Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Let's talk about long-distance relationships

So I'm about a month into being "officially" in a relationship with the most wonderful man. He just happens to live 1,156 miles away from me, which comes with its fair share of speculation from some of the people in our lives. I don't know what their biggest fears/concerns are. Maybe that one of us has ulterior motives and is using the other or maybe that we're caught up in some artificial/lusty feelings or maybe that we're moving too fast or maybe that it's just not possible for us to overcome the distance and get to the same zip code long enough to be a long-term thing.

Well, I'm here to squash all that, so let's talk about long-distance relationships.

This year I have put myself out into the universe and entered the pool of eligible bachelorettes out on the dating field after several years of purposeful singleness and taking care of my daughter, myself, and the peace of our household. In that time, I have been on dates (or some version of that) with 8 dudes prior to Brice, and in the past couple years, I've talked to about quadruple that amount. (Side note: I have introduced Kimmy to like none of these guys, but I can't wait for her to meet Brice!)

My first point is this: there is no one like my boyfriend. No one. I've talked to enough dudes to know. Even the guys I've thought were the real deal turned out to either be duds (excuse the language, but this is colloquially known as being a fuckboy), a terribly incompatible match, on some whole other time-frame than me, or just terrified of commitment. Landing with these guys over and over again made me discover exactly what I want and deserve. So when that man materialized right in front of my eyes, you bet your ass I grabbed his hand and jumped!

Are we moving too fast? No. Honestly, I don't understand how anyone could think this. The distance forces us to crawl. We don't get to go out on dates every night or cuddle on the couch and watch movies together or hug or kiss or laugh together (sad face!) or anything that involves us being in the same proximity as each other. We spend a month at a time apart, book-ended by a long weekend spent together. So for all the spaces in-between, we spend our time talking...putting every single piece of information out on the table, getting to know every last thing about each other, and clinging onto each word. We memorize each other's minds, hearts, anxieties, fears, hopes, dreams, and goals. We text and talk on the phone and video chat and send silly snaps.

We talk about the tough stuff that many couples don't get to until much farther in their relationships: what ticks us off, what stresses us out, what we regret from our past, finances, credit scores, failures, our deepest insecurities, things we want to do and see but have maybe never felt supported enough to delve into. We take the time to learn how each other feels loved most, how to make the other one laugh, how to spot a bad day/mood and how to make it better. We make the best of what we have right here and now. There is no pressure, no tension. We're right on the same page. Our pace is perfect.

I say all this not because I feel like I need to justify my life choices to anyone, but to show that this is not a relationship I just randomly hopped into with no prior thought--and the same from his perspective. I have hoped and prayed for this man for years, and he's been looking for me for awhile, too. Please don't worry about us because we've got this!

Brice and I are serious about each other. This is real life. This is not a drill. This is not a game to us. Being together is not a band-aid fix for an issue in either of our lives. We are two grown, independent adults who are each individually and mutually choosing to be together. And I think I speak for both of us when I say that we definitely wouldn't put ourselves through the torture of being 6 states apart for a while if there wasn't something very real and very awesome between us. Yes, we met on the internet: a perfectly valid way of forming a human connection in the year 2017. The two of us knew our feelings were real long before we ever met in person, and meeting just solidified and deepened all that. And you want to know the best part? We have a plan to end the distance. Because when you love somebody, time and space do not matter. Love will win, and it will bring two hearts beating out of their chests for each other together.

For the most part, though, we've got a whole lot of supportive people in our corner. I think they really get us, and that support feels really, really good. (Thanks, y'all!)

But for any haters/doubters: even *if* we're both bat-shit crazy and our two very grounded selves both somehow have zero grip on reality and have imagined this whole love thing, whoop-de-freaking-do. That's for us to discover on our own, not to be told about by you.

We all have this one short life. And we're just two imperfect souls living ours the best way we know how.