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Love is in the air elsewhere
Any committed relationship is complicated, especially at the college level. Each person is trying to become independent and start their adult lives. Adding a romantic partner into the mix could tangle it up a bit more.
Now, think of a long distance relationship at this age. Some people say they are not strong enough to do it, but these three Quinnipiac students have the strength.
Jill Seward, a senior media production major has been with her boyfriend Eric Graham for little over a year. Graham is a business major at the University of Southern Massachusetts and is a four hour drive from Quinnipiac.
“We see each other about every two to three weeks, but he plays hockey so he can only visit me at QU on his off-season,” Seward said.
Hockey is something that brought Seward and Graham close.
“He plays hockey and I am the men’s hockey manger here at Quinnipiac,” Seward said.
For their one year anniversary, Graham built Seward a Build-a-Bear. “It was dressed in a hockey uniform with a hockey helmet,” Seward said.
Seward also sent Graham a care package last year for the start of his hockey season. “I put in things that were geared towards energy to get him pumped up for his season. There were energy bars, Gatorade and trail mix,” Seward said.
Gestures like these are what keep their long distance relationship going.
“It is all about the little things. Dropping an IM during the day, leaving a voicemail; the little things go a long way,” Seward said.
As great as their relationship is, the distance does put a strain on things.
“We don’t fight often but when we do it is something like, ‘You didn’t answer my calls, where were you?'” Seward said. “Distance is the reason we fight about the things we fight about.”
Mark Liberfarb, a junior accounting major has been with his girlfriend Sasha Kamenetska since his junior year of high school.
“Someone invited her to my table at junior prom and it was over,” Liberfarb said.
Liberfarb has a different opinion on how the distance affects his relationship.
“The distance is a benefit for us because we are both able to grow as people,” he said. “I am not always associated with someone else. We aren’t like that.”
Maybe Liberfarb feels differently than Seward because he is only an hour and a half train ride away from Kamenetska who is a math major at Columbia University.
“We try to see each other every two weeks,” Liberfarb said. “It is a nice change when we visit each other because she is in the middle of Manhattan and she loves coming here where there are leaves, tress, quietness and me.”
Liberfarb feels that fighting is lessened due to the distance.
“There is a lot less to fight about in a long distance relationship. I don’t get the opportunity to annoy her when I am not around,” he said.
The fights are also lessened because Liberfarb constantly shows his girlfriend how much he cares.
“Since I don’t get to see her everyday, I show her I care by being concerned about her day, actually listening to her, remembering details, even sending her a song,” he said.
“Anyway, if I didn’t care about her, I wouldn’t go to a school with 60 percent girls and stay with her,” he added.
Seward also lessens fights by never doubting her boyfriend.
“I trust Eric because he has never done anything to lose my trust,” she said.
Liberfarb believes highly in trust. “Having trust is what separates the winners and the losers,” he said.
Kevin Toth, a senior finance major has been dating his girlfriend Steph Hendrixson for over three years.
“We met my junior year in high school, hung out all summer and I decided to ask her out a month before college started,” Toth said. “My decision was impulsive.”
Toth and Hendrixson try to see each other about once a month but keep their relationship going with long phone conversations.
“We used to talk for three and a half hours a day, but now we cut it down to about 45 minutes,” he said.
They also recently started to use a web cam.
“We can now see each other while talking and it’s free,” Toth said.
Toth believes that the distance is the only bad thing about their relationship. “Sometimes I just want to be with her,” he said.
Seward agreed, “It is so good when we are together so I know how good it would be if we went to the same school.”
However, Seward does believe that the distance brings them closer together.
“When we are finally together, we just lay there and talk. There are so many things I want to do all at once. I want to kiss him, hug him, and touch him. We don’t watch TV, we don’t listen to the radio, it is just me and him lying there together,” she said.
These three believe that the emotional aspect is heightened in long distance relationships.
“Things are more emotional because I want every weekend to be perfect and we get more disappointed if we find out we can’t see each other for a weekend,” Liberfarb said.
“I get jealous when I see a couple together on campus here and I have a five hour drive to see Steph,” Toth said.
The distance is there but so is the love, compassion and loyalty.
“She keeps me sane. She is someone I can complain to. She is my best friend,” Liberfarb said.
A long distance relationship is tough, but these three are handling it just fine.