A year and three months ago, I met the love of my life. We have been together ever since. But “together” is a funny word, as the times we are physically together are cruelly limited. We met on the other side of the world. I was living in Florence, Italy for the semester, visiting Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. The love of my life lives in Germany. I am from New York. The distance between us is 4,330 miles. Cue Death Cab’s Transatlanticism.
Despite the continued success of our relationship, the majority of the people we encounter seem to be pretty insensitive in regards to the specifics of long distance relationships, and we are often met with tongue-clicking and pity, along with a line of eye roll-inducing personal questions. For others in a long distance relationship, I’m sure you can relate. Here are my favorite repeat offenders:
1. That must be hard.
Yes. It is. Thank you for your insight.
2. So you must barely talk to each other with that time difference, right?
Actually, I spend most waking hours talking to my boyfriend. I wake up in the morning to a good morning iMessage from him, and we continue shooting messages all day until he goes to sleep around 6 PM Eastern Standard Time. He wakes up around 2 AM to a good morning iMessage from me. We also Facetime for an hour or so every day. I have talked to him every single day since we met last September. There’s generally 8 full hours of communication every day. That leaves time to talk about everything from how I need to run to CVS for more toilet paper, to what lights a fire in us. How does that compare to your riveting “whattup nm jc u?” text fling?
3. Don’t you get bored of the same-old same-old every day?
There is no same-old, same-old. We have spent weeks together in three countries. We get to stay in hotel rooms with free breakfasts and explore each other’s cities. When he comes to New York I get to show him a world he has never seen before, and re-explore Manhattan with a tourist’s eyes. I get to jet across the world to Germany, and my passport and I are well-acquainted. We are constantly planning our next destination together. Where was your last trip, the student union? Please.
4. How do you survive that long without sex?
Everyone knows even a millisecond without sex blows. However, if you are still having sex every day after a year and four months, I will never write a sardonic word for as long as I live. But you and I both know you’re not. So if I have to wait a few months, and then get to have crazy sex no less than once a day (five is the record), I’ll take it.
5. How do you not cheat on each other?
By not being an asshole.
6. I couldn’t do it. I need sex.
You probably couldn’t, if you think constant sex is the only way to stay committed to someone. So while you’re chain-drinking vodka crans and begging for the validation of a man sweating through his shirt that will hopefully bring you back to his roach-infested studio for the least satisfying sex of your young life, I get to have mindblowing, reciprocal sex with the love of my life. No roaches included.
7. How can you be in love if you don’t even see each other?
I didn’t realize those two things were mutually exclusive, so thank you for letting me know. I guess our long-term commitment, continually growing adoration, and talks of eventual marriage and children are a fluke.
8. But is that really a real relationship?
My personal favorite, and the most heartbreaking. Because who defines a real relationship? What is a relationship? Isn’t it being someone’s partner? Being endlessly supportive of their choices, and being open and honest when you don’t agree? Having open communication about everything from sex, personal values, and the future? I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night to him. What is more real – a relationship that survives transatlanticism with commitment, endless trust and daily hours of delving into each other and what we’re made of? Or a college fling complete with lackluster sex on the top bunk and drunken screaming matches at frat parties? You tell me.
After more than a year, numerous hotel room stints with only one another, “I love you,” on a boat ride around Manhattan, and a pending 1-bedroom with exposed brick, I don’t need your long distance pity.