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A non-runner’s take on long distance

September 17, 2021

This piece represents the opinion of the author .

Editor’s Note, Thursday, August 25, at 7:15 a.m.: Another student from the Class of 2022 contributed to this column, but their name was removed from the by-line for extenuating circumstances. If concerned, please email orient@bowdoin.edu. 

Many of us were at home for longer than expected over the past year or so. For some of us, that meant starting relationships at home—maybe a neighbors-to-lovers thing or a pair of hopeful high school sweethearts. Now you’re on Bowdoin’s campus, and the number of hookup options is a little more than the five people you saw over the past 18 months, and boy, are you regretting booking that train ticket down to Boston that will make you miss your first college weekend. Long-distance relationships are tough, especially when your floormate who is right next door gets a bit too friendly after pre-gaming the inter-house olympics that didn’t even happen. So now what?

Not to worry, because the Love Doctors are back with some hot tips on how to navigate long-distance at Bowdoin. The way we see it, you’ve got two options: break it off or stick it out.

Let’s start with the sadder option of ending your relationship. If you’re truly questioning your relationship and see no reason to keep it up, don’t. Getting to this realization is the hardest part, but if you’re heading in this direction you’ll start to see signs: communicating with your partner is becoming a chore, you want to stay on campus rather than go visit them or your too-friendly floormate is actually kinda hot. These signs mean that it is time to call it. The best way to go about this is being direct and clear in your communication, so get ready for a tough Facetime, phone call or even Snapchat video chat (if you can figure out how that works). Once you’re there, tell your significant other about the good times you’ve had together before hitting them with the tough stuff: the reasons why your relationship cannot continue. This conversation is going to stink, no way around that, but the sooner you can have it the sooner you will begin to feel better. More importantly, the sooner you can start to live your newly single college life, so hop to it because people are always raving about how unproblematic the Bowdoin hookup scene is.

No need to fret, however, if your long-distance lover really is “the one,” your soulmate, the Keeley to your Roy (for all you Ted Lasso fans out there because we all know Jim and Pam don’t even make the top 10 best sitcom couples of all time). While long-distance can be the worst, it’s important to remember that whenever you do get to spend time with your partner, that time is especially precious, meaning that you have such a unique space for intentional time with one another (inside the bedroom and out). When you’re apart, there are tons of fun ways to stay connected and keep the magic alive. Sending letters and care packages is a great way to show you’re thinking about them and can help remind you of all the little things you love about them (even if one of those things is how much they nag you for having illegible handwriting). If you don’t want to pay for shipping or you don’t want to figure out how to send a package from the Mail Center, reach out to their family or roommate to deliver them flowers or chocolates from you. When the California reaper-esque heat you once had starts to feel more like a single red pepper flake that fell into your soup, try keeping it sexy by sexting, sending nudes or even having some good old-fashioned phone sex (preferably when you know your roommate won’t be back for at least 20 minutes. Okay, fine, five. No judgment, it’s been a while. We know). The best advice we have to give, however, is to communicate—keep updated on each other’s lives, check in about expectations and remind them how much you value them.

Whatever you decide, tell them the Love Doctors sent you. They’ll be like who the f*** is that, and you’ll say the best author duo since Hawthorne and Longfellow. (We’re still workshopping our sign off so please let us know what you think )

For next time, please write in with questions or general topics you want our brilliant minds (kwalsh@bowdoin.edu and sfollett@bowdoin.edu) to discuss so we can make sure we’re addressing the needs of the people and not writing irrelevant nonsense. We can’t wait to hear from you!



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