We Don't Need Your Validation (and Why Your 'LDR' Shouldn't Either)
The Moon v. Me
In the grand scheme of things I suppose 3,852 miles isn't that great of a distance. When you take into consideration that the moon is roughly 62 times that distance from the Earth and she still manages to stay 100% faithful to Her, my current problems seem pretty much irrelevant. How many times have you heard of the moon shuffling off to check out Saturn and his rings? Exactly. Also, two years isn't that impressive when you figure the Earth has been around for how long? Our solar system has been along for how long before that? What about the galaxy beyond this? I really cannot be bothered to look, but you catch my drift.
When we're discussing the minor scheme of things, however, 3,852 miles is a pretty great distance and 2 years is a decent amount of time, especially considering that that is nearly 1/10 of my existence on this sin ridden planet we call home. That is a lot of time to have spent invested in one person who is nearly 4,000 miles away. In the age of hook ups and fast paced relationships, it's a miracle that ANY relationship lasts that long, so I can't help but feel slightly superior and completely lucky to be going strong two years later. Just call me Luna because I am basically on moon status now. Realistically, we won't be together until our dying breath, but who actually lasts that long? And what's the shame in reveling in this feeling while we can?!
"So wait... Your boyfriend lives in England?"
Watch the 'Tude
If I'm going to be honest with you, I never really doubted myself or the relationship I was getting into. He and I had become best friends in the two years before we actually met and fell in love, so I knew we had the long distance partnership thing down, at least on some level. We knew how difficult it would be, but we didn't know how difficult it actually would be, if that makes any sense.
The wanting cuddles and Netflix and chill sessions and going on long walks together and double dating with your best friends, all these things would have been nice obviously, but we managed. We managed despite the doubts from external sources, despite the time zones between us, despite the unappreciated and often unfounded "It ain't gonna last" from those who neither of us really cared about.
What would've really been nice is if I could've collected every sigh, every unwarranted eye roll, every furrowed brow, every questionable look from every person I answered answered when they asked "So wait... Your boyfriend lives in England?" I wish I could bottle up all that constant negativity and somehow cash in on it, or somehow use it to give all those rude people a huge reality check. To someone who has not experienced this firsthand, I am here to tell you that it happens incredibly often, to the point where I would come home days and just sob because I felt as though the world was looking at me like I was some naive girl, ignorant of what an "actual" relationship was.
I suppose we can't really cash in on all those Debby Downers until he and I are both old and grey and possibly moved into a cute retirement community somewhere amidst a field of poppies. We may still be going hard in our late age, though. Maybe we will be wrapping up our lives by finally conquering Mt. Everest, or one of those other high ones, at the ripe old age of seventy-something. The latter is highly unlikely for several reasons, but you never do know.
In The End, Does it Really Matter?
If anything at all, people's adverse response to my answer of their inquiries about my relationship may have taught me one thing, it is a stretch, but maybe one thing. I've learnt to not start off the conversations of my relationship with the fact that it is pretty freakin' long distance. This seems like common sense to most, but it is actually difficult to not do when in your mind the distance is such a huge deal.
I would get agitated wondering why these people, sometimes even my friends and close confidants, did not seem to care beyond how we met. It is interesting, but every relationship is so much more than that. They all have their defining characteristics and are made up of two (sometimes more) unique individuals who have their own defining characteristics, and to boil it all down to just the distance is similar to serving cake sans frosting, sprinkles, and plate, just because it is called 'cake'. All the other things add to the intensity and deliciousness of said cake (not really the plate, but plates are important also!).
At this point I am almost certain that you're all thinking, "Okay, so you don't need validation, but why write an entire article on it then?" Good question, but I have a decent retort. It took me nearly two years to figure out why I was embarrassed and even sometimes ashamed to tell people upfront about my across the Atlantic relationship. I didn't like feeling doubted or looked at as young and foolish, but two years and several thousand miles later I still love him. Now, our families are almost as deeply invested in this as we are, my friends love him, and I like to think his love me. I SO wish I could tell me of two years previous that those people's opinions do not mean a damn thing. I suppose this is my call out to all those who are in the situation I found myself in (and still find myself in occasionally) a few years ago.
At the end of the day, we are both still young and pretty stupid. I realize anything can happen, and I am no stranger to alienation of affection. But there is no need to be ashamed. Every relationship is not meant to last. Play the hand you're dealt; sometimes you fold, sometimes you take it all. It never hurts to try. Don't regret not taking the gamble because you were too scared to lose. I hate to leave this on such a cliched note but, since I'm on a roll, the phrase "it's better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all," is beyond accurate here.