Three years ago I moved 400 miles over land and sea (albeit a small channel) to university, leaving my girlfriend behind. A year later I halved that distance by moving to London, and then after another year she finally joined me in the capital. Long distance relationships are never easy, but they certainly have never been easier.
To claim that they never work is ridiculous: we live in the era of communication, surrounded by gadgets that make a mockery of letter writing lovers. I think it is fair to say that a much higher concentration of people are leaving for university whilst in relationships simply because the time apart isn’t that daunting. As a generation we communicate primarily online or by text, meaning many of us don’t have to make a change or introduce anything new into our lives simply because of the distance. Time apart is filled with instant updates as to what your other half is doing – probably giving you more of an insight into their life than if you were actually there because for some reason Instagram seems to give a shit about what they are having for dinner.
Yet sacrifices do have to be made. Wallets and purses alike take repeated dents due to rising train fare and you may not feel at home at a Fresher’s traffic light party clad in crimson whilst your entourage are doting over leaf-green strangers. Though spending money and third wheeling is all familiar territory: it’s in the contract you signed when you changed your relationship status on Facebook.
People will want to remind you that ‘long distance relationships are more work’ but in my experience they take far less effort. You have space: you can grow that shit moustache, binge watch Netflix and make new friends (occasionally studying). All you have to do is continue doing what you have always done, texting, and occasionally you show your face on Skype, explaining away drunken missed calls and dressed only from the waste up. Then when your weekly/biweekly/annual/biannual visit comes around you spruce yourself up and attempt to resume a normal sleeping pattern.
The big question is always this: is it worth it? Well, that depends entirely on your own relationship. If you truly like a person you’d take full advantage of all these resources that make distance irrelevant. If you feel like you are missing out on an integral part of University because you aren’t sleeping around then make your choice, but be courteous and break anything off before doing so (if you went as amber to a traffic light party you’re a c*#t). Gosling wrote 365 letters in the notebook: far less than a drunken sexter sends to their distant paramour a week and as proof that times have changed.
Just remember to heed the wise words of St Valentine himself: ‘Double check your recipient when snap-chatting your genitals’.