MARGARET GALLAGHER/THE OBSERVER
Relationships are complicated. High school relationships are difficult enough to maintain, but if one continues into college, things can get even harder. Where there is true love, there will always be a way for these relationships to last. All of this sounds pretty cheesy, doesn’t it? But “long-distance relationships are cliche,” Catalina Castillo-Lozano, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’19, said.
Castillo-Lozano has been in a relationship with her boyfriend, who attends Portland State University, for more than a year now. Though it is difficult to be more than 2,000 miles away from each other, the couple has managed to make it work.
A challenge that often comes up in long-distance relationships is communication. If you want to be in one that sticks, you have to continue to attentively talk to your partner. Simple okays and emojis are not sufficient enough for any relationship to last. Honest and meaningful conversations, where you both feel free to share what is on your mind, make for a much healthier relationship. Since the two of you could live thousands of miles apart, you most likely only know what the other person tells you is going on in his or her life.
Communicating with your significant other can also be difficult if you live in different time zones or have conflicting schedules. That being said, something key to a long-distance relationship is making sure that you balance time speaking with your significant other and time spent with your classmates and friends at college. You will not be able to make a lot of friends in college or connect with people if you become too focused on your partner who lives elsewhere.
Though long-distance relationships today are hard, imagine what they were like when people suffered through them with pen and paper. Think of waiting for two weeks to hear back from your lover. Today, with texting and FaceTime, the separation is a bit more manageable. Couples who make long-distance relationships work get creative with communication. Castillo-Lozano and her boyfriend visit a website each week, where they work on puzzles together. She also talks to him on the phone when she goes walking, as if they are going on an adventure together.
Long-distance relationships require a lot of patience and a lot of trust. You have to be patient enough to hear from your significant other when he or she is available and patient enough to wait several weeks or months until you see that person again. You also have to trust your partner that your distance apart will not get in the way of his or her love for you.
Castillo-Lozano believes confidence plays an important role in any relationship. “I’m not the most confident person,” she said, “but I don’t think it could ever work if you have too much self-doubt.” She explained some days your significant other might not be able to text you back right away, and you can’t worry about the reason why. You can’t worry about who he or she is hanging out with or whether or not he or she is out partying because your fears will start to consume your life.
“A relationship isn’t meant to consume you,” Castillo-Lozano said. “It’s meant to help you grow as a person and … help you be a better person for you and for them and for everyone in your life.”