In this generation of dating, college students are gravitating to meeting potential partners through the computer screen. Apps such as Tinder and Badoo afford endless matchmaking possibilities. Most conversations are over text rather than one-on-one. Distance proves to be the toughest element to online dating if the other person lives in another city or even across the country.
I met my current boyfriend online. In late July 2013, I skipped person after person on Omegle. A friend had introduced me to the site, and I couldn’t help my curiosity (at 3 a.m., mind you). It was exciting just talking to completely random strangers, yet I knew it could be dangerous, too. I stopped on a guy who looked the same age as I was. He had three baseball caps stacked on top of his head and, needless to say, he looked ridiculous. I laughed and thought to myself, “What is wrong with this kid?”
He was decently cute and had pretty blue eyes. We went back and forth, asking the standard questions: “What are you doing on here tonight?” “Are you in college?” “What kind of music do you listen to?”
I later uncovered that another girl had led him on since May, and in July, he found out she had a boyfriend all along. He decided to take his frustration and turn it into something better. His goal was to make as many girls on Omegle smile at how silly he looked.
I never thought that we would talk after that night, let alone almost every night for more than a year. The problem was that he lived in Tennessee,and I live in Florida.
On attending the Programming Board retreat, David Coleman, “The Dating Doctor” from Cincinnati and a 14-time winner of the National Collegiate Speaker of the Year Award, told the members about long-distance dating.
“Fifty percent of long-distance relationships fail within the first year,” Coleman said, flipping through the PowerPoint on the projector, “90 percent within four years.”
Coleman introduced the idea of relationships dying off due to lack of physical interaction. Humans crave touch. Without it, a big piece of an intimate experience is lost. Partners in a long-distance relationship are also bound to fight more. Once both sides run out of topics to discuss, they are likely to begin bringing up unpleasant subjects. It takes an incredible amount of trust to be in a long-distance relationship since the partners are not constantly together. If one side believes that the other is being unfaithful, then it just won’t work.
“Even if you are in an open relationship, someone is going to get jealous.” Coleman said. However, it’s not always doom and gloom with long distance.
Being in a long-term relationship with someone far away opens an opportunity to fall in love with personality and character, not just looks. It also makes seeing the other person a more genuine experience instead of taking for granted that they’re right around the corner.
In my case, I will meet my love interest for the first time in December. My boyfriend and I have found ways to work around living in different states. We talk regularly but not obsessively. We give each other our space. Talking out problems also helps, especially if some of the problems are geared toward the distance. We remind one another of what we like about the other and why we fell in love in the first place.
There is always a way to make long-distance dating work; you just need to be willing to give it the time and attention it needs to make it worthwhile.