Minus the City – Ring My Bell

Erin Bergman and Kimmy Cunningham

When it comes to relationships, the two of us have taken different paths throughout our college careers. However, we have both experienced the infamous long distance relationship. And you know what? We think long distance gets a bad rep. Sure, seeing each other every day, hugs, kisses and the horizontal mamba are nice; but there are certainly benefits that go hand-in-hand with being apart.

Let’s start with the most obvious (and fun): Phone sex. Not only is it an excellent way to pass the time, but it forces you to verbalize exactly what you want. Consequently, when you do see each other in person, your partner will know exactly which buttons to push. We know; easier said than done. Initiating the first, er, sexual telecommunications adventure can be more than a little daunting. Fortunately, we happen to know of a secret remedy that has been used by distance-stricken couples since the days of Alexander Graham Bell: Tequila. But seriously, folks, do whatever it takes. The result is worth the potential awkwardness.

Alright, so maybe dirty talk isn’t exactly your thing (although we still advocate trying it), there are PG-13 ways to show your partner how much you miss him or her. As seniors, we check our campus mail boxes once every two or three weeks. Every now and then a package arrives and we all experience that giddy excitement. Now, don’t you want to spread the love? Care packages are an excellent and old-fashioned way to show your significant other how much you love him or her. It doesn’t matter if it’s baked goods, chocolate, letters, or knick-knacks, it’s the thought that counts.

And finally the light at the end of the (sometimes very long) tunnel arrives: you get to spend a week together. Before you actually make the trip, plan an itinerary. We’re not advocating constant scheduling, but planning activities (i.e. baseball games, concerts, kayaking or hiking if you’re near a lake, etc.) gives you something to really look forward to. Plus, it ensures that you actually get out of bed from time to time (that way when your parents ask what you did that weekend, you can actually give them a list of activities).

When you only get one week a month together you don’t waste time nit-picking and bickering. It allows you to get beyond the petty stuff and just enjoy one another’s company. That being said, we know you want plenty of “quality” time together. We hear ya. Celibacy gets old fast, and vibrator batteries die. The great thing about hardly getting to see one another is you put everything to the side for the sake of sex. This includes commitments and basic needs (i.e. class, work, sleep, food etc.) as well as your inhibitions. Horny at 2 p.m.? Sorry Shakespeare; hasta la vista Spanish 101.

Ok, so some of this advice is a little superficial. Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship knows that fun isn’t enough, but long distance can help with the serious stuff as well. One of the biggest problems we’ve found is that you can’t solve little problems with just a hug and a kiss over the phone. Long distance forces you to verbalize exactly what’s bothering you. Though this can be difficult, it helps you realize what’s really bothering you, and helps you recognize your needs. We’re not advocating long-distance relationships, but if you’re in one, embrace it.