Long distance love: Lane’s love stories

Leo and his girlfriend, Grace, decided to stay together when Grace was leaving for college. (Photo Courtesy of Leo Macksey)

By Leda Edwards, Managing Editor

When Leo and Grace decided to start a relationship, they both made an agreement to cut it short after Grace left for college. However, after being together for over five months, their love for each other continued to grow and they decided to make an effort to stay together.

“In the beginning of the relationship, we definitely acknowledged that she was a senior and that I was a junior,” said Leo Macksey, Div. 078. “We set a deadline, like ‘Before you go to college, let’s just cut it off clean so that it doesn’t get dramatic.’ Then it became a month before and it was weighing down on us and it really just spoiled the whole mood so we were like, ‘You know what, let’s just go for it.’” 

Leo and Grace met last year in Academic Decathlon. After spending more time studying together the two decided to start a relationship.

We lived pretty close to each other and then somewhere in January or February of last year, we had study sessions,” Leo said. “We just spent a lot of time with each other and found out that we liked each other a lot.”

Grace currently attends the University of Iowa in Iowa City. They meet up every month and take turns visiting each other. According to Leo, it’s about a three hour and a half drive from Chicago to Iowa City.

 “It is a huge commitment and I understand why people think that you can’t just go with anybody and do this. I had a gut feeling in me that told me that we had to stay together, and I trust her so much,” Leo said.

Leo plans to attend either the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or the University of Iowa. 

 Lilly Forsythe, Div. 090, has plans to attend the university that her partner, Rhys, currently attends, the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. 

I just got accepted into the college that they go to,” Lilly said. “I’m trying to work out some financial aid information with them at the moment because it’s kind of expensive for me, but it’s very fortunate for me that the school they actually attend has been my dream school for a little while now.” 

Lilly and Rhys have been together for 11 months. They met last year in AP Art class when she was a junior and Rhys was a senior. 

Even though Lilly knew that Rhys would be leaving for college, they both decided to continue their relationship over long distance.

“We both felt very strongly for each other and just really thought that we had a special connection,” Lilly said. “Both of us come from families that are divorced, so we were determined to make it work and had a lot of faith in our relationship.” 

According to an article written by Ben Michaelis, Ph.D on the HuffPost, being in a long distance relationship takes a lot of commitment, prioritization, sharing and planning. 

  For Tiffany Li, Div. 081, being in a long distance relationship and everything that comes with it isn’t something that’s new to her. 

Tiffany is in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend, Gabe, who currently lives over a thousand miles away in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

 Tiffany and Gabe met through baseball. Gabe was a baseball player and Tiffany was a manager.

“I said that he was cute to my friend, and then she told him, and then he Snapchatted me first, and that was really how it all started,” Tiffany said.

Since Gabe left for college, the two have visited each other four times. 

“If you love them enough, you would be able to understand that even though you guys are so far apart, you guys will still come back together,” Tiffany said.

Not every long distance relationship starts out as an in-person relationship. In fact, some people meet their long distance partners online. 

Wyatt Porter, Div. 077, met his girlfriend Fran who lives in Georgia three year ago on Google Plus. 

“Everyone laughs when I say that,” Wyatt said. “The first time we met on Google Plus, I wasn’t feeling too good and she sent me this ridiculous image of some sculpture that we can still find on Google Images. We became friends really quickly after that.”

Wyatt and Fran sent photos of each other and talked on the phone before meeting in person, but his dad was still doubtful.

My dad was mistrusting, he didn’t really understand it,” Wyatt said. “After the first time Fran came to Chicago, he got to know her. They both had common interests and he just warmed up from there.”

They have seen each other 11 times over the course of two and a half years and have plans on moving together in the future.

When asked why he decided to make things work with Fran over a long distance, Wyatt had this to say:

I love her. It’s hard to say more than that, she makes me happy as a person and we work well together. I feel like it would be a missed opportunity.”