Why I'll never enter into one... Okay, maybe just once.
I have always vowed to never enter into a long-distance relationship.
I don't feel like I am the type of person who can handle having to be physically apart from the person I am romantically involved with for extended periods of time on a consistent basis.
(I'm sure you know exactly where this is going, don't you!)
Yet, I am in one.
It's like that Paramore song, "The Only Exception."
Really, I feel like that's the best way to summarize why I ever allowed myself to break my own rules like that; this particular circumstance with this particular person classifies, to me, as exceptional. There's no way I would have ever agreed to these terms with anyone else I've been romantically involved with, nuh-uh, no-way-José.
Anyway, the main point of this narrative isn't why I'm doing this, but what doing this has been like for us, particularly for me.
Obviously, it hasn't been easy. It hasn't been easy, and we've only been doing this for... ehh, almost five months now.
(Slight interjection to give additional background context: we've been together since March, 2018, so the long-distance aspect of our relationship came later in our relationship, and without warning.)
If we had the option, we wouldn't ever choose having to live so far apart that it's not feasible to visit each other frequently and carry on in all of the ways we would if we lived in the same city (we don't even live in the same province anymore, sadly). However, being together at a distance and making the effort to visit when we can for the time being is a far better option compared to the alternative: not being together at all.
Personally, I really value physical affection in a relationship, and being so far apart all the time obviously makes physical interactions impossible on a consistent basis. I tend to feel more anxious and experience bouts of insecurity during the periods of being apart; this is largely why I have always promised myself that I would never engage in a relationship from a distance.
Sometimes, the distance feels like torture. Other times, though it's never favourable, it's bearable. Every single time we have to say goodbye after a visit, I miss him more than the last time. So far, my experience has been that existing in these conditions becomes increasingly difficult, yet I was expecting it to get easier as time went on. I suppose that in some ways, it has become more tolerable; I feel more secure overall in our relationship and I experience less severe base-level anxiety related to the situation.
It's funny, I started writing about this in order to highlight some of the positive things that have come out of this experience, but as I approach that segment of discourse, I feel more and more reticent to delve into the positives. It's almost like I don't want to admit that there's anything positive about this circumstance that I simply want to come to an end. It's as though I feel like acknowledging any of these positive outcomes would be to suggest that I am enjoying this experience and that I wouldn't be bothered if it carried on for longer than it has to. I've had so much cognitive dissonance accompany this experience, and it can be so difficult to remain grounded at times that I feel like I'm full of helium and I've reached such great altitudes that I've long since passed every opportunity to grab hold of something to avoid floating into oblivion.
I guess that's the importance of communication and having someone so in-tune with you that they can see you signalling for help, even if you're so far away, feet above your own head, suffocating as you reach unfathomable altitudes.
That's the only reason I'm doing any of this, and that's the biggest reason I'm grateful for this otherwise unfavourable circumstance.
Before facing the conditions that led to having to make the decision to continue our relationship at a distance, I knew he was my person; it's never made logical, rational sense to me, I've always known he was my person. However, in the absence of logic and reason, I occasionally had my doubts about whether what I was feeling for him was really real, and whether it was possible for those feelings to genuinely be reciprocated.
The biggest mistake I've ever made is doubting feelings that exist without logic or reason supporting them. I've caused myself pain over this, and I've caused my partner pain over this; all because I couldn't simply trust in what we had together and accept it as it is without reasonable explanation.
It is for the above reason that I am incredibly grateful for our current situation. Being separated by distance has forced me to accept and trust in our love and committment to each other. Being separated by distance has forced us to get creative about being supportive and showing each other love. Being separated by distance has forced us to be more open and vulnerable in communicating. Being separated by distance has made us appreciate the time we have together so much more than we ever have.
Being separated by distance has been the best, worst thing to happen to us.
I've always known he was my person, but now, I'll never even think to question it.