Absence makes the heart grow fonder

by Eliza Florendo / Beacon Staff • February 9, 2011

Long term and long distance relationships can be trickier than any corn maze, Rubix cube, or 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. It’s hard to gauge whether long-term and long-distance relationships will last once school starts. Most students go back to school after a vacation, and realize the harsh truth – they won’t see their boyfriend or girlfriend until the next break. With 80% of Emerson’s students from out of state, many of us leave our loved ones back at home. |

Still, some lucky Emersonians have found a way to make staying in touch with their sweethearts work. Out of 100 students asked, 23 of them claimed to be in long-term and long-distance relationships.

Megan Donovan, a print journalism junior, has been with her boyfriend, Mitch Paster, for three years now. Donovan said that little things like “random calls when he’s walking to and from the subway” show her that he cares. She said that their sweetest moment happened two years ago, when Paster flew from Florida to Boston and surprised her late on Valentine’s Day. For Donovan and Paster, staying together is easier because they see each other every two or three weeks, she said.

For other couples, trips to see their significant other aren’t so frequent. Dan Anderson, a freshman acting major, and Emily Richardi, high school senior, have been together for 10 months. Anderson said that the most difficult part about being in a long-distance relationship is only seeing Richardi for a couple of days every few months. “After a while it feels like she isn’t real and I’m going crazy talking to my phone or a computer screen,” Anderson said.

However, Anderson found a way to make up for lost time, and seemingly endless Skype sessions, by having a late Valentine’s Day celebration when he can find a way to visit. “I’ll send her flowers and a card and things like that,” he said.

Anderson said that one of the sweetest things the couple has done is creating a bucket list, including a picnic at a playground, a water balloon fight, stargazing, making pumpkin bread, having a camp out, and making s’mores.

“It’s actually been really good because we don’t see each other all the time,” Anderson said. “So when I go home, it’s freaking awesome. It’s like a new thing. Whenever you get in a relationship there’s always that first month when you’re so happy. And it’s like that all the time.”

Jeremy Miller, a film production freshman, and his boyfriend of seven months, Brian Parker, who attends Champlain College, also found arranging dates for special occasions difficult. Miller made it work by giving Parker an Emerson bear as a memento of “Jer Bear” while he was away at school for their anniversary. Miller said that the sweetest thing that Parker ever did, was make him a giant poster of pictures and quotes encompassing all of their memories together last summer. “We spent the whole summer together and I thought to myself, how could I ever let this go?” Miller said.

Though there is no sort of secret formula to keep the interest alive, Donovan’s formula works for her and Paster. “We want to take it day to day,” she said. “We enjoy each other that much, and we think that being together outweighs not being together. It outweighs all the questions in our head about everything.”

Similarly, Anderson claims that “If you think it doesn’t work then you just haven’t found a person that makes you want it to work. It’s not easy by any means but I think about what it would be like if we weren’t together, and it all becomes worth it.”