Going the distance: NU long-distance couples get creative for Valentine’s Day


Photo illustration by Noah Frick-Alofs

Chicago and San Francisco landmarks.

Megan Munce, Reporter

For many, the LEGO Movie might not scream “romantic.” Yet for Weinberg first-year Jacob Ohara and his long-distance girlfriend, Daniella Lumkong, the LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part will bring the two back together on Valentine’s Day.

The movie is special to them, Ohara said, because the two had enjoyed the first installment so much. He also plans to take Lumkong, who attends Stanford University, to the Chicago Botanic Garden so they can “do something kind of outdoorsy” even in the cold weather.

Like Ohara and Lumkong, Northwestern students in long-distance relationships are getting creative when it comes to celebrating the holiday.

There are 460 miles between Northwestern University and Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where Medill sophomore Vicky Woodburn’s boyfriend attends. This weekend, however, the two will meet in the middle in Indianapolis to celebrate the most romantic day of the year.

Woodburn and her boyfriend, Joel Krznaric, were friends for three years and went on casual dates for one year before they finally decided to make it official three days before their high school graduation.

“Most of the summer, I kept telling everyone, ‘No, it’s just a summer fling, we’re just going to break up at the end of the summer, but here we are, two years later,” she said.

Ohara, too, said he didn’t originally think he and Lumkong would date long-distance in college.

“I don’t think either of us wanted to break up, but it just kind of made sense,” he said. “When we’re at a time when you want to be going out and spending time with new friends, you don’t want to have to go back and call someone.”

He said the two struggled between their feelings for each other and the difficulty of being in a long-distance relationship for four years. But after seeing her again over Thanksgiving break, Ohara said he realized he still had strong feelings for her.

Nina Fridman, a first-year in Weinberg, only met her long distance boyfriend Raam Tambe the summer before her first year in college. The two met working at a high school debate camp.

Now she says being involved with college debate has allowed the two to see each other frequently, although tournaments are often hectic. But the two also make time outside of debate, such as when Fridman traveled to Dartmouth College last weekend to visit.

“I kind of miss just doing just normal things, only getting to see each other for a couple days at a time and feeling like you have to fit in a whole normal relationship into those couple of days,” she said.

Fridman advises potential long-distance relationships to be realistic about their expectations and the differences between dating normally and dating long-distance.

To Woodburn, the key to a successful long-distance relationship is a lasting friendship.

“Especially with long-distance, you need to have that friend foundation first because a lot of relationships I think rely too much on the physical aspect, and obviously you can’t when you’re in long distance,” she said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @meganmuncie

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