Abbigail Stanley is The Statesman’s assistant copy editor.
Long-distance relationships (LDR) surround us.
Many relationships wouldn’t be able to withstand them without the resources available to us. Being able to see your partner’s face and be in their presence is such a comforting feeling when that’s all you have.
When the pandemic hit, many people found themselves utilizing video calls. In turn, this caused tech companies to further improve them.
This increased ease in holding a connection with someone long-distance can be seen on Skype. During the height of its popularity, the research found a positive correlation between Skype and relationship satisfaction. It was the first time people could call and see each other at the same time.
Now we have FaceTime, Discord, WhatsApp and more means to connect with someone on.
Dating apps have made it easier to find and meet people. During the pandemic, dating in person became nonexistent. It gave people no choice but to seek alternative ways to meet and connect.
From the outside looking in, long-distance doesn’t seem like it’s worth it. Yet, when you are in a relationship, you reach a certain point where you’re willing to accommodate any circumstance that will allow you to have a healthy relationship. Even if it means not being in the same place all the time.
There are cons to LDRs. The distance can cause a rift in your relationship, the intimacy may be hard to maintain and the loneliness that comes with not being able to see your partner can create a greater need for security.
To combat this, it is important to communicate with your partner and discuss what will work best to keep the relationship going strong.
I wanted to get some insight from two couples very close to me and former Stony Brook University students, Jocelyn Marden and Liv Olynciw, who started dating in late February 2020 — right before the pandemic hit — and former Stony Brook University students, Sara Guagliano and Brandon Daley, who are currently dating long distance.
Marden and Olynciw are four hours away from each other outside of Stony Brook and Guagliano and Daley live in different states.
Marden and Olynciw had to figure out how to make a long-distance relationship work right off the bat. They had only been dating for three weeks before the campus closed because of the pandemic.
“We were on FaceTime and up each other’s asses for a while,” Marden said.
They later found that Discord was the best way to stay connected to each other while they had to do long-distance with no end in sight. “Discord can do everything FaceTime can and more. You can voice chat, play video games together, share your screen and more,” Olynciw said.
Guagliano and Daley have been long-distance for months now. They explained that they have a routine of communication. At the end of the night, they come home from work and FaceTime. They attempt to talk because they believe the most important thing for an LDR is effort.
“We have no choice but to communicate 95% of the time over text and 5% over FaceTime. Texting sucks, but no matter how much I hate it, those texts throughout the day make a difference,” Daley said.
Marden also pointed out that it is vital for your partner to be your best friend. If you don’t like your partner as a person, then it is very unlikely that any sort of relationship will last. Communication and compromise are key to any relationship, platonic or romantic.
Guagliano and Daley had a lot to say on this topic.
“It’s very rare to find someone you can be your authentic self with without fear of judgment and who wants to understand why you are who you are,” Guagliano said.
Communication and effort are vital to the survival of LDRs. It is important to focus on maintaining the connection you have. If you both put in the work for the relationship, you will make it through even the toughest days together.