Long-Distance Relationships

by Emel Yelkenbicer, Izmir University of Economics (Turkey), April 23, 2008

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Girls! Let me warn you if you’re thinking of becoming an international student. If you have a boy friend/ girl friend, be careful about dealing with long distance relationships. It is not as easy as it appears. No matter how long you have been together or how deeply you love each other, distance kills both love and faith. You may only decide how long you can handle this distance problem. Secretly, each side knows that the relationship will come to an end. You may start a new relationship, or you may run away from your relationship because the distance starts to hurt you.

Although young lovers often break up, they do not want this to happen. They are just not mature enough to handle problems. Education and moving because of the family problems are some reasons of separations. Lovers promise each other that they will always love each other, but after a few months without seeing each other, they start to feel lonely. Then one of the lovers tries to find somebody else who can remove his/her loneliness. Even if it is impossible to replace somebody you love deeply with somebody you just met, separated lovers are tempted to escape from loneliness. But as an American song says, “breaking up is hard to do.”

I am assuming that you are becoming an international student and also you are in a serious relationship. But let’s say you are leaving your country. Are you strong enough to continue this relationship? Well, there are three options: 1) leaving the country and breaking up with your boy friend, 2) leaving the country and trying to keep your boy friend, or 3) giving up your dreams and not leaving the country.

If you think that the best option for you is to leave the country and break up with your boy friend, you better not jump to conclusions. Also, get ready to be accused of being a “sloppy girl”, someone who is unfaithful. Your friends will, of course, understand you but not your boy friends’ buddies. You will be seen as an escapee. No matter why you are leaving the country, the point that you are the one who is leaving. At first, it seems hard to handle the pressure to stay, but don’t forget you have some dreams waiting for you. Additionally, if your boy is not supporting your dreams, you shouldn’t be feeling guilty because you are sure that he is not going to stand by you. Also, if he seems to be the one who has everything that you are looking for but doesn’t support you, then it means that he is not what you are looking for. You can move on with your life by accepting this. Don’t let anybody prevent you from making your dreams real. If he isn’t supportive, let him go in his way.

When I talked to one of the Turkish international students, Sumeyra, she emphasized “Breaking up felt bad, maybe even horrible. But if I had to end things, I focused on the fact that if I do not, I will be giving up my dreams about my future.” She also added “I had believed in our relationship so much. Thus, I left the country without thinking. However, it was obvious that he did not believe in our relationship as much as I do.” It is clear to me that theirs was a love-hate relationship which involved both devotion and hatred. Similar to Sumeyra, Ece another Turkish student told me her problem. She said “the biggest problem is we have seven hours difference. So we can’t talk whenever we want. It limits the time that we can communicate which is first key in relationships I think.” Let’s make her comment clear. Even though seven hours is workable, when you get used to talk to him every minute, that seven hours becomes unworkable.

When you are far away from your boy friend and also you have a time difference, then it will become the difficult situation between couples. You may want to call him frequently and at inconvenient times, especially you are in a bad mood, but you can’t. As one of the web sites for long-distance lovers says “Communicate in some way every day, more than once if possible. Since you won't be seeing each other, it's important to establish and maintain an emotional connection.” (Wikihow) Don’t make yourself disappointed. Assume that you love your boyfriend very much but not enough to give up your dreams. Do not let your emotions take over your logic. I call this reality blindness, a condition which happens when you love somebody so deeply that you can not really see reality. Thus, you still believe that you can continue on with this so-called relationship even if there is that huge, merciless Pacific Ocean.

Believe me! You can be sure about your boy friend’s personality, but after a few months of seeing others, you start to feel lonely and may try to get somebody who will remove your loneliness and bring the happiness that you had once. Then everything goes crazy. You or your boy friend gets into another relationship and then tells you that he/she doesn’t love you anymore. This situation often ends a long distance relationship

Here is the last option that you have if you are thinking of becoming an international student, giving up all your dreams and staying with your boy friend. Let’s think about it for a second. Everybody has at least one dream in their lives, such as being a doctor, actress, economist and so on. Some of these dreams are harder to accomplish than others. If you are not such a determined person, your dreams will never come true and will always be insubstantial dreams. If you are this type, it is better for you to give up your dreams and go after your boy friend who may not be doing the same thing as you if he has the same opportunity to leave

I’m an international student. I used to have a boy friend before coming to Cortland. We had been together for four years, and he had everything that I thought I had been looking for. I was blind because of my supposedly deep love. I believed that we could handle the distance problem but things didn’t go well. After a month, he broke up with me without telling me a reason. At that time, I felt that I must go back to my country and fix up everything. Then something stopped me. What happened to my dreams? I wanted to be an economist and have been working so hard to make this dream real. This semester is my second year in the U.S and I’m glad that I didn’t go back and give up everything for my ex boyfriend. He doesn’t deserve me.

Paths of life can lead us away from each other, and we may fall away from what we used to have. Sometimes even if we try hard to pretend that everything is the same as it used to be, nothing stays the same. When you study abroad, things will change suddenly after you arrive. No matter how deeply you love somebody, nothing stands in front of the distance. I’m glad that I chose becoming an international student and came to Cortland. Because when I chose becoming an international student, not only I ended my 4 year relationship but also I started to build up a future for my self not for others. The only thing that I am pretty sure about is that my dreams and goals will save my life, not my boy friend.


Retrieved from LDR
March 20, 2008

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