Picture credit: Sedric Acevedo
Disclaimer: I’m not a dating expert (shocker, right?), and I definitely don’t know everything about maintaining a stable relationship. Every situation is different. This is just my personal experience.
Second disclaimer: No, I have not read John Green’s Looking for Alaska. Yes, I’m aware that this post has little to nothing to do with the book. Carry on.
In May, I celebrated one year with my current boyfriend, Will. We had a bit of a rocky start (which I will elaborate on in a future post), but we’ve worked past difficulties and stayed together despite doubts from friends and statistics of ‘high school sweethearts’ who break up after graduation. Granted, we started dating at the very end of our senior year, and both knew we were going to the same community college after high school, so things weren’t too strained between us.
In September of last year (right around the time I bought my first car), Will dropped a bomb and let me know he was thinking of working abroad in Alaska for the following summer. At the time, I felt a little worried about the possibility of dealing with a long-distance relationship, but brushed it off. After all, summer was so far off in the distance. Plans change; people change. I simply nodded and encouraged him to do what he felt was right, like a Perfect Girlfriend™.
Every month or so, he’d bring it up again. And, every month or so, I’d brush it off.
Then things progressed. Suddenly, he had more details on what work he’d be doing up there. At a dinner with his family, he and his uncle (who had done the work-program when he was a college student) spoke at-length about travel and lodging. A few months after that, he was talking about the pay possibilities. Meanwhile, throughout the process, I just kept smiling and nodding and encouraging. I wasn’t going to tell him not to go. It was a good opportunity, and would look pretty amazing on his future resume. Besides, a small piece of me thought, “Oh, this won’t really happen. It’s just an idea. People don’t actually go through with their ideas.”
That mindset was completely thrown out the window about three weeks ago, when Will let me know that he had submitted his two-week notice at work.
Suddenly, things were real. He was actually going away. To Alaska. For three months.
Now, for those of you who know me personally, you can probably imagine how I reacted to such news. Basically, I’m what one would consider a Very Emotional Person™. A lot of things affect me strongly. Videos of soldiers coming home from deployment, pregnancy/gender reveals, any animal that so much as breathes in my direction…I think you get the picture. I’ve cried more in the past two weeks than some people do in a year. It’s honestly kind of sad (*side-note: totally not guilt-tripping my boyfriend lol, just being honest).
I think what’s affecting me most is the fact that I’ve dealt with a long-distance relationship before (which will also be explained in a later post). I know how hard it is to just want to talk to someone without it being through a screen, to just want to give your significant other a hug goodbye or a kiss goodnight.
I’ll admit, I’m scared of becoming distant. Not just physically, but emotionally. It’s so easy to let a day or two go by when you don’t communicate with each other, and that’s perfectly okay. But days can easily turn to weeks, and then months. I don’t want Will to come home and feel more like a stranger than a friend.
I think that’s a major reason behind why I want to start this series. I want to keep a log, for myself and Will, of my thoughts while he’s away, so we can look back and see what we excelled in and struggled with. Whether or not other people read this is unimportant (although readers are still encouraged! c:).
If you haven’t already caught the pun in the series title, it’s Life Without Will[power], since my boyfriend’s name is Will. So like…life without him. Credits to Josiah for the suggestion.
Have any tips for dealing with long-distance relationships? Feel free to comment below and help a sister out! Don’t forgot to subscribe, and hit those like and follow buttons!