As of today, it’s been 395 days that I’ve been in a committed relationship. I’ve lived in a different city than my partner for all of those days. And 306 days have been spent on opposite coasts of the country.
This by no means is a favorable arrangement. But it’s the cards we were dealt. Committing to each other meant committing to making the distance factor work. A large part of that revolves around communication – both in quality (open, honest conversation) and quantity (connecting every day, several times a day thru various methods). The other part is spending time together in person. This, by far has proven to be the trickiest to manage – due to coordinating schedules, requesting time off from work, physically traveling to another state, and of course having the money to make such trips.
Despite the difficulty, we have yet to skip out on our regular monthly visits. And the time spent together make all the trouble well worth it.
At least it is to us. Not everyone agrees – some think we are crazy for sticking to this arrangement.
Whenever I meet new people and they learn of my bicoastal long distance relationship, they usually assume that we don’t see each other often and that it probably puts a strain on our relationship. But when I mention we see each other once a month, and take turns making the journey, people look at me like I endorsed Michelle Bachmann for Emperor of the Americas! Like it’s shocking that 2 people who love each other would sacrifice (time, money and energy) to be together! Imagine that…
The financial commitment for this arrangement is steep. Especially when most of our trips are only 3 days long. Neither of us makes a lot of money at this early stage in our careers. We have financial goals for investing in our individual and collective futures and this makes saving and investing almost impossible (without living like paupers). And the money spent to travel each month (as much as $800 a ticket) could be used to save for a wedding, a house, a vacation. But for us, our relationship is the most important investment.
Our time together is special and has enabled us to have the successful and nurturing relationship we have. The daily communication is great, but the one on one time is better. And while it sucks (I mean majorly blows muddy boar balls) to have a very limited supply of resources to support this expensive habit, it’s not a habit either of us feels compelled to kick. Hopefully we will be living in the same city very soon, but in the meantime this is our thing.
I love my better half and all the precious time we’ve had together. I don’t know how well we would have managed on longer delays but the money saved doesn’t seem more beneficial. And as long as I have even one dollar to my name, it will be used to literally bringing me closer to the love of my life.1 And that seems completely reasonable to me.
Have you ever made sacrifices in your relationship that people just didn’t understand and tried to make you feel crazy for doing?
Investing in my now,
1 Feel free to contribute to the Get Gemmie to her Habibi fund. Email me for donation details lol.