We’ve been waiting for this day for…well, I’d say since the beginning of our relationship. Yes, Dallas has only been gone this time for sixteen weeks, and technically has only been wrapped up in study-abroad travels for a little over a year…but I knew from the day I met him, way back in September of 2011, that he’d have to spend that year overseas. I knew when we started dating in November of that year that we’d be looking at several fairly long-term separations, not just because he needed to go to Germany for a year, but also because we each called a different place “home”, and those places are about 1100 miles apart.
We both looked forward to the day we could be done with the long-distance part of our relationship, and today is that day.
Back then, we didn’t say “okay, our long-distance relationship is over on July 19, 2014”. We didn’t know. At that point, it looked like Dallas was going to go to Germany in the fall of 2012, not the fall of 2013. If that had happened, I’m not sure we would have stayed together. He’s been there before–while he was finishing up at Auburn, he was dating a girl who was at the University of Georgia, and since he was moving to Michigan, they mutually decided it was going to be too hard to keep it going. He’d had a couple of flings over that last summer he was home before he moved to Michigan, but I think some of the circumstances surrounding those made him a little anxious about getting involved with somebody else once he got to Michigan, because CMU is a small enough school that most of the graduate students are from in state, and he was going to find himself in another long-distance relationship. Luckily for me, we got it to work. 😉
We’d been dating for about six months when he went back to Georgia for part of the summer, but we made plans for me to come and visit at the end of the summer, after he’d finished with his language school at Indiana and gone back home. The three months we were apart was pretty difficult on both of us, but we made it. Then we had almost eleven months together before he left for Romania, and seven weeks together when he had his semester break in February and March. You do get used to saying goodbye at airports, but it doesn’t get easier. If anything, it got harder every time.
But this is it. The end of it. The next time he leaves the country might be in January, but it would be for just a few days so he could go to a conference in London (and we may or may not be trying to talk him out of it, his mom and I, because he’s going to hate the weather that far north at that time of year). We’re getting married about this time next year, and I’d imagine after that I’ll go with him if he goes anywhere. He doesn’t have any more long-term academic commitments on other continents, and I’m not going to move back to Michigan without him or anything.
I’m just so excited!