If so inKlined: A First-year’s distaste for long-distance

With all of our advancements in technology and social media, it seems as though long distance relationships should be easier than ever. Instead of having to write long and involved love letters or spend the extra cents to call your significant other long-distance, all you have to do is send a cute Snapchat or text them. But are long distance relationships really possible, no matter what age you and your partner live in?

Personally, I don’t think so, especially when it comes to college. Having lived in the same small, suburban town my whole life, moving out to Minnesota was a huge change, and keeping up relationships back at home (besides those with family and close friends) is very difficult. Besides that, I’m so caught up in my life here at Mac that I barely have time to stay in constant contact with someone so far away. College is a bubble, and that bubble cannot be popped by one person halfway across the country.

Long distance relationships are hard work. Speaking for myself, I am either too lazy or I just don’t care enough to put in the hard work necessary to maintain such a relationship. Between making new friends here and doing all (or almost all) of my homework, I don’t have time or energy to put someone else’s needs at such a high priority. It sounds selfish, but because I’m here in such a new and busy environment, I have to focus on myself. I can’t commit to a Skype date at a specific time every week and no one can expect me to respond to a text within 30 seconds like I could during the long, idle months that were the summer before college.

Another factor to take into account is how much you change when you come to college. This was enforced during orientation many times—you will leave Macalester a different person than you were when you began your years here. I can already feel myself becoming a different human being than I was a mere three weeks ago, so there’s no way to know how changed I’ll be when I go back home for Thanksgiving, or spring break, or at graduation four years from now.

Everyone changes during this pivotal time in their lives. So how can you expect someone else, who knew and liked the high school version of you, to be able to adjust to the new and improved college version? You can’t. And it’s important to consider the other person in the relationship, too—not only will you be engaging in new experiences and being molded by the people around you, but so will your (not-so) significant other. You could go home for a break in a few months and not recognize each other.

I realize as I’m typing this that all of my critiques on romantic relationships thus far could also be applied to relationships with friends. Platonic relationships, however, are different. It’s okay to go a week without talking to a friend. You don’t need to be in constant contact; you can always text them asking them how they are or just to let them know you’re still around, but it doesn’t have to be unceasing or every day. Additionally, talking with your friends is what you do when you’re with them in person, which is something you can do from far away. However, you can’t replace the physical aspect of your relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend through a phone call or video chat.

The next time I’ll be back home in little old Massachusetts is November. I won’t be surprised if I come back to find that many of my friends who are currently in LDRs ended them or feel as though they need to. This is because we’re beginning our journey into adulthood, and we can no longer be held back by the romantic relationships of our childhoods.