When I moved to Boston I had already been in a relationship for more than 4 years and a half. He had been my first boyfriend and although we were always on and off it still felt solid enough to keep going during college. 3,060 miles, a 6-hour flight and a 3-hour time difference were between us now, and things started to get real. I could lie and say that the distance beat our love and that we slowly grew apart, we started fighting more and more and in the end it was unavoidable to split, but that isn’t true. The fact is that you cannot build a stable relationship if there is no trust, and as soon as lies become part of your routine it’s better to walk away. After trying for 6 months or so we were over and I had some time to realize that living far from home had given me a sense of maturity that I didn’t have before, something that allowed me to get over my past relationship in a healthy way.
My current boyfriend came out of nowhere and he was a true gift, but SURPRISE! he lived in Tijuana too. I was in denial for a while but as time went by it became more and more evident that this was the real deal and that there was no way around it. We fell in love while being apart and we’ve been doing long distance for almost 3 years now. Of course we have winter and summer breaks that last from 3 weeks to 3 months and he visits twice a semester, but in reality it’s not the same. He has never been with me in my birthday and almost every Valentines Day we’ve spent apart. I miss all sorts of family gatherings that would give me a chance to get closer to his loved ones and we go alone to all sorts of events and parties that would be more fun as a couple. Sometimes we realize that we haven’t Face Timed in a while or that we haven’t heard each other’s voices because we only text. On top of all this are the goodbyes every time I leave to go back to Boston. No matter how many times you do it leaving still feels like exactly that, leaving. These things are not only bearable, but they are also very much worth it.
Not being together physically is obviously sad and annoying, but it’s not all bad. Being completely honest my college experience would’ve been completely different if my boyfriend was here. While I’m at school it’s all about my friends, my work, my dancing. I get to absorb and enjoy everything without splitting between friends and boyfriend or studying and boyfriend or rehearsals and boyfriend. I know this can sound selfish but it’s true. Being in a relationship is demanding, it takes time and effort. Of course sometimes I spend hours on the phone or I zone out texting him, but this is only because communication is key. When you’re doing long distance (and perhaps in any kind of relationship) the most important thing is communication. Tell your partner EVERYTHING, every detail about your day, every funny story or plan that you have for the weekend, tell them about your friends and describe them, send pics of your surroundings and lots and lots of selfies. That way they can know your routine and imagine what your day is like, which is nice and it also keeps you away from feeling left out of your partner’s life. If you don’t tell them unimportant details then those details can become snowballs that grow and grow. You can’t tell them the story your friend told you at brunch if they don’t know who the friend is or if they don’t know that you went to brunch in the first place.
After a year of being together I went abroad to Paris and that’s when things were a bit more difficult. There was a 9-hour time difference, which meant that whenever he woke up I was going to bed and vice versa. I would make sure to call him as soon as I woke up and before he went to bed because otherwise there was no time for it. I messaged him throughout the day so he could wake up to a nice little story of how my day was going and maybe a few voice notes and pics. Since I was traveling all the time I had to make sure that he knew about my plans in advance, that way it wouldn’t be surprise and we could discuss where to go when he came to visit. That was the best trip we’ve ever made together. I must say that although we have our moments the relationship is pretty strong and I’m beyond happy with him. Sometimes we get busy and talking gets harder and harder until we start arguing because we can feel each other drifting apart. The things we don’t say to each other pile up and all of a sudden we are like friends who haven’t seen each other in a very long time but are trying to catch up quickly and desperately during an hour long coffee date (not even in person, over the phone). But then we talk, we talk and talk and everything is better, everything makes sense again.
My favorite thing that we do together is that we’ve made it a rule to say goodnight every night no matter what. This is a nice way to end the day no matter how our conversation went. We also started working out together every Monday over Face Time. We watch a workout video and we do it together. It sparks some healthy competition (I win obviously). My friends and family really like him too because the thing with long distance couples is that whatever you say about your partner is what people will know about them and it contributes to their opinion. I try to do him justice and not say bad things if we fight. I am more than thankful to him for the effort that he makes to visit and to make me feel loved every day even if we’re far away. Long distance can definitely work if you are with the right person and if you are willing to love always and love strongly. I dare to say that it’s a very pure kind of love, one that can bare almost anything if it overcomes distance. The objective of this post wasn’t to give advice or to generalize long distance relationships, considering that all of them are different. The hope is that everyone who has been lucky enough to find love realizes that having a significant other that is right for you is a gift, especially if they’re a few minutes away.
This summer I will graduate and he’ll be here, with me. Like he’s always been and like he’ll always be.