Sophomore Zack Kirschbaum and his girlfriend, Lindsay Vanek, have an unusual relationship. Kirschbaum, a psychology major at CSU, has been dating Vanek, who lives in Oregon, for the last year and two months. Technology has been instrumental in their relationship because without it, as Kirschbaum says, “I honestly believe that there wouldn’t have been a relationship.”
Kirschbaum met Vanek in high school when he was running for a national office for an organization in California. Vanek was a state officer from Oregon who happened to be one of the judges.
“I don’t have much memory of actually meeting her at the conference, we Facebooked each other after the conference and that’s how we really began to get to know each other. We were great friends with each other for two years before we decided to actually date,” Kirschbaum said.
How do they make it work? According to Kirschbaum, trust is the biggest part of their relationship.
“We have to be understanding about each other’s schedule and other commitments, and [we] also just trust each other and know we are being honest with each other and genuinely care about each other,” Kirschbaum said.
Like every relationship, these two lovebirds have had their struggles. But unlike most couples, Kirschbaum and Vanek are solely reliant on digital media and technology to communicate which makes things a little more interesting to negotiate.
“[The most difficult challenge] was not being able to interact in person; not being able to see how the other person interacts around their friends and family, investing the time while also taking care of your other responsibilities,” Kirschbaum said.
The difficulty that surrounds long-distance relationships is obvious: lack of interpersonal contact. But, Kirschbaum says they make it work through Skype, Facebook, text and Twitter. The digital access that people have these days is changing the way we see each other and the way we relate. For Kirschbaum and Vanek, it is a way to really help their relationship when they may not be able to see each other every day. It has been instrumental in their meeting and their continuing relationship, and they probably aren’t the only ones. In that mindset, through emerging technologies, anything is possible.
“[To others:] be patient. Sometimes it gets hard, but if you truly love or care about the person, then it will all be worth it in the long run,” Kirschbaum said.
College Avenue Reporter Kelsey Shroyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org