Long distance relationships require more trust and discipline

Relationships require work. Trying to work on them from a distance requires three times the effort.

Statistics show about 14 to 15 million people in America consider themselves to be in long distance relationships, according to statistics from The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships. Over 30 percent of these relationships are college relationships.

“Research shows it is difficult to continue long distance relationships because of many factors,” said Professor of Sociology Alex Takeuchi. “You cannot physically see your partner, interact with the person and ‘out of sight out of mind,’ is true.”

Takeuchi said communication is a major factor if students want to maintain a long distance relationship. Technology has eased the process, he said.

“Communication is probably the most important thing,” Takeuchi said. “What you can do is avoid temptations. If you are a very sociable kind of person, you are more likely to have opportunities to interact with somebody else, and that can create opportunities where you may get tempted.”

Freshman Karina Cisneros said she has been in a long distance relationship for seven months. Moving to America from Nicaragua was a major decision that involved sacrifices like being away from her loved one.

“There is no way to be physically together,” she said. “I can’t see (my family) physically, but with him it’s different because we are in a relationship. I can’t even hug him or go to the movies.”

Cisneros said the long distance relationship has both ups and downs. She feels bad when they cannot celebrate important dates like their birthdays and anniversaries.

“There are a lot of problems that you don’t really think about when you’re physically together,” she said. “But I think if a relationship is strong, even the worst parts, (you) could definitely go through them. You just have to be honest with each other.”

Knowing you are going to see this person eventually feels good, Cisneros said. And when you finally get to see them you really value the time you spend together.

“It is going to be very hard,” Cisneros said. “I’m not going to lie, but if the person is worth it then you should definitely do it. There is going to be a time when you are going to be together again, and that time is going to be worth all the other days you were not together. You have to want to do it, and you have to want to give up a lot, and the other person should do the same.”

Cisneros said she and her boyfriend are going to have breakfast or dinner together via Skype on Valentine’s Day.

Freshman Zarif Shadman has been in a long distance relationship with his girlfriend, who is in Bangladesh, for seven months.

“Well, I don’t have to take her out on dates anymore,” he said. “The phone calls are all you do.”

“We don’t have eBay, so I’m still not buying her gifts, and we are not sending much, so I’m saving a lot of money,” Shadman said.

He said the time difference makes the relationship even harder, because it is difficult to find a good time to talk with a 12-hour time difference.

“(With long distance relationships), jealousy is one thing that happens,” he said. “You are not paying enough attention, you don’t talk to her much or you are hanging out with people she doesn’t like.”

Shadman said he has to talk to his girlfriend all the time and reassure her everything is fine. He said trust is very important.

“Hang in tight,” he said. “If you guys can get through (long distance relationships), you can get through anything.”

Shadman said he and his girlfriend do not have any plans for Valentine’s Day, but they might watch Deadpool.

“It is very hard when you don’t see the person that you’re dating with because you cannot do the same things that you used to,” said junior Sofia Martinez. “You have to try and keep in contact. I think that is the most difficult part.”

Martinez said she and her boyfriend try to use special things, such as exchanging photos with each other, to keep their long distance relationship alive.

“It is fun to send each other pictures,” she said. “You use a lot of creativity to keep it going.”