For those of you who do not know, Thea and I have been in a long distance relationship for a little over nine years. I admit, we had a few very rough moments, but together, we sailed through them. How do we do it? How can long-distance relationship work? Trust me, I have heard all the questions.
Nine years ago, I did not have any intentions of moving outside of the Philippines. As soon as I heard that my family's petition to go to the U.S. got approved, I asked myself, "What am I going to do there?". I had never thought of the "American Dream". If I do this, I will be separated physically from Thea. I contemplated about it. I was young at that time so I thought of giving that idea a chance because if it fails, I have time to stand back up. I knew Thea was doubtful to be in a long-distance relationship but I told her that we could make it work. I finished my studies, took the board exam and eventually, migrated to the U.S. As much as I prepared myself for the change, I was never really ready. It was the hardest thing, to see Thea waving at me as I walked through the security gates of the airport and knowing that it would take months or even years to see her again.
Over two years had passed before I was able to go back to the Philippines... but only for a month. The transition was not easy but we have learned ways to make it work. In the beginning, it was hard to figure out what to say. It was like we were having the same stale conversation, again and again. When the time came that I had to leave again, we had to figure out ways to break through it. Thanks to technology! While I was away, we were having our virtual Saturday date nights Skyping while watching movies together. We text and call each other everyday. When we do get to spend time together physically, we do not take a moment of that for granted. It is almost like the “honeymoon phase” of our early romance. We understand how important it is to maintain a strong connection.
Distance in miles does not have to mean distance in affection. Along our journey, I have learned to make it a commitment or call it off. There is no room for in-between. I have to be all in or it will never work, but if our love can pass the test of physical separation, we will have a bond with true staying power.
Being apart has allowed us to flourish. The physical absence between us kindled a greater love. I can say that it takes depth, courage, and consistency to maintain a resilient long distance relationship.
True love knows no geographical boundaries. No relationship is perfect, but if it is worth having, it is worth fighting for. Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors, and our love has proven it is tough enough to withstand a hurricane. Love transcends any time and distance. It is pure and strong. I can definitely say, our love is stronger than the miles between us.
ABSENCE SHARPENS LOVE
THE POWER OF THE SCENT
Love at first sight is just a cliche. Love at first smell, now, that is real.
I am not here to tell you a story of the usual boy meets girl, then the boy falls in love with the girl, then the girl falls for the boy, they had challenges and lived happily ever after, yada, yada...
I will be telling you how effective and how our brain effectively triggers our memories by just remembering the “smell” of a person or a thing.
We already knew each other since high school just by our names. So yes, scratch the “love at first sight” belief. Our first encounter as schoolmates was when I was a part of the journalism club and since we were in need of funds back then, we were hired by our schoolmates to take photos of their crushes for a fee. In short, he hired me to take a photo of his crush.
Fast forward to College, we entered the same University and fate intervened, as we became classmates in Physical Education tennis class. We started playing tennis with our common friends and high school batchmates during our vacant periods. Now comes the weird part. He wore a certain perfume “every freaking time”, even if he was just playing tennis which I found really odd. We also shared the same CWTS class which was rappelling and every time time he was around, I really could smell the same “freaking perfume”.
I remember a certain instance, when I was hanging out with my friends at their “org tambayan” (Club room) which was located along the corridor of the A.S. Building (Palma Hall). I usually sat on the bench facing the wall so I do not need to see people walking down the hall. For an unknown reason, I would know if he was about to pass by the corridor because I could smell his “perfume”, maybe 5-10 meters away. Freaky, right?
Back when I had the luxury of reading novels instead of law books (ugh), I stumbled upon a certain novel entitled, “Perfume” by Patrick Suskind. After reading the book, I finally understood how the sense of smell could trigger memories. Ash’s perfume got imprinted on me, I guess. I admittedly fell for his perfume :)
Many years had passed when I finally asked him what perfume he was wearing in College. He answered he had different perfumes. In the end, I fell in love not on his perfume but his scent :)