How SAS students handle the challenge of long distance relationships

It’s time for you to say your goodbyes – your stomach is in a knot, you’re sad, and you don’t want to say those final words. You are not ready to go from seeing him every day in person to seeing him on a camera when you are video chatting.

Relationships are hard, but they are even more difficult when you and your partner are separated from each other by oceans and continents. Some long distance relationships begin when you are traveling, when you are in school, or even when you are online.

According to, about 14 million couples consider themselves in a long distance relationship.

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Natalie Ryan and Sean Clarke. Photo by Natalie Ryan

Natalie Ryan, a junior at SAS, is currently in a long distance relationship. “Long distance relationships take so much energy, especially when you get in arguments because you aren’t in person to solve it so it’s over Skype and it’s not as personal.”

Natalie has been in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend, Sean Clarke, for a year. Sean is based in Australia, but his parents live in Singapore, which means he gets to visit often. He recently graduated from his boarding school and is now back in Singapore for awhile before he starts college in Australia.

When they aren’t in the same area, they try to talk as much as they can by Whatsapping, Snapchatting, and even Skyping, whether it’s 15 minutes or the whole night until they fall asleep.

When deciding whether or not you want to be in a long distance relationship, you have to consider whether or not your connection is strong enough, if your relationship is real or a fantasy, if you and your partner are ready for the obstacles and able to deal with the fact that you won’t get to see them as often as you did before.

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Adriana Ballas and her boyfriend Sam Devine. Photo by Adriana Ballas

Adriana Ballas has been in a relationship with Sam Devine for two years. Sam is a sophomore at Northeastern University while Adriana is a senior here at SAS.

Adriana said, “It’s all about trusting each other and giving one another freedom to live their own lives in their own worlds.”

Maintaining a long distance relationship, like most relationships, requires commitment, patience and honesty to work. Being in these types of relationships tends to cause more arguments, but in order to try to avoid that as much as possible, trust may be the most essential element.

“It’s easy to get protective, jealous, and even frustrated,” said Adriana.

Adriana and Sam communicate through Whatsapp and FaceTime. They usually see each other during holiday breaks.

In the beginning of their long distance relationship, it was hard for them because they wanted to give each other space to live on their own but still love and care for each other at the same time.

However, now it is easier for them because they have a permanent goal together. Adriana wants to go to school in Boston as well. Adriana said, “If we were just in a long distance relationship without knowing when it would end, I think we would both go crazy! So I think it does work for us.”

It’s a test of your relationship to see whether or not you can trust each other while also giving each other space to live so that you can live your own life. Like any other relationships you’re in, there are arguments and tough times, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your relationship.

Natalie said, “A lot of people think that if you’re not happy anymore you should end it. But why? You were happy once, why not anymore? I mean if you stopped loving them, then end it. But if you’re both just miserable, talk about it. Work it out.”

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Kirsten Reinhart and her boyfriend Justin Wills. Photo by Kirsten Reinhart

Kirsten Reinhart, a senior at SAS, has been in a relationship with Justin Wills for nine months. While Kirsten lives here in Singapore, her boyfriend Justin lives in Florida. They try to Skype or FaceTime at least a few hours a week, text as much as possible, and FaceTime audio at least four times a day.

Like other couples, their long distance relationship was difficult at first, but then over time they were able to adapt to the situation that they are in.

Kirsten said, “Being apart from each other I think really makes us stronger than other couples because we are able to live separate from each other and have our own lives, but at the same time still love and care for one another. If I had to pick between having him here or him living somewhere else, I would pick somewhere else, because it will make us stronger in the long run and I know that I will see him soon.”

Author: Brenae McLeish

Brenae Mcleish is a Junior and has been at SAS since Freshman year. This is her first year on The Eye. She is from Washington, DC originally but has lived majority of her life so far overseas. She enjoys playing lacrosse, cheerleading, taking pictures, and hanging out with friends. She can be contacted at

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