Thirty thousand, two hundred and seven. That is approximately the amount of miles my boyfriend Scotty and I have collectively driven to see each other over almost two years of dating. That is enough miles to drive around the equator once and some change or drive back and forth between San Francisco and Boston nine times.
Every time I drive to Reno from Cedar City there are tons of signs advertising the Pony Express route that crossed the area. It always makes me think of how extremely grateful I am for modern-day technology like video chatting and fast cars because without those inventions, my relationship would not be possible. At best, a horse that was really pushing its limits could travel 50 miles in one day. That would mean that it would take me 10 days to get to Scotty if I wanted to visit him, and I think driving for 10 hours is awful enough. I can’t imagine trying to keep a healthy and loving relationship going at that distance with letters and rare visits.
The fact that we even reconnected in the first place is a modern-day occurrence. We met eight years ago in high school, and through social media, we kept in contact until we became closer and eventually started dating. Not even 50 years ago, if I had known someone in high school and gone five years without speaking, there would be no way I would end up dating that person.
It really goes to show the major impact that social media and technology have on changing the way relationships form and the way we love. I have friends that met their now spouses on Tinder or Plenty of Fish. The long-distance relationship subreddit on Reddit has stories of “nevermets,” or people who have met online and started a relationship without ever actually meeting in person. I can wake up and have breakfast in one state and be making dinner for Scotty in a different state by that evening.
This isn’t the ideal situation and it can be very hard because we definitely have had instances where people treat us as though we’re not actually in a relationship or where we’re missing our person. We’ve never had a Valentine’s Day together, we’ve gone to events without a date and we’ve both been excluded from things our couple friends have done together. Sometimes when we go super long stretches between visits it starts to feel like Scotty isn’t real, and he becomes just a voice on the phone or an image on a screen instead of a real person.
While long-distance is difficult and requires more work than a regular relationship, that should never be a deterrent to being with someone. Way too often I hear that people moved away causing the end of the relationship, or people won’t start a relationship because of the travel required. Of course, I am speaking from a place where the relationship has worked out, but I would encourage anybody who really loves a person to go the distance like Hercules. With all the technology available today, patience and a lot of love, there’s no reason to let a few hundred miles get in the way of a relationship.
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