Jatin and I had been dating for three years. We started during our third year of college, followed by two years since we started working. He had been working for American Express as a fraud analyst whereas I was working with my father. It was shortly after our three year anniversary that AMEX offered Jatin and two other ace employees, the opportunity to pursue an MBA in the U.K.. This was conditional upon them rejoining the company once they were back, at a more senior position with double the pay. This seemed like a great opportunity, given the fact that the company would be bearing the education fee and all Jatin had to take care of was his flight tickets and living expenses. An excellent deal, we both thought. While he was apprehensive about us, without much deliberation, I told him to take up the opportunity.
Being the realist that I was, I felt that an MBA would do wonders for his future career prospects. And as for our relationship, that would most likely end, courtesy long distance. I mean I knew, I had seen every single friend of mine who had ever been in a long distance relationship, break up. I was aware that unlike what is commonly believed, just fidelity isn’t an issue, there are a host of other reasons like insecurities, jealousy and the biggest evil- time difference. So once his decision to leave was finalized, I was mentally prepared to see the inevitable death of our relationship, sooner or later. Once he left for the U.K., I was quite sad about him going away as I loved him and we had planned a future together and it would hurt to lose all that we had. But then I knew in my head that long distance never works. But for Jatin, I would still give it a shot. So that later we don’t regret not trying hard enough to make this work. Such practicality from my end used to really bother Jatin. I attributed his faith in being certain that our relationship wouldn’t suffer to the fact that he was blind in love, given I was the first girl he had ever dated.
The Delhi-London time difference was roughly four and a half hours, which was not as bad as I had anticipated. Jatin and I decided to speak to each other every morning (his morning and my afternoon), which was convenient. The first call was made to me each morning, which coincided with my lunch break and we talked about the previous day, what we did, our moods and any highlights or stories. Every weekend, we made it a point to Facetime for at least an hour. Instead of the regular weekday banter, we used to have candlelit meals, all dressed up and sexy, flirtatious conversations, and sometimes we even did squats/ planks and other fitness challenges to keep things exciting. (Yes we both are fitness freaks, and our idea of romance is a bit bonkers). As for insecurities, Jatin was juggling between the heavy burden of studies, exams, household chores and living alone, so there were literally none. The only human interaction the poor guy had was with his classmates for projects or his family or me. So I had nothing to worry about. And as for me, dad and I had been working to expand our business. The tiresome process kept me extremely busy day in and day out, leaving me with no time to miss him or bother myself with silly, envious thoughts.
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The fact that we spoke just once a day on weekdays for a few minutes and had an exciting Facetime date every other weekend - this saved our relationship from becoming monotonous or running out of things to talk about. And we both were so busy, that speaking to each other was a breath of fresh air in our otherwise hectic routines. I would also say, that to my surprise, Jatin was extremely dedicated in ensuring that he gave me sufficient time and made this work. I never knew I meant that much to him. And of course, there were days during his exams or when I had international clients visiting, that left us with no time to talk. So we kept each other posted via Whatsapp to avoid any misunderstanding or worry. We were mature enough to understand each other’s situation and be patient rather than throwing an angry fit. Although all my patience and maturity went out the window during my PMS days :P which Jatin, thankfully was accustomed to handle. I did miss him a lot, especially seeing him in person. And not just the romantic stuff, but also the movie marathons, gym sessions and drives we used to go for together. But I wouldn’t complain as this long distance went way more smoothly than I had ever expected, with us never even coming close to breaking up. And just like that one whole year passed by, making us more sure about each other.
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Jatin finally flew back and I went to receive him at the airport. I had decided to race to him as soon as I saw him and give him the tightest hug (like in the movies). But instead, I didn’t see him walking out for quite a while. Then suddenly, I felt a nudge and it was him, kneeling down beside his luggage, with a ring in his hand. I screamed a yes, wore the ring and hugged him very tightly. Only your true love can surprise you even more amazingly than the movies. And that’s how Jatin and I worked our long distance relationship, and in fact ended up getting married to each other.
* Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Oct 08, 2016