I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about long distance relationships. It’s not something I’ve really ever done before, as I’ve always either settled for what was near or simply didn’t need to look elsewhere.
Now I’m with someone who means the world to me. She’s someone who has a heart of gold. She’s someone who doesn’t simply tolerate me, she absolutely gets me. She’s got an amazing personality and makes me laugh more than I have in years. She’s someone who makes me feel comfortable being myself….and for me that’s a HUGE deal.
The downside? She lives 3 hours away.
As I get ready to go see this morning for the first time in a month, I think back to our last meeting. We had both been kicking around the pros and cons of our situation for awhile, especially as it appeared that things are moving forward in a very positive way between the two of us. It seemed a little daunting when we thought about it: I’ve got a son here in New Brunswick and she’s got two beautiful girls in Nova Scotia. At this point, neither one of us were planning on moving anywhere. So really…what was the point of even staying together??
Well, one night in early January I had a pretty amazing conversation with two really good friends. They had gotten engaged over the holidays and I knew that they had experience with the “long distance thing” so I asked them about it. What they told me gave me a tremendous amount of hope.
She lived in Digby, Nova Scotia and he lived in Moncton, New Brunswick for four years. FOUR years. When they first started dating, she had planned on moving to Africa after she completed college. AFRICA. They really had no idea why they continued the long distance thing other than it simply felt like the right thing to do at the time.
They talked almost every day…even if it was only for five minutes. They did their best to see each other (a 6-hour one-way trip) once every two or three weeks. They sometimes felt tremendous pain when they couldn’t be there to hug the other or comfort them or love them in person. They did their best to make the most of their time together by having “honeymoons” once or twice every single month.
All the while never knowing if they would end up together.
The bottom line is that they told me that when you find somebody…somebody that truly makes you happy…you can’t just walk away from it. You don’t know what’s going to happen and you can’t predict the future. But happiness…true, real happiness…usually only comes around once in a lifetime. If you think you’ve found it, you can’t just let it go.
So here I am…totally willing to do the long-distance thing for as long as…well…for as long as it goes, I suppose. Will it hurt sometimes? Sure…it’s been hurting quite a bit over the past four weeks. Will it be brutally difficult sometimes? No doubt…but we’re doing our best to make the most of the tools at our disposal (i.e. email, instant messaging, webcam, phone, etc.). Will the constant “honeymoons” sometimes shadow the potential of a “real” relationship? Possibly.
And I’ll be damned if I simply let it go because of a 3-hour drive.