Minus the City – Long-Distance Dilemma

Deb Charney

Nearly everyone who has been in a long distance relationship while at Colgate has experienced the all-to-familiar high cell phone bills, late-night loneliness, and cuddle-free movie watching. Even if you’re dating someone here on campus, then you are in a long distance relationship when at home. If you’re in a relationship with someone from home, then your nights at the Jug consist of dancing with friends and your hook-up stories focus on Carrie and Mr. Big rather than you and your significant other. And if you are one of the unlucky few whose boyfriend or girlfriend is not a Colgate student nor a resident of your hometown, then you are one of a committed elite who, frankly, has more self-control than most of us.

Let’s face the facts — long distance relationships are horrible. If you’re in a long distance relationship, I don’t mean to imply that the relationship itself is a bad one; I’m sure it isn’t. I’m sure you sit for hours on the phone saying how much you miss each other and playing the “No, I love you more” game (actually, on second thought, if you do that there are probably larger problems than distance!). But whatever you do to make your relationship healthy, you’re in denial if you can’t admit that things could be better. The question is, if we all know that long distance is so bad, why do we do it?

For some, like my friend Mary, the answer to that question is simple: the future. There will always be those somewhat sickening (or cute, depending on your perspective) couples who can hold a coherent conversation about the serious possibility of starting a life together after late nights on the Cruiser and double-dates to Parkside are a thing of the past. Those couples fall into the category of long distance relationships that are perfectly understandable. But what about everyone else? What about those for whom moving in together is the farthest thing from a reality, and the more important concern is not having a date for this semester’s formal?

The answer in this case is unfortunately not so simple. All that can really be said is look closely at your situation before buying plane tickets across the country for fall break, or before calling it quits and going out every night to find your very own Mr. Colgate. If you can look at his pictures on Facebook and resist that inevitable squirm when you see his arm around his best female friend, if you can embrace the idea of a goodnight call rather than a goodnight kiss and, perhaps most importantly, if you can continue your regular social life at Colgate without him, then it’s probably worth it. However, if you just read that and felt yourself blush as you remembered the last time you chose to stay in and rack up Verizon Wireless minutes rather than go out with your friends, it might be time to throw in the towel…or the cell phone charger, as the case may be.