Unless You've Done It, Don't Complain to Me About It

It’s no secret that my long-term boyfriend from high school and I are doing a long-distance relationship right now during college. I’m pretty open about it, and I’m lucky to be doing it with a guy who wants to talk to me as much as I want to talk to him. We get to Facetime an excessive amount during the day without stopping each other from doing other things, like studying or hanging with friends (this is what a healthy relationship looks like, people). The only problems we ever run into involve whose Wi-Fi keeps crapping out in the middle of our calls. 

  While it’s smooth sailing 95% of the time, when that nasty rough patch hits, it hits hard. It feels like the world is going to end, even though that’s just how things feel on my end since I’m over overdramatic when I get stressed or upset.

Right now, I’m in the middle of experiencing that nasty 5%. It’s fucking hard being away from my boyfriend. The last time we spent this much time apart was during the first two months of quarantine. Only that was worse because we were both living at home. Imagine living fifteen minutes down the road from someone you can’t see because you have to social distance so you guys don’t potentially infect each other’s families (if that’s not what you were doing during March and April, it’s what you should have been doing. Although that’s beside the point)? Of course, it seems like the universe can’t throw any good karma my way because it’s been almost two months since I last saw my boyfriend when that’s not how things were supposed to be this semester.

Let me backtrack for a second. A lot of things were supposed to be different this semester. I wasn’t supposed to be living in a house in Oswego and attending classes that are only held online. My boyfriend wasn’t supposed to get sent home from school after being there for two weeks because idiots at his school can’t follow the rules. This was the semester where we were supposed to get to see each other more finally. When I first started college, the deal with my parents was that I would take my car to school junior year. The plan was that I was supposed to get a new car before then because my little Ford Focus doesn’t have four-wheel drive and can’t handle the mountains of snow that we get up here. Though since the world went to shit back in March, we didn’t end up selling my car, so here we are. I have my car, but my boyfriend is living at home this semester.

I was supposed to be able to see him for more extended amounts of time sooner. Rather than have a trip that begins on a late Friday afternoon and ends on an early Sunday morning thanks to the Trailways bus schedule, I would have been able to leave Oswego on Thursday morning, get to Oneonta mid-afternoon, have all of Friday and Saturday to spend with my boyfriend, and go by three o’clock come Sunday. We would have been able to drive around and see places outside of Oneonta, too, thanks to my car. Maybe we would have been able to stay at a cabin nearby and have our first real trip together as a couple. It would have been great, but since things never seem to go my way, I am now stuck waiting until next year to do those things.

I bet plenty of you are reading this wondering, “But Jess, if he’s living at home, why can’t he come and visit you at school?” Well, firstly, he just got his license this past summer, and he doesn’t technically own a car— that’s number one. Number two, I live on Long Island, which is a five-to-seven hour road trip that involves driving through New York City to get to Oswego. It’s a tedious trip that I wasn’t even allowed to do on my own this semester when I drove up to Oswego for the first time, and I’ve been driving for three years. My mom had to be co-pilot and drive with me the whole way, and my dad and my sister brought my things up to move in with my dad’s Ford Expedition. Do you expect someone who just got his license to make that trip without a problem? Or even be allowed to make that trip on his own?

Finally, despite the countless people who aren’t following the Oswego Forward Plan’s rules, we aren’t supposed to have other students that don’t already live in the Village in our house or have any off-campus guests stay in our place, so I wouldn’t be able to have my boyfriend stay with me even if he did have a car and could drive up from Long Island to see me. The good news is that I’ll be seeing him this week finally after not seeing him since August 20th. I know I should be happy about that, but until the day arrives, I’m left with the agony of waiting for the day to come, mentally ticking off the days on the calendar.

On top of that, I have all of these pent-up emotions that make me irritable and sad because I just want to see my boyfriend already. You may or may not have already gathered that from the aggressive tone I’m writing this article. I feel pissed off, and like I want to scream whenever I think of my friends and their boyfriends together because they all get to see them. Meanwhile, I’ve been in my relationship for over five years now, and I still won’t get to be with my boyfriend all the time for a long time. How am I the only person I know whose relationship has lasted over five years and is still going strong, and I get to see my boyfriend the least? How does that make sense?

I’ve pretty much been in an endless cycle of feeling stuck lately. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for my beautiful friends at school who have helped me to forget about missing home. I love them to death, and I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t have them. I always cherish the time we spend together, and I still have fun no matter what we’re doing. Nonetheless, if I’d known that all of my classes would end up being online this semester and that my boyfriend was going to get sent home from school, I would have just stayed home. I would have been able to see him all the time, we would have been able to get together to do school work, and we would have been able to go out to places on Long Island that we’ve never visited before. More importantly, I would have been able to keep horseback riding every day and continue my horse’s training for his prospective jumping career. Those two big things would have kept me plenty occupied. Plus, just being able to see my family and live in my own house and see my bunnies and my friends who live at home would have been nice too.

Right now, I feel like no one has it worse than me. I know that’s not true; there are people who have boyfriends in the army and boyfriends who live in other countries who I bet they don’t get to see for years at a time sometimes. Though in my situation, a thought that does bring me comfort is the fact that this won’t be my life forever. If you’re in the same boat as me, I feel your struggle. I know what it feels like to lie awake at night and yearn for the comforting feeling of the arms of your love around you. Nonetheless, if there’s anything this long distance relationship has taught me, it’s that the time you and your loved one spend apart definitely strengthens your bond. I hope that, if you’re like me, someday you and your boyfriend come out of this time you’re spending apart with your relationship solidified, and better than ever before.