The Sentinel

Ask Iggy: Long distance relationships and battling preconceived notions

Iggy Jo, Advice Columnist

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Hi Iggy Jo,

Q: How do you keep a romance alive? I am in a stable relationship, but we don’t get to see each other that often. What are some ways to stay connected though you may be apart?

A: Many students in college may be a long-distance relationship (LDR) due to lasting connections from high school, partners in varying occupations, and life’s ever-changing plans. Though it can be a death sentence for some relationships, building a strong foundation will help pull the relationship through the long stretch.

First of all, it is absolutely crucial that there is a foundation of trust built between you two. Once that collapses, it is quite impossible to hold up the relationship, even with these suggestions.

After that, the next building block is that of communication. Some may get to see their significant other often, but if not, almost everyone has access to a form of cellular device in this day of age. With the creation of FaceTime, Google Duo and so many other video chatting apps, there are so many ways to get to see your significant other. Be honest with and cognizant of each others’ feelings. Remind yourself what the relationship means to you and what you truly admire about each other.

Here are some ways to re-spark the romance when you’re in a LDR:

  1. Learn something new with each other: a song, a dance, or a language.
  2. Play online multiplayer video or board games together: online checkers, Runescape, World of Warcraft.
  3. Stream a show or movie together: Netflix, Hulu, torrented.
  4. Create care packages with some of each others’ favorite things – snail mail and surprise packages are the best!
  5. Be amorous and flirty with your messages (steamy messages should be sent with caution).
  6. Plan out your next dates when you see each other next.

DON’T:

  • Bottle up feelings or dance around things that are bothering you – your significant other cannot read your mind.
  • Forget about your family, friends, and/or hobbies.

Personally, I have been in a relationship for over half a decade, most of it being long-distance. I have taken it as a blessing, as it has given me the chance to focus on my studies. Also, I have really cherished all the time that I spend with my significant other. Some relationships may take more work than others, regardless of the distance, but as long as both of you two are willing, you can persevere through the distance.

Hi Iggy Jo,

Q: My mom is in the medical field, and I have these ideas of what it is like, but I also know it is going to be different. How do you not have an attitude about before you start? In other words, how do you go into the same career as your parents and try not to have preconceived notions of what it will be like?

A: Paving the path for yourself may sometimes be difficult with the bountiful pre-existing perceptions that exist. Many may feel overshadowed by accomplishments of others before them, especially if the “others” is their family.

Preconceived notions are your influenced beliefs and attitudes towards a particular group, person, occupation, or institution. I, myself, deal with these subconsciously. Lifestyles are consistently fluid in nature. The best way to establish your own identity in spite of the homogeneity of assumptions is to critically examine your thoughts and direct positive energies towards your own abilities.

In life, there will always be preconceived ideas that can negatively affect the way that people look at things. From the racist and discriminatory attitudes during the Jim Crow era towards African Americans to the Feminist movement to allow for the acceptance of women to science and the mathematical field, there have always been these stereotypic ideas that have limited the abilities of some of the most brilliant people. However, with strong-will and courage to resist these ideas, there has been an emergence of many novel individualistic characters.

As with any thought, those ideas should be reviewed and screened to make sure that they are compatible with your beliefs and showcases your own individuality, instead of a previous stereotype. You should remember that after your immersion with the field, you’ll be able to construct your own ideas. This doesn’t mean ignoring others’ position but upholding your own warranted views.

Listening to preconceived notions may underestimate the breadth of the successes and achievements that you have to offer. Embrace your greatness and ignore those biases that are inconsistent with you being able to live a more fulfilling, productive, and jubilant life.

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Ask Iggy: Long distance relationships and battling preconceived notions