When I was a freshman in college my boyfriend at the time went a few states away to play college basketball. Should I just stop there? Ok, I’ll continue. Four months later we broke up or shall I say, he said it was best if we wait until we can be in the same state again to continue our relationship…yea right. Someone had wandering eyes. I didn’t understand why distance had to complicate things. Shouldn’t this be simple? I love you, you love me, we wait, it works, the end. I guess I could blame it on age or immaturity or the desire to explore what seems like infinite options. Whatever his real reasoning was all I knew is we were finished and the idea of dating someone who was more than 20 miles away was unheard of. It’s funny how our minds work when we are broken. Willing to put a limit on aspects of our lives because we think the lesson we learned was to never be vulnerable again.
But here I am, X years later, deeply in love with a man 3,925 miles away. It has been 2 years and 2 months of pure joy and zero regrets. I have disposed of the negative connotation long distance relationships have. I have been asked countless times how I do it and sometimes I wonder the same thing! How do WE do it. Being so far apart comes with its obvious challenges, time zone differences, poor call connection, not being able to physically see each other for various activities, but there are a handful of benefits as well.
I believe what really helps us is that we are friends before anything. Well, we kind of have to be. The pressure to explore our physical bond was non-existent. Although we text often, the closest we can be to one another is hearing the sound of each other’s voices. Ever since I met him over two years ago, there hasn’t been a single day that’s passed where we did not speak. Call it excessive, call it whatever you’d like, but he is callin. There are no games. I know for a fact he is serious about me, trust is not an issue.
Another benefit for me is I get what feels like an extended honeymoon phase. You know when you meet someone and within a few months to a year you feel like you know everything about each other, you’re comfortable, you start leaving the bathroom door cracked when you, you know…but with a long distance relationship it’s different. When you finally see each other after months of waiting it’s like the first time each time. The butterflies, the nervousness, the anxiety, the appreciation of coexisting is magnified.
I don’t mean to paint a picture of butterflies dancing through dandelions and rainbows because I definitely cannot wait until we are finally together in the same country. But what I can say is that I feel closer and more connected to him than I did with an ex of mine who lived five miles away. What this experience has taught me is that distance is never the problem in relationships, it’s the people in them.
( to note: my boyfriend (now husband) came to the U.S. before I was able to post this, but I still wanted to share some thoughts about my long distance experience)