Brittany and I met at a party in El Salvador where she was working for a year. I was visiting my parents who were hosting a Christmas party one night and she sat in the empty seat next to me. I remember being excited that the prettiest girl in the room sat next to me, but that night neither she nor I had any idea that we would end up dating—much less dating on-opposite-coasts long distance.
I saw Brittany once more before returning to Washington, D.C. where I live. After her time in El Salvador ended in June Brittany moved back to California where she is from, and by that time I had already told her I wanted to be in a committed relationship with her. I admitted that I had no clue how the bi-coastal relationship would work out, but to my surprise she told me she wanted the same thing. We never looked back.
If it were up to me, I would not have chosen to start a relationship with a girl that didn’t live near me, much less across the country. I had been in long distance relationships before and decided they were for the birds. But Brittany and I found something so special in each other that neither one of us was willing to let go. We both had past failed relationships and during our time as singles we independently waited patiently for a “special friend” to come along.
My good friend David, who also shares his story on iBiL, has quoted author C.S. Lewis before, and for good reason. Regarding friendships, C.S. Lewis wrote: “Friendship arises out of mere companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’”
Brittany and I knew we had a really special friendship when our ‘What? You too?’ moments did not end even after we had been talking for at least two hours every day for months. When I flew out to California in July to see her I knew that I never wanted to date anyone ever again and the distance, while annoying, would be but a speed bump on the road to the ultimate goal of marrying her.
We knew there would be tough moments: we miss each other a lot; we have a three hour difference in schedules; we have family, friends, and jobs that put a demand on our time. Traveling to see each other is expensive and neither one of us makes a lot of money. But possessing faith in something greater than ourselves forged an unbreakable bond that our commitment to each other is founded on. With this foundation to our commitment we talked about and agreed on ways to develop emotional intimacy to help us get through the time we are apart.
Early on we developed a natural respect for each other’s time. Even though there are countless of smart phone apps to stay “connected,” we both agreed that texting would only take up time from our work and daily activities and only allow for short conversations. So we keep texting to a minimum. This way, not only do we give ourselves the opportunity to get through our days at work without distraction, but we enjoy our conversations at night so much more because we have so much to talk about. Our nightly conversations have quickly become our favorite part of the day because we have so much to talk about. I admit that not being in constant communication throughout the day is countercultural today when Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat make it so easy to know what’s going on in someone’s life. But it is so worth it when I call her at night and hear her sweet voice tell me all about her day. The sound of her voice is sweeter, every joke funnier, every laugh harder, and every ‘I love you’ more tender.
We haven’t figured it all out, and up to now we’ve only gone a month in between visits. But the next time we see each other is uncertain, or far away in December. Our relationship isn’t perfect either; otherwise we’d live in the same city for starters. But we know the end result we seek after, and we are committed to finding ways to love each other better while being patient with one another throughout this adventure we’ve embarked on because we are in love and we believe in Love.