Admiring From Afar

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The Spectrum

Cupid's arrow sometimes has to endure a seven-hour car ride to hit the right target.

Many UB students endure long-distance relationships. Sometimes, the distance makes relationships better, while other times it causes them to fall apart. To avoid crumbling under the pressure, many couples must take special action to make sure the physical distance doesn't translate into emotional separation.

Unfortunately, for a junior finance major who asked to remain anonymous, this was precisely the case. His girlfriend went to school three hours away, which ultimately resulted in the ending of their relationship.

"I found it hard because there's no balance. You need the physical and emotional aspects to be balanced," the junior said. "With long distance relationships, it turns into either one or the other. There's never a steady flow of both."

Others believe that lots of communication can easily bridge the physical gap.

"We text and [Blackberry message] all the time," said Nicole Gossert, a senior early childhood health and human services major. "We always know exactly what the other is doing throughout the day."

Gossert, whose boyfriend of three years attends UB, must deal with a long-distance romance during the summer since they live 90 minutes away from each other. She admits that maintaining the long-distance relationship, even for a short amount of time, isn't necessarily the simplest task.

"It's a lot harder because we have to sacrifice a lot of time," Gossert said. "When we visit each other, we're together for the whole weekend without any breaks. It can get frustrating."

In a society where texting has become more common than making a phone call, it may be easy to misjudge what one's boyfriend or girlfriend says. Therefore, many students opt for visual contact methods such as Skype.

Jennifer Daily, a first year medical student, is going to school 10 hours away from her boyfriend in Chicago.

"We do things together like watching a movie at the same time, or we do our homework while the web-cam is turned on," Daily said. "We actually feel that we are together."

Other couples say that communication is key to maintaining a long-distance relationship.

"Talk about your future together," said Carissa Uschold, a licensed clinical social worker. "You need to be working toward a common goal."

It may be a daunting topic for some couples, but having an ultimate goal and a general timeline may help keep the relationship alive. Uschold also encouraged students to write notes and schedule visits, if possible.

Krista Hoff, a freshman biology major, tried to focus on the impermanence of the situation.

"I know our situation is temporary," Hoff said. "I need to go through school and get my education so we can have a better life."

Sometimes, couples need to be creative to keep the flame burning. Hand written letters tend to be more meaningful than e-mails or text messages, so some couples may utilize "love letter day," which happens on the 10th of every month.

Uschold reminded students that free counseling services are offered. Students can visit the counseling services at 120 Richmond Quadrangle in the Ellicott Complex to obtain more information or speak with a counselor.