Perhaps every college student has either experienced or witnessed a long distance relationship. It is without a doubt that starting a long distance relationship (LDR) is truly a difficult process, as well as maintaining it. Whether it’s the the endless countdowns until you can see your beloved, or seeing other couples on campus that have the luxury of seeing each other every day, the list of struggles of LDR’s go on. And by the way, props to everyone who has kept it up, or even just tried it. When done well, it can truly be an awarding feeling. However, what’s something else that can be just as difficult yet just as rewarding as a long distance relationship? A long distance friendship. Though the list goes on about all factors that make a long distance relationship difficult, a long distance friendship embodies many of the similar struggles as well.
1. Your friends at school inevitably have to replace your best friend at some given moments.
The first and the most important reason that a long distance friendship can be more difficult than a long distance relationship. In a LDR, you have that one person that is considered your other half. You must wait until the end of your countdown until you can be together, and you can’t simply replace them by calling someone else your significant other (S.O.) and engaging in significant-other-activities with another while they’re away without breaking the obvious rules of a relationship. On the other hand, the nature of a long distance friendship (LDF) doesn’t work this way. While you’re at school, you must hang out with other people. You must study with others. You must eat with others. Your best friend may still be your best friend, but your friends at school inevitably have to replace your best friend at some given moments.
2. A long distance relationship is given way more acknowledgment than a friendship is.
Granted, there are those unsupportive friends and acquaintances that will throw some statistics of LDR’s not working, along with telling you how college is the time to explore yourself to discourage you. Again, props to everyone keeping up LDR’s! Meanwhile, your LDF isn’t given nearly as much acknowledgement, both with friends and your social media platforms. Happily taken with your S.O.? Great. Your Facebook proudly declares it. Happily aware that your best friend that goes to school far away is the best human being you can ever find for yourself? Where’s the status for that?
3. How do you have "The Talk" about a long-distance friendship?
Finally, yes, the dreaded talk about the future. The LDR may or may not contain the talk about your future together, depending on the stage of the relationship. A friendship? Not so much. Not to say that a friendship is less valued just because there’s no defining words such as “fiance” to make things official for adulthood. Rather, a friendship isn’t just one relationship you have at a time. Once again, the long distance friendship can be more difficult than the relationship due to its nature allowing for more replaceability. You may or may not outgrow your friend, you may or may not grow closer to other friends while you are away. This is also a dreaded possibility for relationships; but in a relationship, this would lead to “the talk.” Meanwhile, the friendship might not lead to "the talk," but just a long period of missing your best friend back home while they are momentarily replaced.
While we’re all aware of the dreaded long distance relationship, let’s not forget the struggles of long distance friendships. But just like long distance relationships, long distance friendships can have beautiful effects. As they say that distance makes your heart grow fonder, please continue to cherish your beloved S.O. or BFF while enjoying the magic that is expanding your social circle and personal bubble in college!
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