By Joey Walz

Ylva Forsuld has dealt with long-distance in the form of hours, and countries, ranging from three hours to 4,300 miles. Leigha Holt and her boyfriend will be living in the same state beginning in early 2021 for the first time in two years, which she is both happy and worried about. Katie Clevenger reminisced about the early stages of their distanced love story, suggesting if it worked when they were younger, they could always make it work.

“We are now married and are buying a house together; we close in January. We’ve been together for five years and have been married for almost six months. We both think the time is right,” said Clevenger.

Relationships can be hard to handle, to begin with, adding distance in seems to make it that much harder. Although long-distance does not work for everyone, it does for others, and it helps them to grow and learn more about themselves regardless of the outcome. “If you really love someone, you will figure it out together,” said Forsuld.

Forsuld, Holt, and Maddie Silver all played a sport in college, which can be strenuous in a relationship. Although Clevenger did not play a sport, she spent the majority of her time in college studying or working in order to better herself, and her future.

Forsuld met her boyfriend during their sophomore year at Marshall University while her teammate was dating her current boyfriend, Nick’s, roommate.

“One of my favorite memories from when we first started dating is when my family came in to visit me from Sweden and they got to meet Nick. I had been telling them all about him, but when we went to dinner, it felt so natural. We all talked, and it felt like a big, happy family,” said Forsuld.

As a native of Sweden, when in the United States she resides in Huntington, WV while Nick lives in Morgantown, WV which is only about three hours away. They were unable to see each other every day, but they could still drive and see one another on weekends. Unfortunately for them, Forsuld is home in Sweden now which changes their three-hour drive to a six-hour time difference. This makes it difficult to find time to talk when Nick is not in class, and Forsuld is not on the golf course.

Photo Credit: Magnus Forsuld

“I would definitely say the hardest part is all the small daily things you miss out on. Like a hug or kiss when you come home, cooking dinner together, talking about your day, those kinds of things,” said Forsuld. They have been together for over three years now and plan to keep it going.

Holt’s relationship began in 2015 during their sophomore year of college when he sat behind her during calculus, and they happened to get paired together for a group project. At first, this was not a big deal, however, their group project ended, but their communication continued. As time went on, feelings emerged, and not soon after, they began dating.

Photo Credit: Pam Holt

“The hardest part of long-distance is scheduling time to see each other. I am in pharmacy school full time while working at CVS, so most of my weekends are spent working or studying. We try to see each other at least once a month,” said Holt. They have been together for four and a half years now.

Clevenger met her husband while in their sophomore year as well. They were both studying electrical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, therefore they had almost every class together.

“At first, Nick was just someone I could mess with within class, or when I saw him around campus. After a while though, it was clear to tell we weren’t messing with each other for the same reasons we started. We went from hanging out in groups, to hanging out just the two of us,” said Clevenger.

After seeing each other every day in class, or hanging out after, they struggled once they both excepted full-time positions over the summer. Nick was working for Indiana Penn Dot while Clevenger was spending her time as a lifeguard at Sandcastle Waterpark. They found a way to make it work by trying to see each other every other weekend, even if it was only for a few hours. Instead of simply making time to see each other, they planned dates as a way to better spend the time they had together. Although this helped, it did not make the days they could not be together any easier on them. It was extremely hard to get the other to meet their friends from home with the distance between them. They talked as much as possible, but it is not the same as seeing someone in person.

Photo Credit: Joey Walz

“We made it work because we both knew we wanted a future together and could get through a few months not seeing each other every day,” said Clevenger.

Silver met her boyfriend during their freshman year at Marshall University when they both lived in the same dorm on the same floor. After the first semester, he transferred to University at Buffalo for soccer, but they agreed to try and make it work. They lasted together for seven and a half years, but unfortunately, that ended last year after remaining long distance for so long.

“I’ve learned to never do long distance again. Maybe if it was for a short time, like a month or two that might be fine. We did long distance almost all through college, three and a half years. It was very tough,” said Silver.

She said it was too difficult to not be able to see your significant other and be there for them in the way they need you to be. No matter how hard you try, from a distance, you can never love a person the way you do when you are physically with them.