Long distance relationships are many things. They're difficult, heartbreaking, nerve-wracking, wonderful, bittersweet, potentially amazing and worthwhile things - but they're also somewhat of a taboo in college. Here are seven common comments us long distance participants are tired of hearing from our peers in higher education.
1. "That must be so hard!"
Oh, really? I had no idea that the extremely difficult thing I'm doing is so difficult! Thanks for enlightening me, friend. In all seriousness though, this is annoying to hear. It's stating the obvious and though there might be genuinely empathetic intentions behind the statement it still doesn't really make anything better. It's true that long distance relationships are hard, but if I didn't honestly believe it was worthwhile I'd be single instead.
2. "Don't you want to have fun?"
This one is just insulting. There's an extremely common misconception that you can't have fun while in a long distance relationship, and I'm making it my mission to squash this perception to bits. Just because I avoid the hookup scene and respect the caring nature of my relationship does not mean that I can't still have fun, go on adventures, and make new friends. If a long distance relationship is worth preserving, you're in it because you have an amazing time with that person and because you both want the best for each other. So, maybe that means I stay in a few nights for a long Skype date with my best friend instead of getting wasted at some house party with total strangers... that's fine by me.
3. "My friend/sister/brother/best friend's neighbor's dog got cheated on in that situation..."
Cool. This is pretty irrelevant and quite tactless, to be honest. It's no use to compare my relationship to anyone else's because everybody is different. Thinking about all of the terrifying possibilities while in a long distance relationship is disheartening and entirely useless; I'm with the person I'm dating because I love them, I trust them and while I'm sorry to hear that it doesn't work out for everyone, I have faith that it'll work out for us. (If I didn't have this faith, do you really think I'd be keeping up a relationship anyway?)
4. "What if you break up and it's all for nothing?"
Again, pretty tactless, but we hear this more often than you'd think. The truth is that long distance relationships are hard and it's no guarantee that every love will survive. Every single person who has decided to keep dating someone even across the miles between them, is fully aware of the possibility of breaking up. I promise. To make it work you have to maintain confidence that you can get through it all, and even if something were to go wrong down the line it still wouldn't all be for nothing. Investing time in someone you love is never a waste, no matter the outcome - at the very least you learn a whole lot about yourself and the world.
5. "I've heard those never work."
Hmm, I'm seeing a little bit of a common trend here. How about we stop talking about the possibility of failure in my relationship and instead understand that just because something doesn't work for one person doesn't mean it's the same for everyone else?
6. "I bet you miss out on a lot when you go to visit."
Ah, the guilt trip. Here's the simple truth: if I'm in a long distance relationship, my significant other is going to be a priority, just like they would be if there were living right here in the same town. And there's nothing wrong with that. Of course it's important to grow roots in your own college community and to make new friends, but there's nothing wrong with taking time away from your dorm life to visit the person you love. If they truly make you feel supported and happy then they're definitely someone you should be spending time with, no matter the cost.
7. "You're too young for such a commitment."
This is probably the biggest blow that we hear all too often. If I haven't said it enough already, I'll reiterate it one more time: everybody is different. Some people find the loves of their lives at a young age, and others have to wait years longer for that to happen. What happens for one person isn't necessarily what will happen for another, and no one should have the right to tell you the path you ought to follow in your own life. It's true that I'm young, but I'm prepared to make a commitment because I'm mature enough to understand what I'm doing. I'm willing to follow through because I'm open enough to make my own way even if it does mean ignoring age-old advice. But more than anything I'm brave enough to try even when there are no guarantees, because I'm strong enough to fight for a love that I know is genuine. If it's worth it, it's worth it. And that's what counts.
Lead Image Credit: relationshipexperts.net