When our friendship began at a small Christian college, we were both emphatically interested in boys. But after a year of growing closer and spending time together, we started to realize how much we didn’t like spending time apart. We began to refer to ourselves as Jonathan and David (two of the closest friends from the Bible). And by the end of our first year since meeting, we were inseparable.
|K and Ruth, back in college.|
Well, almost inseparable. I was preparing to spend a semester abroad in Australia, when we would be apart for nearly seven straight months.
Exactly one month before my leaving, we were cuddling next to each other in her dorm room, and I did something I had never done in my life, I kissed her. It was my first kiss, and I didn’t need to kiss anyone else to know that she was what I’d been waiting for. And by the way she kissed me back, I knew she felt the same way about me. We were already so close in every other way, and our physical connection was the missing piece to the puzzle.
The following month was a whirlwind of emotion as we were ecstatic and simultaneously terrified at this new discovery in our relationship. Both of us came from very conservative backgrounds and were wrestling with the inner conflict of our love for one another and the “sin” of being together.
And then… I left.
During those months apart our relationship only deepened as we worked with the time difference, our schedules, and the minor detail of 9300 miles between us. We wrote letters, sent packages, and emailed back and forth. It was anything but easy, but so completely worth it. In spite of the distance, we both knew that we had fallen in love.
|K and Ruth on a picnic/movie date night.|
The first couple years were not easy, being together. Not because we didn’t love each other, that was never the question. Not because we didn’t want to be together, we hated being apart. We battled with pressure from everyone we told to end it. Friends, family, counselors, our Christian upbringing. Everything told us this was not OK, this was not what God wanted for us.
But as cheesy as it sounds, my heart was saying the opposite. We would fight our love, our hearts, try to “end it” over and over, but we just couldn’t. I felt we had found one another for a reason. We had this connection for a reason. This wasn’t just something to throw away.
So we kept it.
|Ruth and K. K visiting for Ruth's 24th birthday.|
And we still have it now, over 4.5 years after that very first kiss. We live a few hundred miles apart still. K’s finishing up her nursing degree, and I have a job as a graphic designer in another city. Out of our 55 months as a couple, we’ve only been able to spend 10 of those living even in the same town. But I think persevering through just about everything together, including all of the long distance, has only made us work harder and grow closer in our relationship. We’re deliberate about making one another feel loved, whether we’re three inches apart or 300 miles apart. When we’re together in person, it just feels right. And when we don’t worry about all of the bullshit in the world, we know that it IS right.
|Road Trip to Toronto.|
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for our long distance relationship. K will graduate in a little over a year, and hopefully in 12-16 months I’ll be moving to where she lives and for the very first time we will actually get to LIVE together! Goodnight kisses, waking up next to her, and being able to be there for all of the little day-to-day things that we miss.
The most important things in life really are impossible to predict. I don’t think either of us would have predicted this is where life would lead, but I’m thankful every day that it did. We don’t know what the future holds, but I truly believe that Love will win.
Ruth & K (aka Dovey & Lovey)
|Photo taken at the NOH8 Campaign Chicago shoot.|