Everyone tries to put a positive spin on long distance relationships, to romanticize and idealize the pain and hard work that goes into keeping that flame flickering fiercely enough to light up the space which stretches between you.
And in the most part, these articles and movies and social media captions are honest and true, but they’re also a lie because how can being apart from your significant other be as good as, or better than being by their side, always?
It is not Skype sessions every night of the week or perfectly timed ‘good morning’ and ‘goodnight’ texts. It is not romantic deliveries of gifts or phone calls late into the night. It is not dates set in the future of when you’ll feel each other in your arms again or falling asleep knowing that somewhere out there, they’re closing their eyes too, imagining your face on the edge of their pillow.
No, instead, it’s only knowing the parts of their life they feel important enough to tap out over text. It’s not knowing what they had for breakfast or the insignificant but sweet conversation they had with their neighbor as they put out the trash. It’s laying awake deep into the night with heavy eyes and an aching body but not wanting to say goodnight because then they stop being a part of your world for the next eight hours.
It’s rolling over to their side of the bed, expecting to lean into the warmth of their body, and your hand falling against the cold emptiness of the sheets.
It’s arguments about when you’ll be together again, its crossing out dates marked in your diary and cramming their name into any space which will fit, when work and college and other commitments seem to fill every part of your life.
It’s feeling frustrated with the distance, with each other but knowing you wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s tasting their name like blood in your mouth and never being able to fully get rid of the taste.
Because everyone, everything, every single conversation reminds you of them.
It’s crying over a chocolate brownie in your favorite coffee shop because you know if they were here, you’d be splitting it between you but something about eating it alone just doesn’t feel right.
It’s low-key hating your friends who get to spend every waking minute with their partners and switching off from the outside world and hiding in your own bubble of longing, re-watching Me Before You, The Notebook and P.S. I Love You because then the tears slicing at your cheeks feel less pathetic.
It’s train cancellations and miserable early morning walks to the station in the rain, the storms and the snow. It’s long journeys counting down the hours until you get to fall against their chest and press your lips to theirs and feel that hole in your chest start to heal.
It’s the goodbyes when you’re trying with every inch of power you have not to let your tears fall and holding on to them just a second longer, just to convince them to stay.
It’s that aching, sickening feeling as the door closes and they begin their journey to that place miles from where you are. It’s that first night sleeping alone again and feeling like the bed will swallow you up. It’s trying to relive those blissful moments when your worlds merged, when everything else ceased to exist, when you felt whole. And trying not to fall apart.
It’s thinking ahead to the day when you will be together for always, when you own four walls and a front door, and existing there, just the two of you.
It’s reminding yourself that love is stronger than the miles, than the pain, than the missing but thinking ‘fuck you’ because it hurts and it’s allowed to hurt and you’re allowed to feel it.
You are allowed to wallow, to cry, to curse the universe, to hurt.
Because there is nothing romantic about living your life away from the one person who makes it worthwhile.