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The five stages of surviving a long-distance relationship

I am currently dating the girl of my dreams, but there is one big problem I have been dealing with for the past three months.

I live in Los Angeles and she lives in Chicago — Waukegan actually, but same difference — and will be there until June, making our relationship a long-distance one.

And for those of you who don’t know, long-distance relationships are really freaking hard.

Don’t get me wrong, it is worth it if it is with the right person, but just because it’s worth it doesn’t make it any less difficult.

But hey, at least we live in the digital age. We both have iPhones, so FaceTime is a possibility. We also both have Hulu accounts, so remote TV show/movie dates are a possibility as well.

We have also been able to visit each other a few times. So far, I have been to Chicago twice since the start of our relationship and she has come to Los Angeles three times.

We have been averaging about three weeks between each visit so far and between each trip, there is a “long-distance relationship cycle” that I go through. This is a Lakers blog, so I thought I’d explain the cycle through some Laker GIFs.

Stage One: Complete Despair

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Will Ferrell is a Lakers fan, so I’m counting this as a Lakers GIF

I am in grad school and she works for a large healthcare corporation — the Bernie bro side of me has learned to accept this — so our trips to see each other have not been that long; three days tops.

So shortly after the trip begins, we find ourselves back at the airport saying goodbye.

This moment absolutely sucks.

The last hug or the last kiss never feels like enough and the drive back from the airport is horrible. I’m too bummed to play music, so I just sit there in silence, lamenting on my sorrow. At this point, it is the longest time before I get to see my lady again.

Stage Two: Holy Crap, I Won’t Survive

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I have always had the philosophy that if you are having an awful day, the best thing to do is to go to bed early and finish the day as soon as possible. The next morning usually brings a new outlook on things.

Well, that doesn’t work too well in this scenario.

By the next morning, I wake up thinking, “Damn, I am in for a tough time before I see her in person again.” I lay in bed, stare at the ceiling, and realize that it has all just begun.

Stage Three: Ain’t No Thang but a Chicken Wang

3.gif

I don’t know where I’ve heard this before, but whenever I am in a tough situation and am confident that I can overcome it, this line pops up in my head. I seriously have no idea where I heard it, so it you know, please comment below.

After a week, I start to overcome my sadness, or at least I convince myself that I do. At this point, I push harder for FaceTime and Hulu — we are currently on season 4 of The Jersey Shore — dates and make plans for the next time we see each other.

“I can do this,” I tell myself. “Don’t be a baby and deal with it.”

Stage Four: Fight

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To be fair, there have only been two instances of this, but I thought I’d add it in.

After a few weeks, some sort of annoyance happens. I forget the date of something or I make a stupid joke (again) that she doesn’t want to fake laugh to.

My girlfriend knows I’m a butthead most of the time. If she didn’t, we would have broken up a long time ago. And when these “fights” happen, we’re not mad at each other, just the fact that we’ve embarked on this tough journey.

To call them fights isn’t really accurate. They’re more like tiffs. But for someone who rarely raises his voice at people and has never thrown a legit punch at someone, it’s as close to a fight as I’ll probably get in for a very long time.

Stage Five: Reunited and it Feels So Good

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We’ve made it the three weeks and finally get to see each other in 3D. In that first second, I realize why going through these stages is so worth it.

For anyone thinking about doing a long-distance relationship, please don’t let this deter you. If it’s for the right person, this stage makes it all worth it.

And hopefully one day, it will only be stage five all day, every day.

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