You never know when you’re going to meet the love of your life. For me, it was over a greasy slice of pizza at my friend Alex’s apartment in New York. A few of my friends and I were going out that night and I’d picked up dinner on my way over. Cameron was one of Alex’s roommates. I was sitting in their kitchen, poring over my cheesy treat, when he walked nonchalantly out of his bedroom. If memory serves me right, Cam was engulfed in a halo and there was this angelic humming in the background. There might’ve been doves and hair blowing in the wind, slow mo’ style. Everything stopped and for the next few hours, there was nobody else but Cam. After a few months of blatant flirtation and batted eyelashes, we made it official and practically screamed it from the rooftops.
You never know when the love of your life is going to become your life. The first year of my relationship with Cam, we were inseparable. We were so consumed with each other that it felt like we were basically living together. We went to concerts. We went to San Francisco. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. I met his family, he met mine.
We fit so well into each other’s routines that we seamlessly embedded ourselves into the fabric of our day-to-day. It was effortless. So much so, that there were times when I resented him for having friends and things to do outside of devoting all of his attention to me. I was so in love and obsessed with him that I forgot about myself a little bit. That year was both exhilarating and exhausting.
You never know when the love of your life is going to tell you that they’re moving to a different city. When I found out Cam was thinking about business school, my heart skipped a beat. I knew this meant he’d move away and abandon me and leave me behind and forget about me. That’s not true; but I knew we’d be entering the forbidden Long Distance Realm and I wasn’t sure if I could do it without falling apart. For so long, I’d forgotten how to be alone and take care of myself. I had this incredibly kind and thoughtful human picking up the pieces of my life and making me feel whole, as if there was always something that I was missing. And now, for the first time in our relationship, he was putting himself and his future before mine and against my own will, I had to support him and encourage him to do what was best for him. Whenever business school essays and applications would come up, I’d flinch and smile as if that were the best decision Cam would ever make. We talked about student life and networking opportunities and Cam’s future ad nauseum. I pretended like I was OK for so long, that I eventually had a meltdown and told him all of my worries and fears. Cam comforted me and, to my surprise, he told me he was worried and afraid, too.
So what have I learned over these last eight months? Here’s a shortlist:
- Distance really does make the heart grow fonder, if for no other reason that it reminds you of how good you have it and how dumb you’re being when you’re sad
- It’s really nice to starfish facedown in bed when no one else is there
- Ubers in Philly are way cheaper than New York
- Just because your boyfriend moves to a different city for business school, it doesn’t mean that he’s abandoning you
- And if it did, he’d probably just dump you because that’s easier than being in a long-distance relationship
- It’s ok to call your long-distance boyfriend when you miss him
- It’s not ok to call your long-distance boyfriend when you miss him and then just make him feel guilty for leaving
- Whenever you feel like something’s off in your relationship but you can’t tell because you only text and things can get misconstrued, it’s always a good idea to speak up; chances are, nothing is wrong and it’s all in your head
- It is possible to be in a loving committed long-distance relationship and still be two completely independent people
- The best thing about business school, even as a partner, is all of the wonderful people you will meet
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