It is our 53rd monthsary today, me and the boyfriend, so I thought I’ll blog about relationships, long distance relationships in particular. Having met during our college years, it was inevitable that we will have to go through a lot of changes including, of course, living in different cities.
I never imagined myself agreeing with this kind of set-up, but well here I am.
The idea of not seeing each other as often as we could was not something I was ready to commit myself into from the beginning. Long distance relationships, in my opinion before, are relationships grounded on the idea of love but not of love itself; basically a relationship of illusions and fraud. Cedric hated my cynicism and often mentioned that just like his parents, who are working as well in different cities, what we have is greater than the distance separating us and it should not in any way be a reason for us to end the years that we have been together.
Sweet, yes. But come on, let’s be honest: no one will willingly choose to be away from their loved ones; all couples, including us, just have to make it work somehow.
And often times, it feels empty.
It sucks not being able to hug him when he feels down, to hold his hand when he feels like giving up, to kiss him when he feels scared of how the distance is tearing you two apart. It sucks seeing your friends go out on dates with their boyfriends, and it feels pathetic wanting to watch a romantic comedy on the cinema alone. People will tell you how you should learn to rely on your own or persuade you to have a set of friends to cheer you up, but I have relied on my own for so long that there are times when I just wish he can be here literally in a heartbeat and even your closest friends would not cure the ache you have for not seeing him for a long time.
Still, instead of giving up, you fight.
But this blog isn’t a pity party for all people who find themselves stuck in the same situation as I am so instead of writing about the innumerable number of reasons why long distance relationship sucks, let’s focus on the values one learns from it:
1. You learn the value of communicating because no long distance relationships will survive without short yet substantial “what have you been up to today?” messages. You realize how trivial matters which you two might have took for granted before actually matters, like how his dinner was so late or how his sleep was too short. You notice nuances you barely knew was there, you hear how beautiful his voice is in the morning, and most importantly: you learn to listen and appreciate even the shortest of calls.
2. You start to cherish each moment and try to make the most out of the time you have together. Long weekends and holidays are no longer just about getting more sleep or studying for recitations and exam, but you try to plan the details of your out of town together or even just simple dates in restaurants you have never been before. And even when you are still unsure when you can see him again, it does not stop you from planning ahead because planning makes the time spent apart a little bit more bearable for you. The time you see him, even just for a few hours, make you realize how he is worth the wait.
3. You learn to trust you partner more. A lot of long distance relationships we see in televisions end up with breakups because of the infidelity on whichever side but in real life, you have to learn that not only are television shows full of clichés but more importantly, trust is the biggest gift you can give to your partner.
Worrying who he is with or what he’s doing every second will only cause paranoia and pointless arguments. As much as we find a hint of delight when we see our partner feel jealous, it becomes very tiresome when jealousy becomes a habit and he is starting to be suspicious of every person you are with.
On the other hand, this also means that you should learn the boundaries of friendship, especially between opposite gender. Considering how clueless I am with social conventions, what I do is to ask myself, how will I feel if Cedric is as friendly to another as I am right now? It helps a lot to place ourselves in the situation of another to be able to understand and empathize with your partner.
4. You mature, you grow up together. Cedric and I have been in countless fights over the span of time we have been together and often, it ended up with us breaking up. This time however I notice how different we have been in terms of carefully selecting what we say and picking up fights. Time has become a rare commodity for us and spending it fighting is definitely not going to help us survive the distance. Much to my surprise, having always been the stubborn and hot-tempered one, I learn to admit when I am wrong and to ask for forgiveness. As usual, he forgives and moves on as well.
So today I write for all who are desperately missing their partners and wishing to be with them the soonest. It is tough and I cannot really assure you that things will get better. Do know however, that perhaps even if it’s a total bullshit to say that love conquers all, there is still some hope left in long distance relationships. It’s a glass-half-full situation, you see.
In his words, and I hope this gives you all a tinge of hope as well, what is few years of being apart if we have a lifetime to spend together? Happy monthsary, love. Thank you for loving and being so patient with your stubborn girlfriend.