“HELLO? Can you see me? I’m grainy again? No! Oh there, finally, I found a spot.” And then the line disconnects, which in FaceTime language means you’ll never get to be reconnected ever again. So you just call again and repeat the process.
This has been a constant battle for me lately. I have read rants about how poor the Internet connection is in our progressive third world country but I have never really felt wrath for it until I found myself in the middle of an extremely choppy Valentine’s Day date while switching among three applications, none of which were better than the other.
Alas, the story of my long distance love affair. And although Valentine’s Day turned out to be the best one ever for me, my story of rage over the Internet is now a common thing. In today’s ever changing landscape of easier travel, multinational companies, and more opportunities to work outside one’s home country, it’s not unusual to come across someone from halfway across the world who changes your life for the better. So against all odds, also known as “the distance,” you decide to go for it.
And since we don’t live in One Tree Hill, it’s highly unlikely that everything is instantly picture perfect. You have to deal with touching the screen when all you want to do is show affection, aka lambing, talk to yourself when the other one is asleep, and painfully count the days until you see each other again. Those are the major pitfalls when it comes to long distance relationships and it all involves one thing: wanting to be together physically when you can’t yet due to circumstances.
While the situation may not be ideal, I am actually grateful for where I am now. Most people look at me with the most appalled look on their faces when I say that I am in a fully, committed relationship with someone who lives 9,000 miles away but, I am probably closer to him more than anyone within a three mile radius.
Because as much as long distance relationships are difficult, they also foster you to engage in conversation. We can’t spend our weekends in the beach or going out on a physical date, so we spend hours talking. And for me, that’s exactly the way it should be.
My boyfriend and I talk about everything: God, music, jobs, dreams, corny jokes, cheesy yet entertaining YouTube videos, our families, and the future without ever being bored.
We can also spend hours in silence while we work on our own stuff without being pressured to fill in the gaps of silence. We have learned to communicate how we feel and get over fights quickly (just one fight, so far).
And while FaceTime may never make up for weekends spent together physically, we are quite content with where we are at this point. We both believe that God makes all things work together for good in His time. So in the mean time, we trust. Our patience is being fully tested but it has been said over and over again that as you wait for things, you learn to appreciate it more.
At the end of the day, whether you are in a relationship that is similar to mine or in a “regular one,” what truly makes it work is not the distance but the patience and understanding you can offer. While no relationship is a fairytale, it can be when you both decide to love unconditionally, let the little things go and put the other one first.
Easier said than done on most days but, God’s strength can pretty much overcome all things and for that, we’re both grateful.
At the end of the day, who you love and who you stay with is a choice and as I always tell him, I’d rather spend one real, full day with him than anyone else who I can spend 365 days with physically.
I am fully enjoying the choice I’ve made, crappy Internet connection and all, because that’s what love is: making a choice and sticking with it enthusiastically.
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