No matter the distance, couples stay strong and loyal

City Editor and City Editor

While most couples cuddled up with their loved ones during Valentine’s Day, senior Andrea Flaig cuddled up with her phone.

Flaig has been in a long distance relationship for two years with her fiancé, James, who attends Wright State University, more than two hours south of Bowling Green.

Even though the couple tries to see each other at least once a month, and during the summer in their home of Lebanon, Ohio, Flaig said long distance can be a challenge.

“In a relationship, you have that feeling of closeness with someone, but with long distance, you don’t have it all the time,” Flaig said. “You have texting and Skype, but it doesn’t replace being with them.”

Since long distance relationships carry the burden of not being with a significant other, couples must strengthen other skills such as trust and communication, said Monica Longmore, sociology professor at the University.

“You need to have honest conversations and try to keep in touch in way of phone calls or texting,” Longmore said.

For Flaig, communication has been a key aspect to maintaining her relationship.

“It’s a lot of Skype, which has been a lifesaver because we’re both in to school and not able to talk as much,” Flaig said.

Flaig said the two text throughout the day and have frequent phone calls as well.

Communication may be easy for Flaig and her fiancé, but another obstacle in long distance relationships can be trust.

“You can’t be possessive and say ‘you can’t go out because I’m not with you,’” Longmore said. “You have to trust that person is behaving appropriately.”

In order to enforce trust, it is important to set boundaries, said Steve Kaplan, a pre-doctoral intern at the Counseling Center.

“You need to set expectations when the person can’t be there,” Kaplan said, regarding partners going out on the weekends.

Trust comes easy for Flaig, however.

“We’re not really bar scene people,” she said. “Since we grew up together, we have a lot of the same friends. I know them, I trust them and know nothing will happen.”

Flaig said this trust stems from knowing her fiancé since middle school.

Knowing the person well enough before getting into a relationship is also what Flaig said helps make it last.

“That’s why it’s worked so well for us,” she said. “If you’re together for two weeks then going to be apart, it’s going to be different. Don’t rush into things; take it slow.”