For those of you playing along, I am in a long distance relationship. We’re 905 miles apart, and while that’s not as far as some people are, most days it feels like we’re on opposite sides of the Earth.
It’s hard, but not impossible. Mostly, it’s dealing with the frustration of not being able to be together on a regular basis. I can’t just call him up and ask him to stop by after work. I can’t just show up to surprise him with carry out when he’s had a bad day. I don’t get to fall asleep next to him very often. I don’t even have the irritation associated with cancelled plans or one of us being terribly late. And before you say I should be grateful for that, you should know that there are few things in this world that I wouldn’t give up just to have those opportunities, because they area normal part of every relationship.
My life with him is very different from my life with anyone I’ve ever been with in the past. It’s phone calls that last until the sun comes up. It’s counting days in between visits and trying to fill those empty spaces. Today, it’s knowing he’ll be here in four days and those four days will be the longest of my life, yet the four days that he’s here will be over in what will seem like minutes.
It’s being truly happy when I see pictures of my friends with their significant others, smiling and having a good time together while also being incredibly jealous about it because I don’t get to have that. Some days those images are more than I can handle and I don’t look. It’s just too hard.
Every day in between is the same. It’s a whole lot of missing him and wishing for time to pass. It’s sweet messages about love and missing each other. It’s talk about what it will be like to finally not have this distance between us. It’s complaining about our days, sharing the good moments, and really just connecting over the miles.
It’s making each other laugh and smile, though not being able to see that we’ve had that effect on the other. It’s understanding that we both have things to do outside of this. It’s filling those empty times when he’s busy and I’m not, and I’m sure he has that same issue.
It’s putting all of your trust in someone that they aren’t out there doing who knows what with who knows who. It’s talking through the hard parts of living life without the daily physical presence of each other, and it’s not always easy or pretty.
It’s an exercise in patience, for certain. Patience isn’t one of my strong suits. I’m learning, but I’m not sure one can really learn to be patient.
It’s waking up with a bit of sadness and lonely feelings until that first message of the day that reminds me I’m not really alone. It’s going through each day being really happy for the crazy circumstances that brought us together, and being grateful that he saw just as much potential in it as I did, so we both just keep putting one foot in front of the other. There’s the talking and pictures and general communicating with each other that most people in relationships take for granted, but right now it’s what we have.
It’s getting ready for bed and staring at the half of the bed that’s gone undisturbed for 6 weeks and not wanting to get in because it’s cold and lonely. It’s knowing that the last sound I hear at night will be his voice, even if it’s just on the phone. It’s saying good night and hanging up and then just lying there and trying to fall asleep with a horrible sadness and emptiness that feels like the worst breakup you could ever imagine. It’s sleeping and dreaming and waking up with that bit of sadness again and doing it all over again, waiting for that first message.
It’s being excited for the times that you’re actually together, and then trying to cram two months worth of shared meals, laughter, fun, conversation, and sex into a long weekend.
It’s crying as it gets closer to the end of that time together, even though you still have an entire day before you have to worry about it. It’s horrible goodbyes at the airport and a genuine difficulty in letting go, because you have to stop holding each other, as one of you has to go through airport security.
It certainly isn’t a circumstance I ever thought I’d find myself in, and yet here I am. And through all of the frustration and loneliness, I’m happy. I wouldn’t wish a long distance relationship on anyone, but in the same breath, it’s the most amazing thing that’s happened in my life since my son was born. I’m not full of regret or doubt. I’m just left counting the days and right now, I’m at four. Four days until he’s here and I can see him and touch him. Four…