While I worked at it and passed with flying colors, I was never the best at math. It was never a strong suit of mine (English major, Hello!) but there are a handful of tricks that have remained engrained in my brain in the form of rhymes, songs and acronyms in order to recount equations.

Using the pop goes the weasel melody to remember the quadratic formula works even to this day, and I have yet to use that formula for anything outside of an algebra class, but alas these tips got me through those times of great strife before an exam.

The one formula I have returning to lately in my life is the one to measure distance.

D=R x T or Distance= Rate x Time

If you have the rate at which the object is moving, and the amount of time they are going for, you can measure the distance that was traveled.

Using algebra, if you have at least two of these variables, you can calculate the third missing variable.

You may be asking yourself “why the math lesson? What does an equation have to do with relationships?”

Like I said before, my thoughts have been returning to this formula for some reason unknown to me because of my recent status.

In my own personal life I have participated in long distance relationships.

My first experience was in college, attempting to stay connected with a high school sweet heart 1500 miles away in a different time zone.

Needless to say it didn’t work out.

However I do not blame the distance portion, while of course that didn’t make our year stint as a couple easy, there are other factors of personality, growth, change and maturity that added elements of incompatibility. Bottom line, we weren’t in high school anymore.

My latest experience is very recent and currently relevant.

I get comments that display a spectrum of attitudes towards this idea of long distance.

“It will never work”

“That is going to be really hard, how are you going to handle it?”

“If you think it can work, I say go for it”

“Good for you! I think you can definitely make it”

As someone who has gone through it before at a different time in my life, I don’t take this lightly. It is not something I chose to jump into recklessly and if I truly believed distance is “impossible” I wouldn’t put myself in this position. It was a calculated decision with many factors involved, not just a “follow your heart” scenario.

Because I calculated the many variables in my life both personally and geographically, I oddly kept seeing Distance = Rate x Time in my head.

But how do these variables actually factor into a metaphysical form of human relations?


Perhaps how long it would take to jump on a plane and see each other.

Distance= 3000 miles away

Rate= 600mph (average speed of a commercial plane)

Time= about 5 hours


Or maybe how much we can talk about in the 20 minutes we have to spare today after work.

Distance= 10,000 words (one decent conversation)

Rate= 500 words per minute

Time= 20 minutes


There are no variables to plug in that will calculate whether or not this will work for us or to decide whether or not distance is “doable”, but if your own calculations lead you to commit to this there are factors no one else but you can decide on to make it work.

Every couple is different and every person has their own expectations.

I am not that same 18 year old that went to college and texted throughout my day with insecurities.

There is no way to measure the distance we will go to make this work for us or the time we will last. We calculated what we would want and need and decided it was doable.

While I appreciate input, whether it is a cautionary comment or support, no one else can decide what works for me.

To those who say “distance never works” I would call you glass half empty, and to those who say “it isn’t that hard” I would call you naïve.

It can work, but it will never be just easy.

And if my calculations are correct my happiness isn’t dependent on one solitary person or relationship. That is the difference between being 18, new to college, unsure of who you are where you are going and what you want and being 22, heading forward in your career, sure of yourself and who you have become and certain of who you would want at your side through those moments.

Like I said, I was never the best at math but I know 2+2= 4, Distance= Rate x Time and I’ll solve this equation when I have the necessary variables.