I’d like to thank OITNB for inspiring this post. As most of us know, Piper goes to prison, which involves leaving her poor fiancée alone at home for 15 months. As strange as it is, this is considered a type of long distance relationship.
I think half of the enjoyment I receive from this show deals with the fact that I too, am in a long distance relationship. And honestly, it’s refreshing to see it onscreen. But just so we’re clear, I’m not in jail nor am I involved in a relationship remotely similar to the characters in the show. Also, kudos to all you Army wives because you’re on a whole different level that I fully respect. Power to you, I know it’s hard.
My boyfriend lives in Oklahoma. I live in California. We’ve been dating for 3 1/2 years. 1 of those years has been spent apart, and it’s been one of the most challenging elements in my life. He’s earning a PhD and will be there for another 4 years, so positivity runs weary at times. BUT, I can also say that it has been one of the greatest adventures and eye-opening experiences of my lifetime thus far.
I’m in the worst year of my 20’s (23), and the thought of not having my best friend by my side was a nightmare in itself. I dreaded the idea of not being able to hug the one I loved after stressful days at my new full time job. I soon realized that I needed to put my big girl pants on and suck it up. I think there’s a word for it – independence.
He and I were physically inseparable before he left, and now I sometimes sleep alone in an empty apartment night after night. I could never sleep without someone in the house, and now I do it all the time! I’m more organized, healthier, becoming closer with my girlfriends and family, and focusing on me and my goals. The best part? I can do whatever I please, and know that there’s someone many, many miles away who is still able to take care of my heart in the most beautiful way.
Newfound Levels of Appreciation
We’ve all been there. You get off work, call up your dude, pick a place to eat, go home, watch a movie, cuddle, and call it a day. Then you put it on repeat. I’m not saying that companionship and regularity aren’t freaking awesome (because they are, and I’m jealous), but the flame is at a minimum. With long distance, the fire has never burned brighter. I’ll admit that talking on the phone and exchanging cutesy pics do get old after awhile, but the passion within the relationship is inextinguishable.
I still get butterflies after 3 years. Are you kidding me? I’m nervous the first hour I’m with him after a long period of absence. And you know what we do? We hike! Cook! Rent the worst scary movies! Find music festivals to go to! Laugh uncontrollably! No matter what, the relationship is always exciting. I look forward to those days with him, I dream about the adventures, and I count down the days until I get to be with my most favorite person. He still drives me nuts at times, but you always appreciate the other because you have the time and absence to do so.
I’ve been so cheesy throughout this whole post, so here’s my last segment of good vibes towards long distance relationships: I fall more in love with him everyday. And if you’re in a healthy long distance relationship, I’m sure you can agree. Like Winnie The Pooh said, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” You got that right, Winnie! I ball my eyes out every plane ride home and kiss goodbye. No amount of Oklahoma shaped products from Etsy will make me feel whole again. It’s who you’re with that allows you to hold on, keep going, and never give up. I feel that I’m at an age where I know well enough to never give something up that’s worth fighting for.
Wanna know how you truly feel about someone? Go away for a few months. The foundation of your relationship will truly be put to the test.
In conclusion, don’t be sad or get scared (easy to say, harder to do…I know). If it’s meant to be, it will be.
Que sera, sera.
Oh, and I really hope Piper and Larry get back together.