MEGAN HOYT | Scroll Photography

Dating Column: Making long-distance dating work

MEGAN HOYT | Scroll Photography

MEGAN HOYT | Scroll Photography

With 1,738 miles between them, Emma Gigger, a junior studying exercise physiology, and Matt Becker, a junior studying accounting, are making their relationship work.

“It’s so hard because I’m so used to us seeing each other every day, and it feels really weird not to be with him so often,” Gigger said. “But being far away from each other definitely helps us appreciate each other more.”

Gigger said talking to her boyfriend a couple times a day on the telephone and texting him often help bridge the communication gap that the nearly 2,000 miles put between them.

About half of U.S. college students are in long-distance relationships, and that percentage is expected to rise to as many as 75 percent later on, according to USA Today.

For some students, long distance is simply a no-can-do.

Erika Morgan, a junior studying elementary education, said long distance would be too hard to do with the track system.

“I could never be in a long-distance relationship and only see that person every four months,” Morgan said. “Plus, I really like keeping my options open while I’m at school.”

However, with 50 percent of college students in the U.S. in long-distance relationships, “going the distance” has proven to be more common and more doable than ever, according to USA Today.

Arden Camarato, a senior studying animal health and veterinary science, has been living across the country from her boyfriend since 2012.

Camarato, whose boyfriend currently lives in Florida, said reminders of affection are key when it comes to making the miles seem a little less intimidating, since the physicality of the relationship is lost.

“Two semesters ago, I was having a really rough start to the semester, and he sent me flowers, and when it was his turn to be sad, I bolstered him up,” Camarato said.

The most important step you can take when feeling frustrated is to make a conscious effort to continue living your life and not getting hung up over the distance according to the eHarmony website.

Although the distance might add a spark to the relationship, that spark can easily fade when frustrations arise due to the surprising amount of planning it takes to FaceTime, have makeshift movie dates, or simply talk on the phone.

Camarato said she suggests keeping a balance by giving yourself time to take stock of your own emotions while reminding yourself that it is still a relationship, although miles lie between the two of you.

“I think you have to focus and take care of yourself, but not take for granted the affections of the other person,” Camarato said.

Research done in an article by the Huffington Post demonstrates that couples who are in healthy long-distance relationships actually have more meaningful interactions when they are together as opposed to those who see each other more often.

It is proven that long-distance couples who make future plans together are more likely to stay together than those who do not. Nearly 70 percent of long-distance couples who do not plan their future end up fizzling out, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute.

Hailey Heaps, a sophomore studying health science, plans to bridge the distance and travel to Morelos, Mexico, where her boyfriend lives.

“I’m planning on flying down to see him, and he lives pretty close to Mexico City, so I’m excited for him to be my tour guide for a week,” Heaps said.

Heaps met her guy through the Pathway speaking labs. Their Skype sessions quickly developed into a friendship, and soon, Hailey and Everado were Skyping on almost a daily basis.

Although the separation may seem daunting, remember the advice from these BYU-Idaho students who have gone the distance.

Tiffany Christiansen, a junior studying healthcare administration, said focusing on the positive aspects of her relationship helped her and her man keep their relationship going strong.

“We just knew that we wanted to be together, so I remember saying a lot of times that distance didn’t matter,” Christiansen said. “It wasn’t going to affect our relationship. We always said the miles didn’t matter.”

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