Some couples feel obliged to split up after their geographically challenged relationships feel the strain of long journeys, lonely periods or growing trust issues. But why should distance make a difference? Surely, if you are truly committed and interested, then no journey would be too long-winded and the effort would be totally worth it.
To investigate how long distance relationships find the staying power to function effectively, I spoke to Tom Harris, a 21-year old lifeguard who is in a long-term relationship with student Katie Wainwright, 20. After going out for 16 months, they have tackled the issues of long distance, so it’s time to uncover the secret to their success.
Can you tell me about how the two of you first met?
“Well, it is a pretty interesting story. It was in my local nightclub back in August 2011. I actually kissed her friend, but afterwards I got talking to Katie and I realised I found her really attractive. I was torn between two girls, but then Katie asked me out during a karaoke night so we started seeing each other.”
Where do you both live and how far is the distance between the two of you?
“We are both from Birmingham originally – Katie lives in Shirley and I live in Solihull, but we are far apart whilst at university. I go to Coventry and she studies at Aberystwyth, which is obviously quite a distance when living in accommodation there. It takes me three and a half hours by train or car to visit her over in Wales.”
How often do you see each other?
“We try our best to see each other every three weeks (during semesters). When we go home for Christmas and summer then of course it is a lot more regular because we can more easily meet up.”
What are the difficulties in being so far apart?
“When you just want to talk to your girlfriend but you can’t. We have to go for long periods of time without seeing each other, and when we do finally meet it’s only for a couple of days. It’s hard because you end up spending more time apart then you do together.”