On average, most people in long distance relationships tend to be at least 125 miles away from each other.
Being a student at university, relationship gossip has to be a main topic of conversation when you are around friends. When is your next date? What was he wearing? Did he split the bill? But what happens when your partner lives 3000 miles away and all communication is over video calls, instant messaging and the occasional birthday card you receive in the post.
When I first told my friends that I have been speaking to someone that lives nine hours away by plane, the general reaction was “are you being serious? It will never work.” Those words played in my mind over and over again and I became my own enemy, trying to find any excuse to end this connection.
We met just before I flew back to the UK while I was on holiday in Chicago. I didn’t know this person and I began trying to gather as much information as possible, which was not hard at all. With their different social media profiles, I was able to find out their political views on Twitter, the type of friends this person has on Facebook and the activities and food they like on Instagram. I knew almost everything I needed to know. On top of all of this, we would Facetime every single day, sometimes six hours at a time. Before I knew it, I was in a relationship with this person, but not in person.
There is something bittersweet about them being asleep in a different time-zone while you are up and ready to get on with your day. I started to miss my person. I began telling my colleagues and friends about my person and it came to my surprise that many people were in a similar situation as me. It was a completely different situation to begin with as I thought what I was doing was unheard of.
Long distance relationships have come a long way in this millennium to keep love alive. With the rise of social media apps and being able to communicate regularly, many people are willing to stay in a relationship even if their other half is on the other side of the world.
Articles giving tips and advice to people in long distance relationships have increased and although there are no rules, who would have imagined that everyone you meet is a dating expert? Dealing with so many opinions and reactions of others can make you feel anxious. But there is one imperative question that I wanted to ask people that are trying to reach someone that is miles away. What makes it work or not?
According to The University of Westminster website, more than 430,00 students every year come from overseas to study in the UK and although there is so much support and help from The University of Westminster; how to deal with a long-distance relationship is never part of this practical guide.
Rianna Lampert, 22, talked about her relationship with her long-term boyfriend who lives in Australia:
“I live on the opposite side of the world from my partner, making it extremely hard. But at the end of the day you can get to know someone’s heart and mind at a very deep level, very quickly and you don’t want to let that go.”
Diana Crawley, 29, student:
“I have discovered that long-distance couples enjoy going through a ‘missing stage’ as they use this to their advantage to make their relationship grow stronger. My parents never argue because whenever they see each other after a while of being away they don’t argue, they are never bored.”
George Felies, 40, is in a relationship with multiple women around the world and he gave his account on why he enjoys this type of relationship:
“I enjoy getting to know people, new people. I have an option of women to choose from that I met on Tinder and once I feel that I want to pursue one of them, I can just end it with the others with no hard feelings or face-to-face confrontations.”
Maria Delaney, 27, shared how she keeps her relationship going:
“My boyfriend lives in USA and I know this may sound cheesy but we regularly make dinner and sit together on Facetime and act as if we are together, or we watch documentaries together. We have to do these kinds of things to feel closer to one another.”
Anyone can try and come up with tips and advice on how to make a long-distance relationship work but how can you ever trust them? Charles Carroll, a personal tutor from the University of Westminster allowed me to talk to him about this issue.
There is no right or wrong way of doing these things, but I am aware that there is a greater sense of intimacy despite the distance and absence does make the heart grow fonder.