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Long distance relationships make us consider the definition of true love

April 11, 2017

I don’t believe in long distance relationships, and neither does my ex-boyfriend. So it’s not surprising that we broke up peacefully before I came here. We didn’t want to be bound by each other.

I knew it sounds ridiculous that we decided not to even try, but I still believe it was a wise choice. In my country, there are so many stories that prove that distance is the killer of romantic relationships. For instance, girls always fall in love with other guys while their boyfriends are fulfilling their four month mandatory military service.

Therefore, I felt surprise upon finding out that most of my friends studying abroad have long distance relationships. One of my friends told me that she felt more intimate with her boyfriend because they started to discuss some deeper issues that they had never talked about when she was in Taiwan, such as trust and future plans.

Her story reminded me of an age-old adage: “Absence makes the heart grows fonder.” I started to think that maybe a long distance relationship is possible, and I wanted to know how it could work.

I found a study online that proves that absence does make the heart grow fonder. According to a study published by the Journal of Communication in 2013, conducted by L. Crystal Jiang and Jeffrey T. Hancock, long distance relationships lead to higher levels of intimacy. Couples in long distance relationships have more meaningful interactions than those who see each other on a daily basis.

Jiang explained that long distance lovers have limited face-to-face interactions. In an effort to keep the romance alive, couples will engage in more frequent communication and discuss deeper issues, just like my friends told me before. I think that sort of intimacy is not about physical or sexual intimacy, but psychological and spiritual.

Apparently, a long distance relationship is a challenge for true love. Only the right people can overcome it. I am certain my ex-boyfriend was not the right guy for me, because he was a playboy. That’s why I gave up before trying. Luckily, separating between two countries made me realize he was not suited for me and gave me a chance to end the relationship.

For those of you who might want to know what exactly a long distance relationship is like, there is a movie called “Going the Distance.” I think it does a great job of describing the possible situations that arise in a long distance relationship, including being more afraid to be cheated on, finding it harder to resist the temptation from other people and dealing with the sacrifice of keeping the relationship. The most important thing that movie points out is that a long distance relationship makes us rethink the definition of true love.

Now, I believe long distance relationships are possible for two reasons. First, advanced technology makes long distance relationships easier to maintain. Distant couples can use more channels of communication, such as free video chat and social media. Second, you need the right person. Just like my friends said, distance means so little when someone means so much.

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