What they don’t tell you

I have been dating the love of my life a little less than a year, though we’ve known each other and have been close friends for over ten.

One of my best girlfriends often jokes and says, “you’re finally dating your husband!” He has the loveliest heart, the kindest soul, and my love for him only grows each day…. and with each mile.

Matt and I have been dating long distance (616 miles to be exact) the entire duration of our relationship. Although there are certainly couples who have more time and distance under their belts, the separation has the same sting to it regardless of the specifics.

With my return home to Rochester right around the corner (and the end to the miles apart from both my entire family and Matt) I’ve been reflecting on all the things they don’t tell you about long distance relationships that you’re forced to learn as you go…

They don’t tell you that movie night means watching the same movie at the same time using an online link that freezes and stalls once every 20 minutes. It means texting in between scenes instead of lounging together on the couch in your sweatpants.

They don’t tell you that life is a series of mini countdowns until the next time you can see each other, and that having a visit to look forward to is one of the only things that keeps you sane.

They don’t tell you that birthdays and holidays mean coordinating around the few weekends you’re actually able to visit, and making sure you have room in your suitcase to pack the gifts.

They don’t tell you that long distance means coming home from a long hard day and having to FaceTime instead of getting the bear hug that you really need.

It means flight delays, crammed weekends seeing two families in three days, having to plan trips months in advance, paying more for flights than you do for your rent, missing big events in addition to the daily errands that keep a relationship glued together, and countless other inconveniences that all add up to a terrible heartache from being away from the one you love, not to mention a mountain of stress.

But here’s what else they don’t tell you.

That for the right person, distance really does make the heart grow fonder. It really does make you stronger, make you appreciate your partner more, hold them tighter and love them harder.

What they don’t tell you is that it’s better to be far apart than not together at all.

And most importantly, they don’t tell you that for the right person, the juice really is worth the squeeze. And it sure tastes sweet once it finally hits your lips.

my love

Your tribe

One of the hardest parts about growing up is that more often than not, you end up living in a different city than the majority of your best friends. And if you’re as fueled by relationships as I am, that is a difficult reality to live with.

Fortunately, I was able to spend time with a group of some of my closest girlfriends this weekend. We planned the weekend around an event called Wanderlust, which is a “mindful triathlon” that includes a 5k race, yoga, and meditation. Although the weather caused us to adjust some of our original plans, the weekend turned out to be just as peaceful as we intended it to be.

There is nothing like the joy of empowering your friends to do their best in a physical challenge, and then laughing the night away afterward while eating pizza, drinking wine, and lounging in your sweatpants. It was a balanced and empowering weekend that left me feeling both uplifted and fulfilled.

yoga

The strong friendships in my life are so dear to my heart. And while living far away is difficult, it also makes weekend trips like this more meaningful than ever before. It reaffirms how imperative it is to make time for the people and relationships that make us who we are. 

So if you’re like me and have friends who don’t live nearby, make plans to visit. If you can’t accommodate a visit, make plans to have regular conversations… and that means more than just texting.

These relationships are the important things in life. More than money, more than work, and much more than materialistic items. It all comes down to the people who fill your heart with joy. They’re your tribe. Love them hard.