Unfiltered

Dear John

Coming to college you have either been in a long distance relationship or know someone who has. You probably also know how amazingly wonderful and fulfilling they aren’t.

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Sorry to all those woeful romantics out there, but every relationship that I have been in or witnessed that separates the partners more than two hundred miles, goes up in a blaze of glory.

While I realize that my experience doesn’t necessarily represent the entirety of college students, it is true that a lot of long distance relationships are college students. Let me lay some facts on you:

•14 million couples define themselves as having a long distance relationship

•3.75 million married couples are in a long distance relationship

•32.5 % of all long distance relationships are college relationships

•75 % of all engaged couples have been (at some point) in a long distance relationship

•2.9 % of all married couples in the states live in a long distance relationship

•10 % of all marriages in the states started out as a long distance relationship

•4.5 months – the average time before a long distance relationship breaks down

•40 % of all long distance relationships ends with a break-up

•70 % of all failed long distance relationships fails due to unplanned changes

•125 miles – the average distance in a long distance relationships

•1.5 times – the average number of times couples visited each other (per month)

•3 letters – the average number of letters couples write each other (per month)

•2.7 days – the average number of days between couples calling each other

•14 month – the average number of months before couples expect to move back together

While all these might be very informative, let’s look at what those stats are truly trying to say. They are essentially saying that long distance relationships work!

If this is the case, why do all of my friends and my long distance relationships end rather in a spectacular fashion? Could it be we are just terrible at them in general? Probably. But what are some things that could’ve been done to avoid that catastrophe?

But before I get to much into detail let me give you a quick idea of what a Dear John letter is. Basically, it is a letter written to a member of the military telling them that their significant other doesn’t wish to be with them anymore. But Dear John letters can refer to anyone in a long distance break up, the name just wouldn’t fit in todays lingo. No one wants to say they just got a Dear John Email, it just wouldn’t sound right.

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In order to avoid getting a dreaded Dear John letter/call/email/text from your significant other, you can do something as simple as writing them a letter. Oh right, a letter is like an email but you write it using pencil and paper- then you have to take it to the mailing center so they can somehow magically get it to its destination.

If you find using primitive means of communication beneath you, try being spontaneous. No, do not fly half way around the world to meet them; but, if you have a little free time and they have a little free time then call or Facetime with them for a few minutes. Setting times to call or Skype each week can get monotonous and boring, which leads to the idea that talking to your significant other will be more of a chore rather then a treat.

There is one last thing to remember: if you engage in a college long-distance relationship and it ends, it’s not over. Even if you fall into that 40% of long distance relationships that fail, just remember that it’s not the end of the world. You still have friends, and if they’re anything like mine then they will have experience with long distance relationships. Talk to them, talk to your family, go distract yourself and do something fun, meet new friends and reconnect with old ones.

So whether you can make this kind of relationship work or not you just have to enjoy life- because, why not?

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