If you were to ask Max one thing I love, he would say love! I’m obsessed with love. Movies about love, other people’s love, and especially our love. I think Max thinks it’s hilarious and he loves to look at me after watching a movie or video with the theme of love and say “Martin loves love!” Yes, Martin, that wasn’t a typo. That is pretty much the only thing that Max calls me. Never Mary, but I like it! But yes, I do love, love. I’ve also become a huge emotional baby about it these days too but oh well!
Today I want to talk about a part of our love story that I’ve grown to really appreciate. Max and I started our relationship 1,500 miles apart. We did that for eight months. Maybe we were crazy to try to make that work but sometimes taking crazy risks have the best reward and it will always turn your world upside down but when it works, it is SO worth it. Now let me clarify one thing. Max and I have known each other since we were 14 and 15 so it’s not like we jumped into this relationship being practically complete strangers. We have a history filled with undeniable chemistry. We have always clicked and had this amazing connection that neither of us has ever experienced before. For this reason, I knew it could work. It would be hard work but I also knew it was worth the risk. Part of myself thought I was crazy to ever try long distance again after a previous long distance relationship. I told myself after that relationship ended that I would never even consider long distance again unless there was serious potential for marriage. I almost shut Max down the summer we started hanging out again. He was home from college for the summer and we got back in touch. I finally asked him what we were doing and he told me that it was whatever I wanted it to be. So I told him that whatever this was, was just for the summer. He was going back to Orlando and I was staying in Minneapolis and I was content with the single life for the first time in a very long time. As you can imagine, he carefully and consistently perused me for the next month and the rest is history. Look at us now! I don’t want to make it sound that easy though. It was HARD and we went through a lot of tough things but we never considered once giving up on each other.
Those eight months were filled with FaceTime chats at least once per day, hundreds of phone calls, some of which lasted all night, and probably a million texts. We had to relearn a lot about each other since the last time we were together was years before, at the beginning of college, when we were both different people. We had to learn how to communicate first. That was the biggest thing as you could probably guess. We had a lot of differences that we needed to learn about and figure out how to work through. That is something that we still work on and something that we will always strive to get better at. While we had all of these differences, we had one big similarity. We are head strong, oldest child, control freaks. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be worse than Max. As you can imagine, this caused many disagreements. I distinctly remember sitting in his mom’s kitchen when he was home from school visiting, laying down ground rules for when we were arguing. Ha! I think back and laugh about it. We had to make rules to fight but hey, it was necessary and we learned how to have healthy and productive conversations about our disagreements. We learned how to resolve things quickly and effectively from a distance. Our rule? Only discuss things that could be fight material via FaceTime. It’s a fact (in my world) that when you can see someone’s face you are a lot nicer because you can see their face and read their emotions. We could both be mean if we didn’t see the look on the other’s face and the argument would escalate very quickly not begin to resolve. This has been a major key to success in our relationship along with prayer!
We also went through a ton of hard stuff together and I had to try to help Max from afar. Max’s whole world changed a lot at the beginning of our relationship and to this day my heart still aches about it but one situation after another we learned a lot and our bond was strengthened by that experience. Going through tough times isn’t fun but there is always a silver lining even if you have to search hard for it.
Long distance is not easy, I’m not going to pretend it is even for a second. I wouldn’t even recommend it but when your heart is connected to another sometimes it is the only option and you have to make it work. I would never want to do it again but I will never say it wasn’t worth all of the “see you laters.” I have an appreciation for Max that I probably wouldn’t have had, had we not gone through that eight month journey and that is worth it all!
Thank you for taking that crazy, beautiful leap of faith with me. I can’t wait to be your wife in 136 days.
xo – Mary