Long-distance relationships are hard.
We can’t touch or be physically affectionate with our partners. We can’t spend time doing what couples typically do, like snuggling over a movie or enjoying a meal together. Our limitations are a constant reminder of what we cannot have.
The challenges of a long-distance relationship are what cause it to have the most success. Enduring the painful lack of proximity demonstrates how committed a couple is to their relationship. If one or both partners were not fully committed to the other, they would have no reason not to abandon the relationship after a few months once the novelty has worn off. This is unfortunately the case for some long-distance couples, and that’s what I think leads to the common perception that long-distance relationships have short lifespans.
Deciding to be in a successful long-distance relationship shows not only strong affection but also immense loyalty. The commitment to undergo the at-times unbearable pain of being separated just to be with someone is a commitment that will last a lifetime. After all who would want to go through all that if they did not truly love their partner?
In a study on 71 college couples, around 80% of the long-distance couples stated that they were likely to marry their partners, while only 62% of the geographically close couples said the same. Additionally, the study concluded that long-distance couples are overall more in love and satisfied than couples who live together. Clearly, the commitment it takes to be in a successful long-distance relationship pays off.
Starting a relationship online also removes many of the biases we run into in person. As humans, it is inevitable that we all carry our own stigmas and preferences. In an online setting, you meet your partner without any biases in the way, allowing you to focus on who they are as a person, not what they look like or other superficial factors. Details like a person’s name, height and weight can be ignored, leaving only their personality, the most important aspect of a successful relationship.
That’s how I fell in love with my significant other, who lives over 1,600 miles away in a different time zone. We met online, and I was utterly enamored by his sweet personality before I knew very much about him, even his name. We will be celebrating our two-year anniversary very soon.
The development of technology has made both meeting partners and maintaining relationships much easier. As I mentioned earlier, the distance between my significant other and me is enormous. We would never have met in person. There’s no reason our paths should’ve crossed.
But platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Discord and more have made people across the world accessible to us. Countless apps exist for sending messages, watching shows and movies together and seeing each other on video calls. Multiplayer games let us play and have fun together in virtual worlds. With the development of better virtual reality underway, I am sure even more options will open up in the near future. Much of the physical gap between long-distance couples can be bridged through such virtual means.
My significant other and I spend every minute we can together. Whenever we are out of our classes and other commitments, we are together. There is never a moment when we could be together that we are not, and I think that aspect of a long-distance relationship truly sets it apart from in-person ones. We never allow possible time spent together to go to waste; we have to make every moment count, and that strengthens our bond.
Of course, I cannot wait for the day that our relationship will transition from long-distance to in-person. However I am glad that we met online, and I feel that all the challenges and the pain it takes to maintain a long-distance relationship are worth it in the end, because you form an unbreakable bond that will last forever.
Torsha Basu is a freshman from Chicago, Ill. majoring in Writing Seminars.