Distance and Fonder Hearts
In the past, I always said that long-distance relationships had no chance of working. I mean, with the constant need for physical touch and shared experiences, how else could it? With that aspect of the relationship gone, how else could a well-rounded partnership be formed?
Then, I found myself in one.
It’s funny how the universe makes one eat their own words. Yes, the irony isn’t lost on me. But, I’m here. And there’s nothing left for me to do but to make the best out of it.
I can tell you that it’s hard. My God, you can’t believe just how hard. You sometimes wonder if the entire sordid thing is even worth it. Then there’s the constant barrier of time and space. I kinda kills me each time I feel the urge to touch him during a conversation and suddenly realize that the only thing I’ll end up touching is the screen of my computer. Yes, the reality is as cold as the aluminum and glass that make up my Mac.
So why stay?
Yes, there are a lot of things you can’t do (that other people take for granted). I bid our regular movie dates good bye. It was months after he left before I even went inside a movie theater again. I bid dinner dates with each of our families good bye. Again, I found it hard to have dinner with his family because I couldn’t look at them without remembering him. It was months before I saw them again. And in a nut shell, I bid spontaneity good bye. Now, each trip is planned to the T because we have to make the most out of the limited time we have together.
But there are good points too. The true beauty of humankind lies in our ability to adapt. This becomes so evident when we are put in situations such as having to survive a long-distance relationship. So you learn to value the moments spent together. A simple ice cream shared outside a corner stall of Ben and Jerry’s suddenly becomes the best 15-minute date. An ordinary movie (in my case, it was Ruby Sparks) becomes your favorite simply because it is one of the few ones you can watch together now. You learn to listen and soak up everything they say to you. An account of a daily routine becomes exciting simply because you value each word uttered about it.
Silence becomes so loud without words to fill it. Because you have no touch to rely on, only words fill up the void made by the spaces between you. He and I have some 1115 kilometres between us. Technology becomes your best friend; internet fluctuations, your greatest bane.
You learn to trust – both the other and yourself. Trust that you will stay, trust that the other will too. Trust that you will both be faithful despite the temptation not to be.
There comes a new understanding as well – that things can mean two things at once to you. Airports become a place of both love and hate. Love when you’re arriving, hate when you’re leaving. You learn the balance between holding on and letting go perfectly. You pull that line between you tight enough so that it doesn’t fall slack, but you give that same line enough space so it doesn’t snap because it’s too taut. It’s like flying a kite.
You’re living in a constant state of flux.
You prove an old saying true: that distance makes the heart grow fonder. The caveat people fail to mention, however, is that this only holds true when commitment is added to the mix. You have to commit – to share, to understand, to love, to forgive, to trust, and to live fully.
As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve learned to love so much more. Love my life, love him, love my family, and most of all, love myself. The greatest thing about long-distance relationships is that you grow individually. You grow as you. You find out the lengths you’re willing to go to commit. You limits, your strengths, your joys, and your fears – you find all these out when you’re with someone, but not quite.
It boils down to this, I guess (cheese alert!): If love is true, no distance can ever snap the ties between two hearts. So, really, distance is the true test.
I wouldn’t wish this distance on anyone else. But if the chance were to arise, take it. Be brave and see if your relationship will pass the test.
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams.
True enough, Art, true enough.
Photo credit: shelovesmagazine.com
Photo used under the Fair Use Exemption of the IP Code.