Diana and Nevin in Mooers, New York, where Nevin was building a cabin.
Photo by Dorinda Hardy.
It’s a late night for Nevin Hardy, student at SUNY Plattsburgh. There are a few rituals Nevin must go through before falling asleep. He watches his favorite anime shows, works on his homework and drinks a bottle of water. He finally sits on his Star Wars blanket on his bed, opens facetime and says hello to Diana.
Diana Fitzwilliam attends SUNY Potsdam, a college in the town where Nevin is from. The couple met one day while Nevin was visiting friends in Potsdam and hit it off. They have been dating for five months now. Although they are attending schools that are two hours apart, the couple has found ways around this and has offered a few tips.
Q: How do you guys make this work?
Diana: The six main principles of any healthy relationship are respect, honesty, trust, loyalty, love and communication. The top three for long distance would be honesty, trust and communication because if you’re long distance and don’t talk then what’s the point, ya know?
Q: Does technology, like Facetime, help?
Diana: Before there was internet, everyone was either on landline phones or writing letters. You wouldn’t hear from people for days or even months! But now because the internet is so accessible, communication is so much easier to have … lots and lots of communication.
Nevin: There are fewer excuses now. We are 100 percent honest with each other. You just have to watch what you say and how you say it.
Diana: Yes! Texting can be funny. You don’t always know the emotion behind someone’s text messages.
Q: Do you feel like the time away from each other makes the time together that much greater?
Nevin: It makes me yearn for her more!
Diana: I would not get burnt out if I saw him everyday, but we are both very independent.
Nevin: I want her to have her own life.
Diana: I love when he tells me he’s out with his friends. I always make sure he is doing things for himself.
Q: Is being apart harder on one of you or both of you?
Nevin: I’d say it’s hard on both of us. I like to have company, and I love her company.
Diana: It’s hard. I want to have him around all the time, but we make it work. We make it special. We write letters to each other, we also try to watch movies over Facetime or Skype. We try to have something to look forward too.
It’s not easy being away from the one you love. There are lonely days, days with something to look forward to, maybe even days with arguments. However, there are those special days. The days that remind us who we love and possibly why we love this particular person. A long distance relationship can be a struggle, but at the end of the day, it’s all totally worth it for Nevin and Diana …even if it’s just saying hello through Facetime.