Friday, February 4, 2011

A Lesson in Geography

This is where my boyfriend lives:
Sippin' his Starbucks and hanging with the cast of Grey's Anatomy
This is where I live:
The City of Brotherly Cheese Steaks
Spoiler alert: there is not here. Yes, we are in a long distance relationship. Excuse me, that didn't come out right. We're in a looooooooooooooooooooooong distance relationship. So lets quantify long here (its a math lesson too, lucky you): 2,900 miles long. 47 hours in the car, long.  6 hours (on a good day) in an airplane, long. And according to Google maps, a 37 day and 10 hour walk, long. And believe me, I feel every mile of it. 

Many couples, some of you I presume, have found themselves in a long distance relationship at one point or another. But our situation is...unique, to say the least. Distance has been the "other woman" in our relationship from its conception, and let me tell you, it's getting a little crowded. 

Although my boyfriend and I grew up in the same hometown, our relationship didn't begin until last Christmas as a result of coincidence. Right place, right time I guess you could say (cue the romantic comedy...I'll be played by anyone but Drew Barrymore). After spending only 5 days together, and learning he lived in another universe Washington state, while I was spending my days in tropical Syracuse, NY, we left things very open. Like, WIDE open. We've talked about this many times since, and neither of us really expected to even continue talking let alone start up a relationship. I mean, what would be the use? It had heartbreak written all over it. Well, I guess we were both gluttons for punishment, because we never stopped. Everything happened very organically. There was no big talk about being exclusive (neither of us wanted to see anyone else), or when we really began dating (no anniversary here). In a weird way it was just understood. We spent months just talking. Skyping. Calling. I guess that was a blessing in disguise. We learned everything about one another. It's all we could do! Any sort of physical relationship was out of sight in the immediate future. We became the only person in each others lives. And then there it was... the black cloud over shiny new relationship. Oh yeah, those 2,900 miles.

At this point, I'd had experience in one other long distance relationship. A short long distance relationship (can you say 0-1?). During our brief stint, my former boyfriend and I were able to see each other about once a month, and all travel could be done via car. Man, if I only knew how good I had it. If I tried to see my boyfriend once a month now, I would have no kidneys or blood left. And that would probably only pay for my airfare until about ohhh, month 3.This new venture was a beast of its own. I couldn't wrap my head around it. When would we see each other? How would we make it work? What would I tell my friends?

It was May, almost four and a half months since Christmas, before my boyfriend was able to make the trip to Syracuse to see me. To see me for the first time since January 1st. I was such a jumble of emotions. Excited, but mostly nervous. Nervous that something would have changed. That what I had just poured all of my time and emotion into for close to half a year would be a big disappointment. That we wouldn't know how to act in person. Petrified we wouldn't know how to hold hands, or be a couple. But thankfully, it was the complete opposite..

Our relationship now is all about maintenance. Maintaining our commitment, our routine. Is it a struggle? Absolutely. Do I have bouts of frustration? Whoa is me moments? Envy for couples not separated by a sea of miles? Yes, yes......YES! If you would have told me a year and a half ago that I would basically be dating my web cam, and would have the pleasure of seeing my boyfriend every two months, I wouldn't know what to think. We are, however, lucky enough to have a time line, which takes a little of the sting out. This distance isn't forever.

So why do it all? For the same reason you do anything you love--you can't imagine what your life would be like NOT doing it. Challenges present themselves in all shapes and forms. This is my challenge. 

Ultimately it all comes down to this: if my choice is this, or nothing... I choose this everyday of the week (and twice on Sunday). 


  1. Couldn't agree more! In the midst of panic attacks with my webcam and internet failure, I always take a breath and try to remember how lucky I am. Thankful that I wasn't in a long distance relationship 50 years ago! Or 5 for that matter.

  2. :)This is cute! I don't have 2,900 miles or even the sea to keep Mike and I apart, but it's still hard. I agree, I choose this too.