It’s hard. It’s really freaking hard.
Before college, my boyfriend and I would be together almost every day. We have been neighbors since we were twelve and only started dating in my junior year of high school. We would walk to each other’s houses every day, we would go to museums and gardens and cook together. We would walk my dog and pet his bunnies and cats, and help each other study. Our relationship was like a dream, and we loved every minute of it. Having a best friend to share your life with is beyond amazing. When he went to college, it was still a great relationship because he went to school about 20 minutes away from our homes and we were able to see each other every weekend. That lasted for a year, and then it was my turn to go to college. We both live in Pittsburgh and he goes to school there, but I ended up going to school in Ohio, at The College of Wooster. The college is an awesome school and I was, and still am, very excited to attend, but we had to face the fact that I was going to be living three hours away for months at a time. We would not be able to see each other and we would be facing this new chapter of our lives without the other, making it hard to share and relate our experiences. Even thinking about this concept of being separated but together used to make me cry. I would cry and the thought of love, at a sad song, at a quote on the internet or even a small text reminder saying I love you. I still cry sometimes now, but less so because we have recommitted.
At the beginning of the year, I was wary of our relationship because we had different futures in mind and were moving in different directions. I wasn’t ready to really commit to the concept of a long distance relationship. I am a very social person and I like to eliminate boundaries and being in a long distance relationship was definitely going to give me boundaries that other people don’t have coming into college. For a while, I spent my time wondering what our future together (or not together) would hold. I thought that maybe I should initiate a break and see where we end up or try to be together but with looser boundaries. This lasted for about a month or two and I couldn’t do it. I missed my best friend and his support and love, even if I hadn’t gotten to see it in real life for a while. I wanted him to experience my new life with me. I cried like I was mourning a loss. Before I was in denial, and then I was in grieving. I am a huge believer in communication, so of course I had to tell him everything I felt all of the time, and I had to tell him that I missed him and I wanted to really commit to make us work. Even if we dream of different goals for jobs and lifestyle, we decided to recommit to each other and whatever the other is going to come with. When you find love that is too precious to imagine losing, even if it is difficult to maintain from a distance, I think that it’s worth it to work at it and show them that they are important to you and you couldn’t imagine your life without them.
Long distance is more difficult that I could have imagined. He’s not here to walk to dinner with me and study in the library. He’s not here to warm my hands in the cold or make me tea when I’m sick, and he’s not here to celebrate accomplishments. We can no longer go to performances or take a weekend hike, or kiss the other on the head or wipe the tears off of their cheeks. But what we can do is be strong and know that we are doing this so that we are able to share all of these things in the future. I might be a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. It’s definitely not the end, but it is only one beginning out of hundreds more that we will have together. Missing you hurts, but loving you beats anything. LDR’s suck, but so does the patriarchy. We’ll get through it. I love you.