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The Geographically Challenged Words ▶ Alyssia Tennant

Love is hard even in the best of circumstances. But as Alyssia Tennant writes, there’s something special about long distance relationships, even if it is difficult at times. Needless to say, there are things about long distance relationships that aren’t so great. It’s especially hard to actually make the decision to take an online relationship to the next level. The fear of the unknown is all too present; partially because there are obvious ways it could go wrong, but also because it can be difficult to seek advice. Generations before us didn’t have the luxury of being able to connect with basically anybody in the world. With the Internet there came new ways to open up your heart. Your parents weren’t in the same position, and it’s difficult to know if they’ll understand the legitimacy of your feelings straight away. Your friends (bless their cotton socks) just want what will make you happy, and you don’t know if it will. In a lot of ways, taking that step can be a really positive experience. There’s a comfort that you don’t feel right away with dating someone in the same city as you. The sense of immediate decisions are stabilising and encourage trust – you decide early on that you’re willing to travel and spend money to see them. It’s reassuring to safely be able to say it’s not just a sex thing, which sometimes feels like a huge thing – not only in university but in a lot of other situations too. It can feel a bit like if you’re not having it, you’re missing out. In some relationships, early on there are questions of whether it’s the real deal or if it’s going to be a month-long fling. Being interested in someone in another location and

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Edition 7 2015

knowing they’re interested too takes a huge amount of confusion off the table because you know you both want the relationship and are trying to make it work. The first steps are hard, and the months that follow are harder. When I realised that my online friend was so much more than just a friend, initially, there was a lot of hesitation. My friends and family were kind of like, “Is this really what you want to do?” Meeting for the first time after months and months of talking every day suddenly made it seem like a reality. For ages I’d been really interested, but the fear of meeting for the first time was a weird combination of excited, happy and horrified. What if we didn’t like each other in person? What if the connection wasn’t there? I knew there was something because I wouldn’t be getting on a plane if there wasn’t. But the fear was definitely there. It’s kind of a recurring thing. Every now and then, things can get a bit harder because you’ve invested so much into making it work and if it didn’t, that would really suck. For me, it’s made a lot of things clearer in actually figuring out how to function in a real relationship. Although I’d been in relationships before, it was incredibly eye opening to realise that communication is

Profile for Verse Magazine

Verse Magazine Edition #7 | November / December 2015  

Inside This Edition: Are You Okay?, Swimming With Giants, Muffin Top Or Soufflé?, The Shameful Struggle No Is Not A Dirty Word

Verse Magazine Edition #7 | November / December 2015  

Inside This Edition: Are You Okay?, Swimming With Giants, Muffin Top Or Soufflé?, The Shameful Struggle No Is Not A Dirty Word