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Long distance relationships can't succeed if one isn't willing to put in the work.

According to the New York Post, 60% of long-distance relationships are successful. However, statistics are simply numbers and some couples will be able to beat the odds if they’re truly in love. 

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, my boyfriend and I have struggled coming to terms with the fact that we won’t see each other as much as we did when school was in session. The virus has unexpectedly prevented us from seeing each other, which is a big change since we were seeing each other almost every other day while living at JMU and preparing for a two-month break. We both knew that when summer break arrived, we wouldn’t be able to spend as much time together, but we didn’t anticipate summer so soon. 

Now, we find ourselves in a difficult situation, trying to maintain a healthy relationship with 200 miles between us. For some, this might seem impossible, as many people desire the physical aspects of a relationship. But according to lifehack.com, there are other ways to maintain a stable connection, such as seeing the distance as an opportunity and keep each other updated with what is happening in your lives. 

Long-distance relationships are possible if both partners are willing to try. 

Unlike the past, technology can provide an easier way of communicating. From binge- watching a favorite Netflix show together or FaceTiming for hours at a time, keeping up with loved ones has never been more convenient.

According to the Pew Research Center, 24% of internet users with recent dating experience have used the internet to maintain a long-distance relationship. While plane tickets and road trips are expensive, having a face-to-face conversation through a video-chatting app is both free and readily available. 

Despite these benefits to the use of technology, there are still downsides. Some people might question their significant other when they don’t respond to texts in a timely manner, and others might accuse their partner of cheating based on whose images they double-tap on Instagram. This could lead to insecurities in the relationship or even the loss of trust.  

Even with these challenges, long-distance relationships can still last if both partners are willing to communicate clearly and understand that even though they’re together, they can both have separate lives apart. Maintaining a relationship with honesty is important so both partners can feel secure instead of worrying about the other’s every move. 

According to the HuffPost,  maintaining a long-distance relationship can allow you to view things from a different perspective. People are able to evaluate their significant other from a distance and determine if they’re “the one.” The HuffPost also states that spending time on one’s own is beneficial because it may help oneself to discover new hobbies or interests. 

It’s important to realize that most of the time, distance is temporary. According to Psychology Today, long-distance relationships are able to be successful when couples prioritize their schedules well, avoid putting their life on hold and let themselves trust. 

Even though couples experience difficulties within long-distance relationships, it doesn’t always mean the relationship has run its course. Simply having a conversation addressing the doubts within the relationship just may be the first step to solving them. 

My grandmother has always told me that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Although my long-distance relationship might be unsteady sometimes, I’m finally learning to understand what she means. 

Kaylee Cox is a junior media arts and design major. Contact Kaylee at coxkm@dukes.jmu.edu.