Let’s be blunt. Distance between you and the person you love most sucks. But, it is undeniable that distance makes the heart grow fonder if there is a true connection.
Shortly after meeting the man I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, we had to go our separate ways. I headed off to fulfill my commitment to college basketball in Lamar, CO and he headed to the west coast in search of freedom. The first good-bye was the morning I left for school. We sat by the river, drank coffee, and I laid my head on his chest as soft tears fell. Weeks were long as I waited to spend the weekends meeting up with him, or sneaking home to see him. The real good-bye, as he headed off to California, was in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant. Endless tears rolled down my face as I pressed my face into his chest. As I drove east, back to school, and he drove west, the tears didn’t stop. I began the countdown until I was back in his arms.
The days between were filled with phone calls, video calls, a ridiculous amount of pictures, and still, plenty of tears. Every night was spent on the phone, just to be there if one of us woke up. Days seemed to drag on, until finally it was December. I flew out to San Francisco and our adventures to the farm, Burney Falls, and Tahoe began. That was the happiest I had been in months, even though those months were spent doing something I had dreamed about my whole life, nothing compared to being in the arms of the man I love. We rushed to the airport, convinced I was going to miss my flight. To our surprise, the flight was delayed. We spent hours sitting in a corner, crying, holding each other, expressing our love to each other in hopes it would fill the emptiness we knew was coming.
I flew back, spent Christmas with my family, but I felt so empty. I had left the man I love most. I began the new countdown to spring break. The days were even harder this time. I am not the type of person who feels hopeless without a phone, but that’s exactly how I felt. We talked constantly. The day to pick Cody up from the airport finally came. As soon as I spotted that big beard with his big sack on his back, I sprinted through the crowd to be in his arms. We spent a month in Colorado, seeing each other on the weekends. When my spring break came, we spent time with our families. The week after my spring break, we flew out to California together. One week in California turned into two due to a nasty kidney infection. As sick as I was, I was happy to spend another week with him. After over a month together I didn’t think I could leave him. The day finally came and we headed to the airport, eating sushi in a beautiful little town. As I got on the bus, it just didn’t feel right. I got off the bus and ran back to him, hysterically crying. I heard, “The bus is leaving!” gave Cody one last kiss and ran back to the bus. I couldn’t control my tears all the way to the airport. I felt so empty. There was only 1 month left until I was free from all commitment and we would be off to California together. But this month has been the hardest of them all. This last week we had our first full day without talking to each other because he has been kayaking.
Finally, he is on his way, as I type this. On his way here to Colorado to pick me up from school and we will road trip out to California and begin this life unbound together. I felt like this time would never come, but here it is. And I couldn’t be happier. I look back on the past several months and think about all I have learned by loving from a distance.
It was never easy. The bad days I wished we were together for comfort. The good days I wished we were together to share them. I appreciate technology like I never had before. Without the technology to keep in contact with Cody through these months is unimaginable. I also learned about myself. I spent a lot of time alone because I just couldn’t connect with anyone here like I could Cody. It felt almost a dis-service to myself to fake relationships after knowing a true, genuine friendship. Talking to Cody through the phone was more fulfilling than exhausting my energy with people who I could not connect with. I understand the importance of communication. I also have seen vulnerability at it’s finest. Trusting and loving from a 1,000 miles away is the most trust I had ever put into someone. Cody put that trust into me as well. The trust and communication paid off. I fell in love with him more everyday, and I look forward to falling in love with him even more everyday while I spend everyday with him. Most importantly, I know, after spending this time loving Cody from a distance that he is the man I want to love for all my days.
Distance relationships are tough, but well worth it when the your partner is well worth it. Sharing our experience I hope will encourage couples faced with this challenge to work if they believe your relationship is worth it. Some things that may help that we found have helped us are to never underestimate the little things. Random heart-felt messages brought light into my life. Tell each other everything. We sent pictures of our meals, what we were wearing, the weather, anything. We talked about anything and everything. If you are going to make this work, your partner is your number one priority, even over the phone. I would leave events if Cody called. Distance between two people in a relationship does not change how a relationship works. On the other side of that, you must understand if your partner is busy. There were days I would get so upset because Cody had so much work to do. This was hard on me until I realized that he has work to do, and if he could talk to me while doing it, he would. Busy does not mean they love you any less. Always remember some days are harder than others. And those days may have no particular reason for being harder, they just are. In those days, remember the love you have for one another, and remember you love each other more than you miss each other. Cody and I also have bracelets on our left wrists that remind us of each other. The colors represent something important in our relationship. The bracelets are tied on to where they cannot come off without cutting them off. On good days and bad days, a glance of my bracelet always puts a smile on my face. It is not easy, but with trust, communication, appreciation, and pure love, it is possible, and it feels so amazing when the ultimate countdown is finally over.
“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and blows up a bonfire.” -Francois de la Rouchefoucauld
PC: Cody Connell