Out of the five recognized love languages, quality time is often regarded as one of the most important aspects of any relationship. Spending time with each other, whether it be going on walks or getting dinner, can help strengthen new relationships and keep old ones exciting. But what happens when a person’s significant other lives more than a short car ride away?
Senior Maddy Krasnow said it was difficult to keep in touch with her boyfriend, Isaiah Wilson, a freshman in college living in Chester, England.
“Sometimes it’s really tough because I have work after school and when I get back home it’s already 3 a.m. where he lives,” she said.
However, the five-hour time difference between Krasnow and Wilson doesn’t stop the couple from communicating daily, Krasnow said. She explained that they have a schedule of texting throughout the day and they try to call each other at least once a day either in the morning or at night.
“When he first moved away in August, he would stay up until literally 5 a.m. to call me before I would go to bed at midnight,” Krasnow said.
Although Facetime calls can help long distance couples stay connected, senior Evie Holzhall noted that it’s not always the easiest form of communication for her and her boyfriend, Lennon Aledia, a freshman in college at Northwestern living in Evanston, Illinois.
“There will be technical problems when we call each other, and sometimes we’ll have to repeat ourselves,” she said. “It can get a little frustrating.”
Despite the inconveniences talking over the phone rather than in person may bring, Krasnow felt that the overall dynamic of her relationship since being long distance has allowed both her and Wilson to become more independent, where they each understand taking time for themselves.
“At times it’s nice not being around each other all the time,” Krasnow said. “I don’t really have to worry about thinking we have to be together at all times.”
Senior Charlotte Turner emphasized the importance of having a discussion-based relationship while being long distance with her boyfriend, Nate Chinman, a junior in high school living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“One benefit of being long distance is that we talk a lot,” Turner said. “We have fun debating topics and just talking with each other. It’s also nice because we don’t have to deal with constantly talking about school and drama between shared friends like other couples might.”
Turner added that the candid conversations between her and Chinman allow for a more mature outlook in their relationship.
“It’s hard to be long-distance casually,” she said. “We have to be pretty up front about our expectations of the relationship, especially if we are driving three hours to see each other.”
While each of these relationships have found ways to uphold their connection while being miles away from each other, Holzhall said after being apart for months, visiting Aledia was a cherished memory.
“I went to visit him at Northwestern during our one year anniversary, and it was just nice because we organized the trip ourselves, and it was fun to hit the city almost like we were two adults,” Holzhall said.
Turner agreed that making time to see one another when it’s possible is an important part of being in a long distance relationship. She said that she and Chinman try to find time to visit each other once a month.
“Being long distance just means we have to discuss more logistics when we want to see each other,” Turner said. “Three hours is pretty far away, so it can be difficult to plan to get together and sometimes we’ll have long gaps in between seeing each other.”
Despite Krasnow and Wilson having only been able to visit each other once during the holidays because of the 12-hour gap between England and Ohio, they continue to find creative ways to manage the time in between seeing each other, Krasnow said.
“We’ll send each other letters and gifts through the mail sometimes without telling the other, just as an alternative way to stay in touch that’s not facetime or texts,” she said.
Although being separated from someone you care about can be a difficult experience, Holzhall, Krasnow and Turner agreed that they have become more independent and mature in their relationships, helping with what Holzhall believed to be the most important part of any relationship; their communication.
“I think that [being long distance] was honestly a good thing that happened to our relationship,” Holzhall said. “Now we’re a little more independent and since you have to have clear communication when being long distance, it has really helped with our communication skills.”