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Column: Driving the distance for dating

Carson Allen
Multimedia Designer

For years, having a boyfriend was a goal of mine. Once I started dating, I was able to enjoy the stereotypical aspects: The going out to dinner, hanging out at the park, driving around and the other activities that teenagers do in their small Midwestern city.

Now, before I go any further, I want to clarify three things:

1. I define a normal relationship, as one where their significant other lives in the same city as you.

2. I am not, under any circumstance, a dating expert.

3. This is my opinion on long-distance relationships and it may vary for some readers.

As I got older and had the chance to date more people, it actually became harder. Growing up, living and then moving to another small city, it seemed like everyone knew the person I was seeing or had dated them. It took the fun out of getting to know someone, and it was difficult to not have a prejudiced idea of them.

This was around the time that I started dating outside my small city. For most people, a long-distance relationship is the last kind of relationship someone would want. Even though there are lows to the relationship, they make the high parts seem great.

I have had a couple of different long-distance relationships before the one I am currently in. One of the things I have learned is that it is easier to date someone who is 45 or more minutes away than it is to date someone who is less than 45 minutes away.

Dating someone far enough away that when you see each other, you can make a full day out of it versus having the ability to make a short trip out of it, is beneficial to some long-distance relationships.

It does come with downfalls. The largest being the struggle of having to plan when you are going to see each other. However, that can make these times together special. Having a long-distance relationship is beneficial to people who are constantly busy.

Not only am I busy, but I am more focused on school and work when I am physically separated from the person I am dating.

Though the time apart ultimately sucks, it makes the time spent with the person a valued experience that has no numerical value. You enjoy not only the normalcy of going out to eat and other activities of dating someone, but also the simplicity of being in the presence of each other is one of the best parts.

People who are dating long-distance have a different dynamic than those who are not. When you are long-distance, you have to learn to “be there” for the other person without physically being there.

I give credit to those who date someone very far away and go months without seeing each other. I would also say that I am proud of those who are able to see their partner often and that these people should also be proud of those who date someone long-distance.

The dynamics of long-distance relationships are different for every couple, but nonetheless, the difficulties make the relationship worth it if you care for the person.

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