Every phone call puts a smile on my face, every weekend brings excitement to the end of a long work-week, every moment usually spent arguing is now spent laughing. No, this is not the honeymoon stage of a fleeting, fanciful relationship: this is loving long-distance.
Obnoxious, nauseating lovey-dovey-ness aside, I am surprised that a circumstance that seemed so unwanted and unbearable two years ago to me is now almost a welcomed vacation from the normal stagnancy of a long-term relationship. When we first started out, Brandon and I spent an entire school year living within two minutes of each other, free to visit whenever we pleased. Of course, it was a struggle to have those two minutes quickly stretched to two hours distance with Brandon in Mission Viejo and me in the San Fernando Valley and only an occasional weekend here-and-there as our opportunities to spend time together.
A miserable job and an uncharacteristic pessimism kept me from savoring the phone conversations and the wonderful albeit short weekends we did have. By the end of the summer I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel. I was sick of the distance, sick of the strain and sick of making Brandon sick of me with all of my complaining. Thankfully, coming back to school cheered me up and had me feeling like my old lovesick, carefree self again and thankfully things went back to normal for Brandon and I.
My mom always tells me that absence makes the heart grow fonder-blah, blah, blah-and although to some extent it does seem that a little bit of time and a little bit of space from your S.O. (significant other) does do a relationship good, I believe that because we know this long-distance arrangement only lasts for a short period of time, we are better able to deal with the distance and make the best of it.
The 411 on long-term, long-distance loving is that it usually doesn’t work. Lovers get bored, lovers get mad, lovers get antsy and take out their anger about not being able to be together on each other and poof—there goes that relationship. Some couples are able to defy low long-distance expectations and they create something that works for them, but more often than not, distance leads to disaster.
Living far away from each other definitely does not make any relationship easier, but there are certain compromises, decisions and attitudes that go along with the arrangement, which really allow a couple to see whether or not they have the fortitude to weather the storms and tolerate the inconveniences that will inevitably pop up throughout couple-hood.
My friend and I were discussing how she and her boyfriend of four years deal with the distance and we both agreed that it takes patience and understanding, but a lot of the time the phone calls are more meaningful and the time spent with each other is more precious and fun. This is because a) you miss each other and b) when there is so little time, you really want to make the most of it by going out and doing something different rather than staying in and doing the same ol’ thing.
Don’t get me wrong I am still suffering the sorrow of having two hours, 80 miles, and who knows how much money in gas between us.
I still get sad when Brandon can’t come to the Valley to see me for the weekend and I have to wait through yet another week, missing him and not being able to do anything about it, but complain.
However, time has brought me tolerance, wisdom has brought me the will to wait and love has brought me a new perspective on long-distance relationships.
Filed Under: Features