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I’ve never been an overly clingy partner. Yes, I missed John all the time when we were apart, but I had things to fill up my time — a full-time job that I loved, an epic friend group, and my family. I knew that moving across the world would be a bitch and a half, but I never anticipated it would be such a struggle.
Adjusting to living with John was the easy part. It’s funny; before we lived together, so many people cautioned that you don’t actually know someone until you’ve lived with him or her. Not true. Everybody can change, everybody can adjust and adapt — especially if it’s for someone you love. I’d known John for slightly more than four years before I showed up in his bachelor pad with three suitcases full of clothes and shoes and makeup, and he is exactly the same person as he was before I moved in.
Granted, we have had to adapt. A queen-sized bed was no longer a big cloud nest that I could sleep diagonally in, and John’s once-muted apartment now looks like it had a passionate tryst with Crayola.
Beyond just adjusting to having my partner around all the time, what bothers me is that I feel parts of me slipping away — by no fault of my now-husband. I am no longer an editor of a publication I love. I no longer feel in demand, or that I have a purpose. I no longer have a group of girlfriends I see on a regular basis, or a gym I call my second home. My comforts no longer exist, my people are nine thousand miles away, and I am now living in a city that practically requires driving (and I can’t); I feel claustrophobic all the time.
I want to be my own person again, and I’m trying. It’s hard, you know? I’ve slowly started making friends and going to events in the city — and I’m probably one of UberX’s top customers.
Of course, it’s not that I’m unhappy entirely. After five years of waiting and planning, it’s amazing being able to wake up to the man I love every morning, and to actually spend time together.
People always have advice about how to survive long-distance relationships. But the truth is, no matter how much you plan, you never actually know what will happen until you pack your bags and move. Nobody ever tells you this: The happily-ever-after part of the love story? Turns out, it’s not perfect either.
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