Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 20, 2015

Tyler and Jodie Distance Romance
First-year Tyler LaFollette and his girlfriend Jodie Carlson

Student Shares Secrets to Long-Distance Love

Kevin Hawley

Time, distance and lack of chemistry are just some of the problems couples deal with leaving high school for college. With many high school relationships just evaporating, a few students are trying to do the unthinkable and stay true to their sweethearts from afar. 

A six-hour drive and 332 miles separate Manchester first-year Tyler LaFollette and his high school girlfriend Jodie Carlson, a freshman at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

It’s a treat to join their phone conversation. The love they emit from just the words they speak gives the listener chills. It’s unmistakable: These two people are destined for each other despite studying several states apart.

After talking off and on for 2½ years, they finally started dating at the beginning of their senior year in high school. They spent almost the entire summer together, “which has made this drastic change all the more difficult,” Carlson said. 

“What we are doing is not for everybody; we see an absolute future together with a plan laid out of the near and distant future for us to be together,” LaFollette said. 

New technology certainly helps, especially phone calls, Facetime and emails. 

 “Instead of seeing the negatives of only getting to see each other once a month, we stay positive,” LaFollette said. “She keeps a countdown of when we will get to see each other again, and we always keep looking forward, our reward being to see each other at the end of each countdown.” 

The constant conversation and mushy gooey love talk (as they call it), keeps them close. 

“We’ve been through several rough patches. If that was taking a break, a big fight or anything else, I never felt that we wouldn’t be together,” Carlson said. “Taking a step back, accessing the situation and having faith that it will work out is important.”

 “Honestly, the final step sealing the deal has been college,” LaFollette said. “I feel closer to her than I did even with the distance because we are making it through the toughest part of our relationship so far – together.”