Long distance love

Camille Botello, Staff Writer and Online Coordinator

Many college students have had high school sweethearts, but haven’t kept them because of perhaps one of the most intimidating things about relationships: distance.

According to the center for long distance relationship statistics, 14 million couples are currently in long distance relationships, and about 33% of those couples are in college. For about a third of the country, breaking up after graduation wasn’t an option.

Olivia Gomez, ‘20, is from the island of Maui, Hawaii, and has been with her boyfriend for about two years now. When they first met, he had told her that he was going to study abroad in Germany in only a couple of months, but that didn’t stop them from beginning a relationship. When he returned to Maui after a year in Europe, “it was like nothing had changed,” Gomez said.

When it was her turn to move away and begin studying athletic training here at Linfield, she knew they were both on the same page. They both knew that they wanted to stay together. “When I said goodbye I had no idea when I’d see him again and that was scary,” Gomez said, “but he’s been here three times since then.”

She said the key component to her relationship is definitely FaceTime. “If I couldn’t see him or hear his voice everyday I don’t know what I’d do,” said Gomez. She went on to explain how it’s easier when she keeps herself busy with her studies and extra curriculars, but it’s when she’s alone with her thoughts, that’s when long distance is the hardest.

“I think his family thinks we’re crazy for staying together, but it felt like the right thing to do. I see him as my biggest support system besides my parents, and he really believes in what I’m doing,” Gomez said.

Having a long-distance relationship in college doesn’t just mean long distance. It means long distance, long term,” the Atlantic Magazine states. Deciding to stay with a high school sweetheart is a significant step in a relationship, and suggests that it’s no longer just a teen fling.

Although people seem to be skeptical about the success rate of long distance relationships, 60% of them end in marriage and 70% of failed long distance relationships end “due to unplanned changes,” as stated by the center for long distance relationship stats.

Gomez concluded that when she was younger she never thought she’d have a boyfriend an ocean away, but that so far “it’s been more than worth it.”