How I Make Long Distance Last

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WRITTEN BY: Zoe Ferqueron

Independent, comfortable alone, and avoiding being tied down; this is how I would describe myself if you asked about my love life between the brimming of self-awareness (around age 13) and 2015. I never dated anyone, never hooked up with anyone, never loved anyone and had very little interest in changing that. At the time, I saw my life as something designed for me alone and adding anyone else to the mix was just going to take away from my experience. That’s another person to think about when going out to eat, another person’s feelings to consider in my everyday life and to be honest, it wasn’t something I neither wanted nor was ready for. But I guess that’s what I love about life; things happen to you, whether you’re ready for them or not.

My sophomore year of high school, I went to Panama City Beach for Spring Break. I know, who lets their 16 year old daughter go to spring break at what was then, the spring break capital of the country? Thankfully, my mother. I was invited to go on the trip with a friend of mine and to stay with some friends of hers while down there. Well as you know, spring break happens and bing bang boom, I meet a boy! Now I can kind of justify the flirting and the fun because he was a friend of my friend so not a complete and total stranger. We met on a Tuesday and we had one night together before he went home. I remember pulling out of the Club La Vela parking lot after a wonderfully wild night, shouting my number to him from the car window. He lived a few hours from me and we kept in scattered contact for about three years. Long, late night talks followed by many broken promises about coming to see me. It became such a consistent problem that my mom completely wrote him off, and we all know that in most cases the mother’s opinion can be the end-all-be-all of a relationship. Eventually, we stopped talking and that was that.

One year later I was going into my sophomore year of college and we struck up conversation. By this time, he had joined the Navy and became the complete polar opposite of the Obey Douchebag he was in Panama City. We talked for a month or two once classes started and decided to meet up face to face for the first time in four years. He was on his way back from a week of leave at home and I was on my way back to school with my dog so we found a dog park in the middle of both routes to meet. It felt awesome to catch up with each other and see how much we both had grown since our first, brief meeting in Panama City Beach. He radiated kindness and looked at me like the sun dulled in comparison. We really hit it off and when it was time to pack up and leave we hugged, locked eyes and I kissed him. It’s funny really, like I said, I was never one to make the first move so this was a big deal for me. I still can’t explain what I was feeling, all I know is that it definitely felt right.

So the days went on and we fell in love pretty quickly. He was stationed about three hours from my school so we took turns commuting back and forth on the weekends, counting down the days in between. Having his visits to look forward to made the weeks in between fly by. By no means am I saying we were perfect, we fought over silly things once the honeymoon period wore off. Most of it was just fights about fighting over the silly things; but nothing that couldn’t be fixed once we were together again. He is currently deployed in Saudi Arabia and we get to speak twice a day. The silly fights haven’t ended and are sometimes worse than ever. However, I have learned a few things from this long-distance love:

1.) It’s easy to be angry at a cell phone/laptop etc. Facetime and video chat as much as possible because once you look into their eyes, nothing seems too bad to handle.
2.) Be careful with what you say through text, things can be misconstrued and feelings can be hurt unintentionally.
3.) Be patient. Though the time may seem to drag on, there will be a day that you will be together again so focus on that.
4.) Always say “I Love you”. No matter how nasty the fight was or however mad at them you still may be, make sure they know that the love is still there.

My whole long-distance experience has taught me a lot about myself and what I am willing to do with my life. One year ago I would have said nothing and no one could change the course I’m on. Looking back I know that adding another person, if it’s the right person, doesn’t take away from your life and your experiences; it gives you the opportunity to share those experiences with your best friend and be involved in their lives too! It’s a whole new life created by the sharing of two, who could ask for more? Bottom line: never close yourself off to finding love, no matter how far or difficult it may seem.

Darshay K. Lampley is a Broadcast Journalism major and Creative Writing minor at Jacksonville State University. Upon graduating, she anticipates a lucrative career in the entertainment industry. Darshay is an entertainment journalist, on-air radio personality, and is currently writing her first book. Darshay believes that her ambition along with her strong faith in God will lead her down the pathway to success. "God is within her, she will not fail." Psalm 46:5

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