That night changed us forever. That night I asked him if he was scared to date me or what was going on in his brain… and we sat in silence for a minute or two until he said, “I’m joining the Air Force —” I remember feeling so numb and at a loss for words. Could this really be happening to me? Can I even do long-distance? What do I say? And then I said, “okay, well we can get through this.”
Let me rewind a minute. At this moment we weren’t even dating, well not officially anyways. At this point we had only known each other for 4 months. We still barely knew each other, but I still had faith in us. From the moment I first saw this man I knew it was him. He was the one. We worked together for a couple weeks and one of the first times he talked to me I remember thinking, “I think I should date this guy, but I have no idea why.” So I guess you could say that trust has always been a big part of our relationship. Trusting my gut, trusting each other, trusting that we can be strong enough, and trusting that neither one of us will give up on the other.
We have almost been dating for an entire year now, and a lot has happened since he informed me of his military plans. We have already been long-distance for 5 months now which was a huge wake-up call for me. First of all, I never knew what a long-distant relationship was like. I quickly learned I couldn’t be needy anymore. I couldn’t need to see him every day. I was lucky if I saw him more than 2 times a month. And at first that was really difficult. But we discovered a plan that worked for us. Every Monday and Wednesday I would call him at 10pm as I was driving home from my night class. That was when we would talk about our days and I would vent about my stupid art teacher. Being able to hear his voice and talk to him for 10 minutes made the weeks go by faster. I would take all the bad morning breath in the world if it meant I could see him in person. That’s what happens when you enter a long distance relationship – you start to appreciate the small things much more. You miss things like the sound of their voice, the way they look at you, or how the smile when they first see you. You miss being able to hug him/her when you’re sad, or cuddling and watching movies, or even bickering over nothing.
Being long distance really makes you stronger as an individual. You realize you can’t rely so heavily on someone else. You learn to be okay being alone (but it is different from being single and alone…) You learn that some things are not worth fighting about, because you don’t want to spend the little time you have with them fighting. I have definitely grown a lot since meeting my boyfriend and I have so much more to learn.
Just the other day he received a call from his recruiter saying that it is very possible that he could be leaving in two weeks. I have been trying to keep it together by reminding myself that I will be fine. In the grand scheme of things 9 weeks isn’t that long.
I am someone who needs to plan everything – but this wasn’t something I could have ever predicted. So I’m trying my hardest to not let myself get too worked up and stressed out about the unknown. You can be sure to see military related cards entering the shop this year, as I’m sure I’ll be needing to send him cards every week (at least!)
Have you ever had to be long distance with your significant other? How did you handle it?