of relationship counselors, as time went by, it was a little easier. I got used to him not being a quick drive away.

Now, we only have one week left of us being apart.

Long-lasting relationships are built on trust. Trust takes work, but if you are willing to put forth effort, the payment is a loving, healthy relationship.

If you don’t have trust, you have nothing.

Alexia Harris is a junior public relations major and columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].