In almost four years together, my boyfriend and I have never been long-distance. In fact, we’re both vehemently against being in an LDR. Both bad texters with a love language of “quality time,” we’re objectively in-person people who need to sit on the couch and deeply analyze the psyche of Jessica from Love Is Blind together—not via FaceTime.
But then… a worldwide pandemic hit. And that bitch coronavirus forced us to practice social distancing. And now, here I am three weeks into an accidental LDR, and I’m spiraling.
When I traveled to San Francisco from my home in New York on March 12, I was going to visit my family before the Persian New Year. The plan was that my boyfriend would meet me here a week later, just in time for the New Year festivities over the weekend.
Then, the world drastically changed. Don’t get me wrong, coronavirus was obviously a thing at the time, but the world had not quite yet become the apocalyptic Black Mirror episode it is now. States weren’t yet forcing people to practice social distancing. Going out to grab a bite at your favorite restaurant was still an option. People outside of high school didn’t typically have TikTok accounts. Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron’s “Quarantine Crew” hadn’t yet been formed.
But by the time I landed, there was already a “State of Emergency” issued in New York City. A week later, California had ordered a state-wide shut shutdown. And a day later, Governor Cuomo announced he’d be signing similar legislation in New York. With every headline, it became more and more clear that my boyfriend was not going to get on his flight here, and I was not going to be getting on my flight back to New York. Like it or not, we had just stumbled into a long-distance relationship.
Call me crazy, but I always thought that if I did wind up in a long-distance relationship, it would be because I consciously consented to it. Yes, my therapist has told me on multiple occasions that life doesn’t typically go the way you thought it would, but I still like to delude myself into thinking that it does. I hate the idea of the unknown, especially when it comes to my relationship, and now I’m literally living in it.
It’s not like forcing us into a long long-distance relationship suddenly transformed us into two completely different people, either. We are both still very much the same bad texters who prefer in-person communication. Our days are filled with extremely lame “How ya doin” then, hours later, “Good! Hbu” text threads.
Even FaceTime was a struggle in the beginning because all I wanted to talk about was the coronavirus—so much so that our conversations were less “conversations” but more briefings where I’d recap pretty much every headline. Finally, one day he called me out for my unnecessary news briefings and, after being annoyed with him for 24 hours for not appreciating the *golden* information I was spoon-feeding him, I realized he was right—and that this is what people in LDRs fight about.
As two in-person people, our FaceTimes are pretty much all we have right now if we want to keep our relationship alive and well, and luckily, they’ve evolved into our daily dose of joy and normalcy in a mostly dark and not-at-all normal or joyful time.
With all that said though, this is only temporary. And while this experience has forced me to realize our relationship is actually a lot stronger than we gave it credit for, I’m ready to be back in New York analyzing the next viral dating show that hits Netflix. For now though, we’re making it work and we’re not any less in love than we were when we were cuddling and discussing reality television on my couch. Plus, let’s be real—we’re both healthy and employed. It could be worse.