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Long distance relationships require time

On February 23, 2011

Part of college is moving away from home, and from this came the evolution of long-distance relationships for college students.

"It's hard," Senior German Madera said. "Don't do it unless you absolutely have to."

Despite the negative reputation that the long distance relationship has received, students at Ottawa University seem to agree that when put into the college atmosphere it is possible to maintain such a relationship.

Madera said being in a long distance relationship is hard but it is possible if the couple communicates and focuses on the little tasks that help them stay connected.

"I have been in a long distance relationship for a long time and maintenance is complicated because we both have to be patient and communicate well," he said. "It takes little things like calling her every morning or writing letters."

Senior Steven Brumley met his girlfriend while he was stationed in Germany.

He said while he didn't plan on continuing his relationship when he came to Kansas he felt it was hard to meet people in Ottawa and Kansas and realized they still saw each other fairly regularly so the relationship continued.

Brumley said the key to a long distance relationship is honesty and making time for each other.

"You have to be truthful and tell them everything," he said. "You should expect the same because when the lying starts is when the relationship crumbles. Don't lie to those who trust you."

Brumley said he keeps his relationship alive by talking on the phone regularly and each of them fly to see the other every three to four months.

"I probably see my girl more than some guys their girls that live three hours away." Brumley said.

Even though the long distance relationship is possible, they don't come without their complications.

"You can't see each other when you are happy or when you fight." Madera said. "We have to take the time to understand what we are asking and why we are fighting and go from there."

Some students argue that it is the approach that a couple makes in their relationship that will lead to the success or downfall of a relationship that is long distance.

"You should never start out long distance," Sophomore Abby Folsom said. "They only work when two people have been together for a while and have built up trust between them."

So while the long distance relationship may be difficult many students see the possibility for a long distance relationship to become long term under the right conditions.

"If you do get into a long distance relationship make sure you try harder than you expected," Madera said. "Just have patience, communicate and sensitive."

Whether meeting overseas before coming to school or having a significant other back home, long distance relationships are part of the college experience for many students around campus.

Students seem to agree that it is not the distance that breaks the relationship but the actions of the people involved in the relationship.

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