I wasn't sure if I should write this post because it may not resonate with everyone. But as I'm writing this, Jesse just left after a short visit, so I'm missing him a little extra right now. And while we have gotten a little more used to the long distance thing, I can't lie that him leaving never gets easier. When I tell people I have been in a long distance relationship for almost two years now, I often get asked how we handle it, so I thought I'd share that here in case there are any other couples out there going through the same thing.
Jesse and I dated for eight years before beginning the long distance phase of our relationship, and in that time we had never been a part for more than a few weeks at a time. So to say this was a huge adjustment for us is an understatement, and I'll be honest extremely scary. Since my freshman year of high school, I've had Jess by my side, he helps keep me sane and calm in any situation. So to be venturing out on my own with out him was going to be hard, but ultimately I think it gave me a chance to grow.
I have wanted to live in Los Angeles for a long time. Wanting to work in the film industry pretty much guarantees you will live out here at some point in your life, and I love this city so much, so I was excited for the opportunity. I wanted to move right out of school, but did not end up getting out here until about a year after I graduated. Jesse however, was and still is in the process of completing a series of business exams. The test is in three parts, and you can only take one part per year, so assuming you pass all three on the first try (which is very difficult), it would take minimum three years to complete. This meant Jess would not be able to venture out to L.A. with me, as he had only completed the first part at that point. This meant long distance was inevitable.
While Jesse has always been supportive of my dream to move out here, and we had many conversations about how we would handle the distance, it is still hard. There are so many fun things I have gotten to do out here, and I often get sad that he is not here to do them with me. I also get major FOMO when he is at home hanging out with our friends. But it is not just the missing out part that makes the distance hard.
Communicating was one of our biggest hurdles when I first moved. The time change and our busy schedules made it hard to figure out times to really be able to talk. But it ended up being a great learning experience for us. I found out that I am sometimes a little too needy when it comes to talking and wanting Jess's full attention. And Jesse had to learn to set aside certain times where he was just talking to me and not being distracted by friends, cleaning, etc. The first few months until we figured this out were really hard, and we often got into small fights. But now we have a great schedule down, and we FaceTime for at least a few minutes every day (even if it is just to say goodnight).
We also make sure to take turns visiting each other every few months. This may seem like a lot, with traveling being so expensive, but it actually works out quite well. I try to plan my trips home around other events such as my grandpa's birthday, or Christmas so that the trip serves multiple purposes. And Jesse has always come out to visit with some of our friends so that I get to see them as well. I've also become very good at figuring out how to find pretty cheap flights, and besides that, since I'm always staying with Jesse or my parents, it really is not that expensive to do! It gives us something to look forward to, and I have learned that it is absolutely true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder.
While the distance has been hard, Jesse and I have had many talks about how it has helped us grow both as a couple and as individuals. We have learned how to communicate better, and have had the opportunity to have so many fun experiences together out on the West Coast. Individually, Jesse has been able to study for his test without distractions, and I have gotten to focus on my career and my hobbies, such as photography. I am so proud of him and how hard he is working to further his career, and I admire him so much for almost completing this series of testing. And while I would obviously have preferred to not do long distance, I do recognize now that it gave me a chance to really figure myself out, and teach me how to do things on my own, which has helped me grow in so many ways. But that being said, I can't wait until we are living together on the same coast again!