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“It’s definitely possible, but it’s rare, because the chances of you knowing who you want to be with at 40 when you’re 17 are kind of low,” said Tracey Steinberg, a dating coach. And it’s worth the wait if it’s real.” Going the (long) distance is not easy: Challenges including overcoming communication barriers, resisting the temptation of a fun, new social life and scraping together the finances to visit each other at separate schools. But the next time you grumble about a spotty Skype connection or a pricey plane ticket, think about Barbara Gee and Gordon Baranco.The pair got together at age 16, despite the misgivings of their parents (Barbara is Chinese-American, and Gordon is African-American), who threatened to disown them.The first typically consists of two partners tied together simply because they want to be in a relationship with anything that moves, not caring about the person they are dating.Zero percent of these “relationships” survive after the rush of being with someone dies down.The second reason a relationship may not last, although unintentional, is a partner using their significant other to make themselves feel better and give themselves a sense of satisfaction/reassurance.

They broke up a bit, dated other people at the suggestion of their parents, but stayed in close touch.For them, “respect, trust and communication” are the keys that kept them together through separate schools and beyond.Today, they’re happily married, living in California, and their daughters are 6, 4 and 2.“We were only about 100 miles apart, so we were able to see each other on weekends and over the summers, but what happened was because there was so much against us in the beginning, we did try to date other people, and split up," Gee said."Our parents insisted that we make sure that we looked at other people, to make sure this relationship would be a strong one.

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