Students face challenges of long-distance relationships

Mia Merchant and Annie Rogula

Whether they be romantic or platonic, relationships in high school can be challenging to keep up with, especially when people are thousands of miles away from each other. Long-distance relationships pose their own unique set of problems which can seem daunting to some. Junior Madeline Appel, who has a boyfriend living in Clearwater, Florida, stated that many people are afraid of these types of relationships.

“I think a lot of people think [that long-distance relationships are] not going to work out,” Appel said. “The more [my boyfriend and I] talked about [our relationship] and the more we were open about it, we got our fears and worries out of the way. We realized that we could make it work, and it wasn’t as scary as we initially thought it would be.”

However, there are several common factors that make long-distance relationships challenging. For example, time differences, if the distance is great enough, can be difficult to overcome. Junior Hayley Manning has friends around the world in Singapore, Indonesia and Russia because of the many times in which she’s had to move throughout her life.

“The biggest challenge that I’m facing is because where I moved from in Singapore, there’s a 13-to 14-hour time difference, so being able to communicate in general is hard,” Manning said.

Another difficult challenge to overcome is making time for a significant other. Manning explained that because your significant other has different needs than friends, keeping in constant touch with them is hard. Appel also says that she and her boyfriend’s different schedules were a major problem at first, but that communication was key.

“Keeping a nice schedule between school, the craziness of work and life and our relationship is something that took a little while to find a nice balance,” Appel said.

Although these challenges might seem impossible to overcome, Appel states that being away from the person you care about makes you appreciate them more, especially when you can see them face -to-face.

“He came to homecoming, and it was like a rekindled fire,” Appel said. “With [long-distance relationships], you learn how to cherish the person and the time you have together.”

    Manning agrees that this form of distance between someone makes you appreciate others, and the time that you have with the people you see every day. 

  “It makes me appreciate the time I have with my friends more because I have been ripped away from my home and my best friends so many times, and it hurts,” Manning said. “It makes me [try] to have the best time that I can with my friends now .”

For her first relationship, sophomore Kathy Borris* decided to take on the challenge of committing to a long-distance relationship, which ended quickly because it wasn’t an ideal situation. According to Borris, another effect to being in a long-distance relationship is the ability to hide your faults and only allow your significant other to see your best qualities.

“You don’t really see the flaws of the person,” Borris said. “You only see the good in [your partner] and you can [easily identify] their likes and dislikes.”

Manning argues that it’s better to have a long-distance friendship rather than a relationship because eventually, someone in a relationship is going to have to end it because of the all the hardships, whereas friendships aren’t as strict.

“Your friends have different needs than a significant other,” Manning said. “Friends come first. Make sure you have a good set of long-distance friends before you try and have a long-distance relationship.”

Appel and Manning both agree that although there might be some bumps here and there when being in a long-distance relationship, you shouldn’t be scared of trying something new. And although it might be difficult, if you both love each other enough, Borris states, you can persevere through it.

Appel said, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t fear the worst. We never make each other feel like we’re bothering them, or like we’re being an inconvenience. Make them feel like you’re not trying to push them aside or you’re too busy for them. Always be open about concerns  for the relationship.”

*name has been changed.