A Long Distance Kind of Love

Long Distance Love

Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough.

Distance is not only a bitch, it’s a heartbreaker, too. It can even toy with your sanity at times. But distance can work, a relationship that covers miles upon miles can be sustained – it just requires the right amount and the right kind of effort. My past (to clarify, one is current and one is past) two relationships have both been long distance ones – we are/were apart from each other far more than we are together. And it’s nice to know I’m not alone here – over 15 million people in the United States are doing this whole long distance thing right along with me. Although I am quite proud that my current significant other and I have beat some of the odds. For instance, most long distance relationships end after four and a half months – we are over a year into this and still going strong. And for those that make it past those treacherous four months, they expect to be back in a “short-distance” relationship (i.e. living together) within 14 months – again, not the case for us – we will be about two years into our relationship before we can consider living together.

The relationship I have now is built upon phone calls and text messages and Skype dates where I’ll sit in front of the computer screen eating my chili while he eats his turkey burgers with mangled garlic. It’s built upon the little moments we do share together – laughing as I introduce him to Friends, and then realizing his sarcasm mirrors Chandler’s perfectly, baking brownies at 3 a.m., sitting next to him on the bathroom counter while he shaves. It’s built upon a lot of promises, commitments that only him and I know, those secret vows and pledges to make this relationship succeed. But it’s also built upon a lot of frustration, throwing wishes into wells and fountains yearning for our situations to be different, finding ways to bridge the gap between distance and intimacy. Sometimes it’s a struggle. To be frank, it’s a pain in the ass. But it’s more than worth it. And that’s one of the most crucial things you need to make any long distance relationship work, especially if it’s also a long-term relationship. You need the belief that this is worth it, that the other person who is many miles away, is the only person you want – there’s no half-assing it here.

For a lot of the time, communication is all we really have – which means we talk, a lot. Like I said, text messages, Skype dates, phone calls during lunch breaks – anything and everything, we share it. In any long distance relationship, it’s important to share as much as possible – you have to incorporate that other individual into your daily life as much as you can because he or she can’t physically be with you. Every day since we entered into this relationship, I start and end every day with him – a text in the morning and then a good night phone call that we never miss. My boyfriend is my best friend, so I’ll share the most mundane things with him like when I eat a foul-tasting avocado to the times where I am seconds away from sticking a tack through my eye because my manager has her micromanaging hat on today, and that in itself may spark temporary insanity. He’s always there for me – he cries out in disgust at my avocado story and he’s also the person that talks me down from the eye gouging. Something I’m sure no one wants to see. Pun fully intended there, by the way.

After being together for over a year now, he knows my mood inside and out. He can detect it even in a simple text message. And speaking of text messages, in any long distance relationship, it is also important to send “sexy” text messages – I actually think people should send their significant other those messages regardless of distance, but that’s just me. Sex and horniness definitely don’t understand what distance is – hormones are not sympathetic to our situation, so we do what we must.

And while it is nice to have some alone time – like not having to suffer from an internal debate of whether to cuddle under the blankets with him or head off to the gym in the morning – I still find myself missing him like crazy each and every day, counting down the days and weeks until I get to see him again. And in some ways, being in a long distance relationship has actually brought us closer. Not physically, obviously, but we don’t get bogged down by everyday crap – instead, I talk to him about politics, about what he thinks of the ends of the universe and if those ends actually exist, about our future careers and goals and what our lives will be like together once the distance is gone – that’s some profound shit right there. But in all honesty, I don’t think it’s the distance that keeps us interesting. I think it’s him and me that make us interesting – I can’t wait for the day where I get to share a house or an apartment with him, and I have no doubt we’ll still be having those same kinds of conversations.

I’ve also realized that while long distance just full on blows, it has also reached another level of happiness I never knew existed. That moment when I first get to see him again – it’s always another wonderful hello whether I’m using the key he’s given me to get into his apartment or he’s stepping out of the train at the station that’s right across from my office. He embraces me with a hug and a kiss, and I finally have my other half again.

No, it sure as hell is not effortless, but you don’t have to be tough as nails to get through the distance, you just have to know it’s worth fighting for, you have to let each other grow apart so you can grow together, you have to be secure with what you have, you have to be honest and open, and most importantly, you have to be in love.

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