Oh, the harrowing trials and tribulations of being caught up in the painful tethers of a long distance, romantic relationship.
You endure endless sweeps of irrational jealousy. You find yourself engaging in embarrassing drunk dials. You're always f*cking miserable and relentlessly wishing you were in the precious presence of your significant other.
I've weathered the long distance relationship storm and just barely came out alive on the other side. Now, I find myself at 29-f*cking-years old, no longer in a long distance relationship, but something even more intense: a passionate, long distance friendship with my soul sister, partner-in-crime and decade-long bestie, Ruba.
Before Ruba relocated to London five years ago, the two of us were inseparable. We lived two blocks from each other in Manhattan (and even shared a sh*t little studio at a low point).
Together we suffered through excruciating hangovers, quarter-life crisis panic attacks and awkward dates with spineless creeps. As a united force of best-friend nature, the two of us laughed at the endless stream of hipster f*ckboys trying too hard at Brooklyn bars, indulged in salacious late-night pizza binges and wasted an embarrassing amount of hours watching sh*t television.
We navigated the dangerous terrain of our teens and early 20s side by side. We shared the kind of intimate, embarrassing secrets one can only share with a best friend.
Ruba is the type of friend I can tell about the weird mole (I may or may not have) on my left boob or how deeply my bout of eighth-grade acne continues to emotionally torment me. She's the only one who really, really knows how f*cking nuts my family truly is.
When she left me for England, I was a lost and heartbroken shell of my former self, a lost single girl all alone in the cruel, cold city. How could I stay afloat in the dark waters of life without my life raft?
Luckily for lonely little me, Ruba was as codependent as I. We didn't "break up." We did what real best friends do: We became long distance best friends.
Being in a long distance friendship is most definitely not a game for fair-weather friends. It takes commitment. It takes scheduling. It takes planning, time management skills and strength.
However, the beauty of a long distance friendship is this: If your friendship can withstand the test of distance, you will be sure to know it's the real f*cking deal. If you can get through this, the two of you are bound for life.
1. You know everything about everyone in each other's lives.
Even though Ruba lives thousands of miles away, and we haven't set a foot in one another's territory for a couple of years now, we both intimately know the cast of characters present in one another's lives.
Ruba knows intimate details about that impossibly pretty girl at work whose intentions I don't trust. She knows the fragrance my crush wears. She knows the first and last name of the doorman in my building. We know each other's worlds so intensely that we live two lives -- our own and each other's -- vicariously through one another.
2. You text each other like lovers.
When you're in a long distance friendship, you're like star-crossed lovers. You get up in the morning, roll over and text each other before you even start brewing the morning coffee (otherwise known as extreme codependency).
3. Your drunk dials never link up.
There is a four-hour time difference between London and New York. When I'm doing the drunk dialing while stumbling home from an East Village bar at 4 am, she's in the midst of getting ready for work in the morning.
When she drunk dials me, it's smack dab in the middle of the workday when I'm stressed as f*ck, only to get incessant FaceTimes from my best friend who is smoking a hand-rolled cigarette and drinking a whisky neat in her apartment.
4. You catch irrational social media jealousy.
Just like seeing an ex-lover arm-in-arm with some skinny blonde chick, nothing boils my blood like seeing Ruba smiling, champagne glass in hand (that's OUR DRINK) with some girl I've never even heard her talk about.
I get filled with a wildly irrational, irrepressible fear that this new bitch is my replacement.
5. You spend a Saturday night drinking and gossiping together over Skype.
An idea of a fun Saturday night is no longer about getting loaded with faceless f*ckboys and f*ckgirls at some trendy overpriced downtown bar.
No, it's all about sitting on my couch, throwing back some cold cocktails with my bestie whilst indulging in petty gossip (the only kind you can have with a best friend) via Skype.
6. Your parents are involved.
My parents Skype Ruba more than they talk to me. She's like their ideal, golden child. They can take credit when she succeeds but don't need to take responsibility or feel guilty when she f*cks up.
7. You pine for her like a lover.
When you're in a long distance friendship, you find yourself endlessly longing for your bestie's company, whether you're at work, about to go on a date or sitting on the couch watching sh*t television in your mud mask and sweats.
8. You get drunk and long for her even more deeply.
Nothing amplifies the hurt of missing and longing for your best friend like booze.
Three drinks deep, and I can't stop thinking about how much more FUN this horrible party would be if she were there. Five drinks deep, and I'm making a long distance drunk dial to London. Oh well, who the f*ck cares?
And the best part about drunk dialing your bestie is there isn't an ounce of shame about it the next day.
9. Your long phone sessions are a therapy replacement.
Who needs a therapist when you have a two-hour scheduled phone confessional on the long walk to work every morning?
10. Sometimes the distance makes you fight.
Just like scorned lovers, sometimes the space feels too painful to handle. You find yourself frustrated and picking fights with each other over dumb sh*t just because you miss the sh*t out of each other.
11. You get wildly protective when a new flame comes into her life.
Who is this new person? What are his intentions? Do I need to kill him?
12. You talk about each other incessantly.
Every single person in my world knows about Ruba -- what she looks like, where she works, who she's feuding with and the stupid slew of things she did while wasted last Saturday night.
13. You get irrationally pissed off when she doesn't pick up your phone calls.
What could possibly be MORE important to her than immediately instructing me on how to respond to a bizarre text I got from a new date?
14. You try to get a new best friend, but everyone pales in comparison.
I've come to accept that Ruba and I don't live in the same city, so a few years ago, I decided to say f*ck it. I can't do this anymore. I'm going to find a new best friend.
I spent several months in search of a Ruba replacement. Yet everyone was so boring in comparison to my crazy, wild, hilarious best friend that it only solidified her spot as "the one."
15. Half your life is spent on the phone.
Just because you're thousands of miles apart doesn't mean you communicate any less.
16. You get pissed at the people she dates.
How dare that f*ckboy not even offer to pay for dinner?
17. Sometimes you don't even talk during your Skype sessions.
You've reached peak levels of comfort. You can engage in a four-hour-long silent Skype session where you just watch TV together. You start to forget you're even on Skype and start to feel like you're actually chilling out together in real life (especially when wine is tossed into the mix).
18. You friend request each other's friends that you have never met in real life.
You start to feel a connection with each other's friends because you talk about them so much. You start to believe her friends are your friends -- and do creepy things like randomly friend request them on social media.
19. You long for the days you will be reunited.
You count down the days until you can FINALLY hang out in person once again.
20. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
This statement is not only true for lovers, but for friends.
21. You plan your futures together.
You are forever holding a glass of wine, staring at each other over Skype, drunkenly discussing the glorious future when, one fine day, you will both live in the same apartment building on the Upper West Side. You plan your pregnancies together. You even discuss what schools you both will send your future, unborn children.
Holding on to the possibility that you will once again be reunited, is precisely what gets you through those lonely, painful, best-friendless days.