“So, how do you think this will work?” I asked him Adam, wrapped in his arms. I had agreed to be his girlfriend earlier that evening and I wanted him to answer how we’d make the long distance work – how often we’d travel to see one another and how often we’d talk on the phone.
But Adam responded, “I think things are working pretty well right now,”, clearly happy to have me in his arms. Oh dear—I remember thinking—not exactly what I meant. And that moment confirmed dating Adam would be nothing like I expected.
And I was right, dating Adam was nothing like I expected. First off, I never anticipated dating someone like him. But secondly, dating in general was nothing like I expected. As a girl who had never had a boyfriend, I dreamed of getting picked up for dates, going on hand-held walks and him cooking dinner for me at his apartment. Sure, all of those things happened, but due to being long distance we didn’t have a traditional dating relationship. Instead, we spent “weekends” together, cramming all of our time together in a short few days and then parting again for another two to three weeks. We waited until 9 p.m. to chat on the phone and woke up bleary eyed the next morning because we didn’t want to hang up. We still exchanged letters and emails, and traded spending extended holidays with each of our families. And when Adam did propose nine months later near his family’s home in Indiana, it was the second time I had ever been out there and the third time I had met some of his siblings.
Dating long distance was not my preference and there were so many hard moments. Not only did we, as couple struggle, but I struggled with missing Adam. At times I struggled with jealousy that others got to spend more time with him than I did and a few times even unnecessarily worried that he’d meet and fall in love with someone else.
But long-distance posed one other big challenge for us, sex. And it was an awkward conversation for us to have. We knew we each were saving sex for marriage, but what about other forms of physical affection? Where did we believe the line needed to be drawn?
This is when long-distance helped us. This time was a great blessing to us since we were given the chance to talk and write letter. We were able to have meaningful and substantive conversations, getting to truly know the other person.
Although we were long distance, our relationship progressed fairly quickly. (Two months after we started dating Adam told me he loved me.)
While I waited for him to pop the question, we had several conversations that were crucial to our relationship. We went through little trials, talking about our pains from our past relationships. We poured out our hearts, and our tears, each of us wiping the eyes of the other. It was a painful and beautiful time in our relationship, with some of those moments bonding us even more deeply than the joyful ones.
When Adam did propose 9 months after we started dating, I was nervous to say yes, but also more than ready. Our dating relationship wasn’t what I had in mind, but it was exactly what we needed to become the couple we were then and are today. It is part of what has turned Adam and Kara into “us.”