172 Miles


Photo by Addison Sherman

Long distance relationships require work to avoid bumps in the road

Distance can be one of the most difficult challenges a relationship can endure and surviving the strain of separation may give the couple the skills needed to maintain the relationships over the long term. Or the distance may cause the death of the relationship.

I have been in a relationship for more than two years and it has been the most difficult thing I have ever gone through. We attended high school together for the first year of our relationship. Then she left for Missouri State University.

After one full year of a long distance relationship, I can say I have been through a lot. From the endless road trips to the fights about seeing each other again, long-distance relationships pose just as many and probably more challenges than a regular high school relationship. Deciding what we want to do with our lives, choosing whether I will go to the same school or find my own path, and general drama are problems every couple faces, but somehow, when nearly every discussion is held over Facetime or text, it’s just more difficult. Most of the time, we can’t talk in person. We also have to battle with conflicting schedules, each full with work, friends and being with family.

I see her once a month, twice if there is a holiday. She does not go to SM North, she doesn’t even go to another school in Kansas. She goes to Missouri State University —  three hours and 172 miles away. We battle not only with distance but difference.

We are both in completely different stages in our lives; I am deciding on a college and what I want to do, while she is already in college and living away from home. She has no curfew, no parent telling her to do her homework. It may sound silly, but this difference in stage of life presents obstacles for us. She works two jobs, and has school. Our schedules never coincide. It takes a team of people (figuratively speaking) to schedule a weekend for us to be together.

Our typical day starts with a “good morning” text like most relationships, it also ends with a “goodnight” text. But, unlike most high school relationships, we cannot see each other daily and that takes a toll after a while. We cannot go on dates often. I hate that, but it’s not all bad. When we do have the opportunity to go out, it is like having a “first date” all over again. The magic of a new relationship does not dissipate as quickly as it would if I saw her every day.

Avoiding the potholes of a long-distance relationship has been tough, but I know it will be okay. Whatever happens is just how it is meant to be.

+Keegan DolinarPros

Plenty of time to yourself

Constant road trips

Cheap meals for one

The “new relationship” feeling does not go away

Can wake up any time of the dayCons

They are far away

Constant road trips

Conflicting schedules

Different stages of maturity

Different stages of life