Relationships are tough. Now add thousands of miles into the mix, and it becomes even more complicated. I admit, long distance relationships aren’t easy, but being almost five years into my nearly 1,000-mile relationship, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
In 2012, I had a blog on Tumblr that revolved around that embarrassing “fangirl” type of content. I was scrolling through and saw a post from someone who attended a concert of an artist who I was, and still am, obsessed with. I decided to message this person to hear about their experience at the show. We began messaging frequently, getting to know each other little by little. Now I have to mention that falling in love with this “said person” was not my intention, nor theirs. Over the course of a few months we began to develop strong feelings for one another. After months of texting, Skyping and calling, we decided we finally wanted to meet face-to-face. But there’s a catch; I lived in Wisconsin, and she lived in New York.
Explaining to my mother that I wanted to fly a thousand miles away to meet a complete stranger was really interesting, to say the least. While it was hard enough to get my mom on board for my cross-country mission, there was a whole other side to the story that I had to tell her. By the way, mom, I’m gay. While my sexuality was always something I was fairly sure on, there wasn’t a soul besides my own that knew: not a parent, not a friend, no one. How was I going to tell my mother that I was flying across the country to meet a complete stranger, but more so, a girl I had fallen in love with yet had never met? It took her time to get used to, but luckily I have an accepting mother who supports me and my sexuality.
Over the course of these past five years me and my girlfriend have spent countless amounts of money on flights to see each other. While not all long distance relationships allow for this, I realize we are lucky. Over the past three summers, in between college semesters, I live with my girlfriend in New York for the summer. The three months spent in the Big Apple give us a sense of what life will be like when I move there permanently.
While many claim that long distance relationships don’t last, my relationship proves they can. The miles in-between may seem separating, but they actually allow us to have an added layer of strength and appreciation for time spent together. While communication is dire in any relationship, it is especially important in a cross-country relationship. Thankfully, living in 2017 allows for us to have consistent communication throughout the day; FaceTime is a gift from the gods when you have miles between you and your partner. A quick five-minute FaceTime chat could be a lifesaver at the end of a long, rough day, when you don’t have the convenience of going home and getting a big hug from the person you love. Having complete open and honest communication is something that will make a long distance relationship rise or crumble. Understanding and accommodating the needs of your partner when they’re halfway across the country is something that has proven to be quite important in my relationship.
Planning when the miles between each other will soon change into foot steps is crucial. Having a timeframe of when one partner will move to end long distance is an important goal to set. By the time I make my big move to NYC, we’ll have weathered five and a half years of long distance. It’s almost as if we’re professionals at this whole long distance thing now. We’ve known from the day we met each other that we’d one day have a life in the big city together; that is what keeps us going.
I often get asked, “How do you make it work?” The answers are quite simple:
1: You must always communicate with your partner; discuss your needs and concerns.
2: Try to always have a trip planned to see each other. Knowing when you will see your loved one always makes the distance more manageable.
3: FaceTime, FaceTime, FaceTime! I cannot begin to express the importance of video calling. Being able to see your partner’s face, even if just through a phone screen, is the closest thing to their physical presence. Plan to watch a movie together or just talk about your day.
4: Plan for the future; have a set timeframe of when the distance will end. Having an end goal makes the miles worth it.
When the bond is undeniable, the distance gets kicked to the backburner. Don’t limit your soulmate to just one area code.