I was in a long distance relationship for the majority of my time in college. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t even close. Of course parts of it were beautiful. Parts of it were wonderful. All of the reunions that we had were magic. But the goodbyes? The goodbyes sucked the life out of me.
At first, I was completely optimistic about our future. I knew we could do it. Just four years of college, and then we could be together – permanently. I saw him every three or four months. For three years. And for the months we spent apart, I was a shell of my former self. I didn’t want to do anything but write him letters and Skype with him. I didn’t want to do anything but talk to him. And if I wasn’t talking to him, I would talk about him.
We spent those months apart falling asleep to the sound of one another on either side of our screens. We spent those months having ‘movie’ Skype dates. And we spent those months trying not to cry every single day.
For the one or two weeks I got to see him after those months of separation, I finally felt safe. We spent holidays together. We spent every waking hour clutched to one another. He was the blanket I always needed. He was my home.
For a long, long time, he was my home.
The hello’s were always beautiful. We would always run to one another, with tears streaming down our faces. We would always hear people clapping for us. Cheering us on, as they looked at the two people in front of them, hopelessly and desperately in love.
For a while, the hello’s were worth it. Even with months in between, they made it all worth it. But as years passed, no matter how good the hello’s were, the goodbyes always became harder. I never got used to it. And on the last goodbye that we had, I think he had gotten used to it.
Long distance relationships are beautiful. It’s a test of your strength and your commitment to one another. It’s a test of your trust. But, it’s too damn hard. It’s too damn sad. And it hurts too damn much. They are so incredibly painful.
We ended it after years of whispering ‘forever’. We ended it after years of shouting ‘I love you’.
We ended it after years of airport check ins, long flights and custom lines.
It was magical at times. It was worth it at some moments. But, sometimes, no matter how strong that love is, the distance can weigh it down. You might not realize it at the time, but that distance can ruin your wonderful love. And it can break you two apart, slowly and then all at once.
I don’t think I would put myself through it again. I don’t think I could allow myself to feel that kind of pain again. Because the pain of goodbye is greater than anything I’ve ever known.