This I Believe

Kelly - Monroeville, Ohio
Entered on December 12, 2006

I believe in long-distance relationships. The man who helped to inspire my belief is not only my boyfriend, but my best friend. Being a soldier in the United States Army, he has taught me that by working through obstacles you can achieve great things. Together, not only do we face the ups and downs of this belief on a daily basis, but work through each obstacle that comes our way, determined to one day have a future together, side by side.

My boyfriend was deployed to Iraq in October of 2005. Saying goodbye, I had no idea when I’d see him again or even hear his voice. Being a junior in high school, dating an older guy, I was quite doubtful of our long-distance relationship. How could I not be? Everyone urged me to end it, saying there was no way it would ever work out and that I was crazy for tying myself down to one guy who was so far away, while I was so young. Though I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be, I never left his side. He was a soldier going overseas to fight for our freedom and I could not have been more proud to call him my boyfriend. As for everyone who doubted our relationship, they could never understand the difficulties that came along with it. I went nine months without seeing the man I called my boyfriend. On the news I heard of soldiers being killed in Iraq, while all I could do was pray that it wasn’t him. There were so many sleepless nights that I could only hope he was okay, so many missed phone calls that made the tears come rolling down my face because I wanted so badly to hear his voice, so many times I needed to be with him and couldn’t, so many days I felt helpless and alone. Yet all along the way he was there, urging me to hang on a little longer, telling me he’d be there soon. Not only was I determined to wait out this deployment to be with him again, but he was half a world away hoping, wishing, waiting, and praying that I’d be here for him when he returned.

My soldier has been back in the United States for almost two months now and our relationship is living proof that absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. Currently, he is stationed six hundred miles away and I see him about once a month. Spending nine months away from him was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do so far in my life, yet it’s been one of the most rewarding. Not only has our relationship become that much stronger, but he truly is my hero, my best friend, and my other half.

My belief in long-distance relationships has had a vast impact on my life. It’s helped me to become the strong, determined, independent person that I am today and I will be forever grateful for that. I believe that long-distance relationships take work, a lot of it. But most of all, they take two strong-willed, determined people who care enough about each other to hold on to the special bond they share, no matter how many miles lie between them.