Day 71: Battling the long distance relationship

Today’s inane image of the day:

For anyone who was curious what Mike picked out for me in this entry, here it is! [I’m obsessed with hearts… if you know me in real life, you probably noticed that I always have some kind of heart-shaped jewelry on]

Males be warned: this entry may be a particularly sappy/feminine one [it is, after all, about my relationship].

I’ve hinted here and there that my long distance relationship with Mike has been, and currently is, extremely difficult. Anyone who has been in a relationship can understand why — Facetime, phone calls and text messages can only get you so far. In the end, we naturally yearn for meaningful, enjoyable, physical company. When you find that the person you’ve invested your heart and soul in has decided to leave for an indefinite number of years to a place 2,000+ miles away… well, it puts a lot of strain on the relationship.

I have been putting forth my best effort and most optimistic, positive thoughts toward the situation: medical school is difficult, and if Mike was around, he could be distracting; absence makes the heart grow fonder; he promised to return to where ever I am when he’s done with his PhD. But regardless of what I try to tell myself each day, the last almost-three months have been excruciatingly hard. Not only have I had to adjust to medical school [and boy, has that been a serious transition!], but I am also adjusting to my best [girl] friend moving away, to more time on the road, to a new life. Yank my pillar of support away, and you are left with one extremely stressed and sometimes unhappy me.

This begs the question, did Mike even have a choice in the matter? Well, yes, he did. In all fairness, he had to make his decision prior to my where I knew what I was going [at that point, I believe I was on OUWB’s waitlist and still waiting on 3 other decisions]. And I did encourage him to decide based on what would be best for his career [i.e. take me out of the equation]. But… I still secretly hoped he would decide to stay nearby. Even though I knew that he enjoyed the research [and weather] more over there, I still selfishly wanted him to put me back into the equation and choose Michigan over where he is now.

When Mike was making his decision, he actually asked for advice from one of his professors/mentors. She had gone through a similar situation with her husband — he went to medical school in a different state from her graduate school. After Mike explained the decision he had to make, she told him that long distance works for this particular situation. She thought it was better this way.

Well, I have been trying really hard to see this logic. And I can’t. Maybe it’s too soon to speak retrospectively. After all, you cannot make connections looking forward, or even in the present; you can only connect the dots looking retrospectively [paraphrased advice from Dean Folberg].

[Note: This entry was purely for my benefit — I wanted to organize my thoughts and this is how I decided to do it — maybe someone out there can feel like they aren’t battling this alone.]

Today’s medical school fact of the day: “A virus is an obligate intracellular parasite that can either contain DNA or RNA, but not both.” – Dr. Harriott’s Virology lecture notes

7 thoughts on “Day 71: Battling the long distance relationship

  • October 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm
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    what is Mike getting his PhD in?

  • October 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm
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    @Anon: Something with proteins and cancer biology — he’s still doing rotations and trying to find the best fit for his interests.

  • October 25, 2011 at 12:52 am
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    Hey Amanda,

    We need to stop having so many things in common. I’m also in a long distance relationship. It has been hard, really hard. I saw him in late August, then he came to see me last weekend, and I won’t see him again until Christmas. We are also staring down the next couple years of long distance because he probably won’t be in michigan.

    I also see pros and cons to the arrangement, but I won’t go waxing poetic about it until at least a few more weeks have passed. Realistically, if he were nearby, I wouldn’t be spending as much time studying as I need to. It is working right now, but again, who knows how I will feel this time next month.

    Christine

  • October 25, 2011 at 12:54 am
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    Hang in there Amanda! It sure does help to know I’m not the only one battling a long distance relationship. And maybe it will help you to know that even though it will always be tough, after more than a year, I can say it does get a little easier since it becomes part of your routine. This is one of my favorite quotes, and it helps when I’m really missing my BF. Hopefully it will help you, too!

    “Missing someone gets easier everyday because even though you are one day further from the last time you saw them, you are one day closer to the next time you will.”

    (I’m not signing this, but I’ll tell you my BF is also in Cali so you can guess who it is…)

  • October 25, 2011 at 2:20 am
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    @Christine: Your situation sounds even *more* difficult than mine — at least I was able to coerce Mike into coming home this month, Thanksgiving and Christmas [well, his family does live here so I’m sharing him… a lot].

    I do hope that this works out for the both of us — there have definitely been a lot of steep ups and downs. Keep me updated on your situation! Always good to hear that someone else understands exactly what I’m going through.

    @Anon: I’ve stumbled across that quote! So true, but so hard to let the words sink in when in a rut. Alas, we’ll make it through this [I’m just concerned that I don’t have the same strength as you do to hold on for so long!].

    Coffee again soon, plz… I miss you. =(

  • October 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm
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    Finally caught up on your blog! Thinking of you and mike, I can’t imagine how hard that must be. It’s hard for Josh and I just being newlyweds but being 2000 miles apart is nothing to laugh at. Keep talking about it and and being honest with yourself and mike. But good luck with mike and school, you have a lot of great people around rooting for you 🙂

    Felicia

  • October 27, 2011 at 12:58 am
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    @Felicia: Being newlyweds and only having minimal quality time with one another is definitely at the same level of the long distance relationship. I applaud you guys for being so awesome — every time I run into you two together, I just get so excited/happy.

    Thanks for the support! I really appreciate it.

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