It's a tale as old as time: Boy meets boy on Twitter. They fall madly in love. Other boy just so happens to live 2,500 miles across the country.
It's something everybody dreams about, right? Not so much.
The long-distance relationship is about as inconvenient as it is unconventional. Even with the peak of social media and digital interactions, it's something people actively avoid. Bogged down by myths and superstitions, these types of relationships are seen as cursed, taboo and "doomed to fail because someone is definitely going to cheat on you. You're going to end up crying in a ball, in the corner of your tiny apartment."
The last one may be an exaggeration, but I digress. My relationship with this boy – I'll call him "R" – wasn't the fairytale every 21-year-old gay man dreams of having. In this day and age, if you didn't meet him on Grindr, it's not true love.
Like any long-distance relationship, it was unconventional and inconvenient. He liked my tweet, and I liked his face. Can I make it any more obvious?
Everything seemed to fit together like a puzzle. Our quirks aligned, and our jokes were the same. We even had the same job, but at different universities.
The fates were on our side. So, I began to think about it. Choosing love over distance, over cliches and over doom is tough. Not once did I think I'd be the type of person who would do it.
I would often laugh at the people who attempted to make long-distance relationships work because I had never actually seen one work. They all started the same: Boy meets girl in high school. They go to separate colleges, but vow to make it work.
It works until it doesn't. That being said, they all end the same way: someone crying in a ball in the corner of his or her tiny apartment. One night, I caught myself thinking about the tragedy that would be our "inevitable" breakup.
I could see myself crying over a boy I knew very little about. But, I wanted to know everything. I thought about the dark rain cloud that would seat itself above my head and unleash a torrential downpour every time I thought about his obsessive love for coffee, or how he had an insatiable love for television shows produced by Shonda Rhimes.
Then, I slapped myself. I took my hand and slapped myself in my face hard. That's all it took to shake off the nagging, unfounded thought that it was going to end terribly.
Because when you're in a long-distance relationship and truly feel like it's going to work, you make it work. Check your gut because it will know if this guy, girl or gender non-conforming individual is the right person for you to be with, distance be damned.
After a few more slaps, a solid gut check and several weeks of dancing around with "R" – passively flirting and going on Skype – we decided to try to make it work. It worked until it didn't.
"There's probably some lesson to be learned from this," I thought to myself after three weeks of crying in a ball in the corner of my tiny apartment. I went through all the sayings, inspirational quotes and videos.
"There's stock in cliches. There's a reason for everything. It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." None of them brought me solace. None of them eased the pain. I checked my gut, and my gut wasn't wrong. It never is.
My decision to choose love over distance, over cliches and over doom was tough. But, I wouldn't go back and change a thing. Why would I? Love is all about taking chances.