Break strains some relationships
Suggestions for maintaining long-distance romances
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 21:05
For some Plattsburgh State students, summer break signifies the time of year when they get to reunite with loved ones back home. But for others the impending three-month stretch means putting distance between themselves and their significant other.
Luckily for anxious lovers, clinical social worker and therapist Gale Golden said long distances can be beneficial to a relationship.
She said that when couples are apart expectations of the next time they will see each other are heightened. She also said that when couples do get the opportunity to visit, their time together is well-spent because they tend to focus solely on one another and are less likely to let other distractions interfere with the visit.
Golden said it is impossible to be in a long-distance relationship forever. That can never work, she said, However some Plattsburgh State students said they have been involved in successful long-distance relationships before.
PSUC student Victoria Michalatos, has been with her boyfriend for four years. Three of their years together have been long-distance.
“What is good is that I don’t get sick of him,” Michalatos said. “It makes our time together more cherishing.”
Another benefit of spending some time apart? The sex is usually very good, Golden said.
PSUC student, Zi Wang, has been in a relationship with her boyfriend for almost two years. During winter and summer breaks, she returns to her home in China while her boyfriend stays in New York. Wang said she did not believe in long-distance relationships two years ago. Today, her opinion is different and she said it is not as hard as most people believe.
“It’s like having a close friend who lives in a different country. We try to talk to each other at least once every day,” she said. “Plus, there is Skype and also, we know we will see each other again. We know it won’t be forever.”
However, Wang admitted that the physical distance can be hard.
“When you love someone, you want to spend time with the person and do things together. You can’t do that in a long-distance (relationship).”
Golden said it all depends how well you know the person and how much time you’ve spent with each other.
“When it’s about different countries, you have to take chances. It is then that you will have a sense of whether it’s a relationship you want to be in. It depends on the capability of each person.”
For PSUC student Elaine De Jesus, her long distance relationship was a little different. She had been in two long distance relationships. The first one lasted for only three months and did not work out.
“I was in Plattsburgh and he was in Manhattan. There was no trust,” she said. “He was so clingy and always wanted to know what I was doing. He was adding my friends on Facebook from college, who he didn’t even know, and asking them where I was.”
However, her second relationship was more successful and lasted for three years despite being apart for six months. De Jesus said the reason it worked was because they trusted each other and her boyfriend was more mature than the previous one.
Golden said trust is very important in a long distance relationship. “Somebody who is hard to trust or has a hard time trusting the other makes long distance relationships even more difficult.”
For couples that might be worried about entering into long-distance relationships, Golden had some reminders and advice.
“You will not be as available for the other one as you are in school, where you know where and with whom the other one is,” she said, “It will be a time where it can get hard. It’s unpredictable,” Golden said.
Golden said trust is neccessary for a long-distance relationship to work. She also said communication is key.
“A lot of verbal contact is important and not just chatting online,” She said. “Plan to spend at least part of the summer together, or even a week and stay in contact as much as you can.”