Recently moving away on exchange to Europe, I was told by many that I would ‘find the love of my life’ and get married, and have the most romantic love story of my group of friends. Right, I thought. Like that’s going to happen.
But it did.
One week into my study abroad program I met someone who changed my perspective on love, lust, and honesty. I met someone who made me want to be a better person, and who made me feel like a good person. I met someone that I could be myself with, and who accepted me for the flaws they saw within that first week.
I want you to know that I understand I sound like a complete fool. Someone who is blinded by the first sight of love they received while living in a new country. I want you to know that I completely agree with you. I want you to know thought that I am the most skeptical person of love. Blah blah blah, coming from a family of divorce, sufferring from a viscious break up in my teens, I am the vision of a typical female. I have been in love with the idea of love, felt loved by someone who turns out, did not actually love me, and have been broken by love. I have sat alone in my bed, crippled by my broken heart. I have been paralyzed by the fear of rejection. I have felt anxiousness take over my body as I think of his touch, his breath, and his words that soothed my broken body. I have been that girl, and I was that girl until travelling abroad.
Living in a new country has brought faith back into my life. I have met new people, had new experiences, and have had the opportunity to meet someone so special that I would have otherwise never encountered. I have met someone so special that I can’t envision a day we go without talking. Someone so special that I can’t see myself finding somebody else to take their place. That’s what this is supposed to feel like, right? I have been in love with the idea of love for so long that I don’t think I have really ever understood what it feels like to fall in love with someone’s essence. I know now that I was not in love in my teenage years, but rather in love with the potential of love. I wanted to be loved so badly, that I searched for it in every possible area of my hometown, in every possible young, dumb boy I came across. Who knew I would find love in such a distant, strange area across the world.
But across the ocean I have found you. Yet now, you have disappeared to a land that is not here with me. It took a few short weeks for us to become so close, and so familiar with one another. I yearn for the day that I can feel your arms around me again. Your breath on my skin, and your scent on my bed sheets. It took a few short weeks to fall in love with you, and only a few hours to lose you.
I remember the night you told me you were leaving, leaving on your own adventure of travelling abroad. Although I felt happy for you that you were going to be experiencing the same emotions and thrill as me, the thought of losing you for 5 months when I had just attained you paralyzed my body. I knew in that moment saying goodbye to you would be one of the hardest things I would ever face. How can you really say goodbye to someone you had just met? Is it truly a goodbye? Or is a simple ‘see you later?’
I can still feel your lips on mine, the moment you left me at that bridge. I can still hear you leaving, the sound of you disappearing into the distance as I stood there frozen in one spot. I stood there waiting for you to return just like in the movies, but you didn’t. You simply left. Left me here anxiously waiting for the next chapter in our lives to appear.
Our story has not come to the final chapter yet, and as I promised, this is a lesson in accepting the realization that long distance relationships are not the ending point. This is a love story, and I swear by it. This is a story about a boy and girl, young and naive, full of wonder and awe, that found each other at a time that was simply just not right. However if they had met at any other time, this story would have had an expiration date. Yet here we are today, continuing strong even though we are not in the same country.
There is a key to this relationship of mine though. It is the lack of a definition of what you are or what you will be or what you were. It is the essence of the ability to be a free spirit, one who accepts the love given, and the possibility of new love coming along. I love this boy that is not with me, but what if I met someone I could love more? I can’t envision this happening, but then again, I couldn’t envision myself finding love before. Our relationship does not have a clear definition or future, but it is based on the promise that communication will be our key. It will provide us with the ability to further our undefined relationship and become closer in a way that may not have happened if you had stayed with me.
By not defining this relationship, we are able to grow as individuals through our experiences on exchange. Without expereiencing these together, we are able to find individual interests in hopes that each other will share the same. We are able to experience something different individually, and share our experiences with each other through the amazing conversations we are able to have. Although we are not together within these experiences, we are able to converse with each other about the amazing opportunities we have been granted with.
We will talk about future plans with each other, knowing that we will be in each others lives upon his return. We will talk about visitations and weird interests. We will talk about our families, and how we miss each other more than our own relatives. And most importantly, we will talk about the most pointless topics. These are the conversations that will make us feel closer. It will provide us with inside jokes and references to the past. It will provide us with the ability to start sentences with “Remember when,” and “What about that time?” Even though we technically were not together.
I have read that long distance relationships do not work. But what about long distance undefined relationships that have the possibility to grow into something more? What about relationships that are not defined, yet have the possibility for a future definition?
If I have one word of advice it is to not give up on love until love finds you. Do not search, but be searched for and allow yourself to be loved by those that want to give it to you. Don’t give up because of distance. Embrace the possibilities that distance has to offer you.