Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Modern Day Romance


{A guest post by Kaliwood Kontributor, Dana}

Hi everyone! Dana here and I am guest blogging for my dear friend Kali today. Kali had asked me to share my story on long distance/unconventional relationships and whether I like it or not, I am the QUEEN of the unconventional relationship. True story, I met Kali because we shared a bathroom together in college and we have been friends ever since. However, when Kali asked me to blog, I think she was referring to my relationship with my boyfriend fiancĂ© Matt. (We’re newly engaged!)

So I am happy I get to share my story with you all and hope that I can be a small advocate for those that have a similar story or an encourager for those that are holding themselves back from a potential LIFE CHANGING relationship. So without further ado, here is my modern day romance:

Matt and I are traditional people and share conservative values so it is completely ironic that how we started dating is very modern and very non-traditional.

We actually met at College GameDay the one year that Kentucky was decent in football (2007) and ESPN decided to come to Lexington, KY for their Saturday GameDay show. We had just beaten the #1 LSU Tigers the weekend before (GO CATS!) and were playing the Florida Gators that Saturday. If you have never been to GameDay it is quite the experience: get up at the crack of dawn to reserve your spot in a sea of people and stand there for the next 8 hours. Well I went to GameDay with some sorority sisters of mine and the lawn was filling up quickly. It was just a few minutes after we got our spot that a group of Florida fans decided to stand right next to us. Typically, you would not be happy to have the opposing team stand next to you for 8 hours but I swear this was the nicest group of guys we could have asked for and the conversation never stopped. There was one guy that stood out to me as super sweet and was constantly making me laugh the entire day. You guessed it, that ONE Florida guy is my now fiancé, Matt. I managed to find a few pictures of us from the day but surprisingly we never got a picture together. FAIL.






Well we left GameDay without exchanging numbers or anything but thanks to the wonderful invention of Facebook, it didn’t take long for the “Kentucky Girls” to connect with the “Florida Boys”.

I wish I could say we started dating right away but we didn’t. It took us years to reconnect and when we finally did it was through the faithful Facebook. Never would I have thought I would thank ESPN and Facebook for my (future) marriage. :)

We started talking again in February of 2012 and by March of 2012 we were spending hours on the phone together. You know you have something special when you can spend 3 hours on the phone every day and never repeat a conversation. We knew we liked each other but we did live 4 states away so in order for us to see if this was “something real” we had to take a leap of faith and book some flights to see each other again.  We ended up hanging out in person again that May and well… the rest is history! After dating for a year and a half we decided we needed to date in the SAME city so this Kentucky girl packed her bags to head south.

People ask us all the time how we made the long distance/unconventional relationship work. Here are some of my best tips for those fighting the same distance battle:

1. FaceTime.
Our relationship would have been 100 times harder if we didn’t SEE each other as much as possible.  We avoided many “arguments” because we could FaceTime and see how the other person was reacting. So much can be lost in translation when texting/calling. PLUS, seeing your loved ones every day is good for the soul.

2. Have date nights.
Just because you have to actually hop on a plane to go on a date in person doesn’t mean that you can’t “go on a date” when you’re not together. Despite the confused looks we would get from family and friends, Matt and I would block off an evening, grab dinner, rent the same movie and using Skype/FaceTime we would have dinner and a movie together. It was worth it.

3. See the BENEFITS of not living in the same city.
While there are some definite disadvantages to dating apart, it does force you to talk… A LOT. You will learn more things about your partner faster than you would in the same city. It also forces you to still be independent: have your own career, family, friends to occupy the time. I think a strong relationship is where each person is the best version of themselves while being complimented by their counterpart, not dependent on them.

4. Keep the faith.
There will be tough times. The longer you go without seeing your “better half” the harder it gets but our thought was always “I would rather have you in my life and not get to see you for a while than not have you in my life at all.” Plus, just when there seemed to be an “obstacle” we couldn’t overcome, a solution was right around the corner.

5. Trust your gut.
You always hear the “horror stories” of people that started dating online, I even think there is a show out there about that… Catfish, anyone? Well Matt and I had some doubters at the beginning. In fact, my Dad made me have an “emergency plan A, B, and C” when I started going to Florida to visit Matt. You know, “just in case” he would say. If things don’t feel “right” don’t force it. However, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith to receive the biggest blessing of your life.

So that’s my story and my advice. I hope at least one reader out there feels encouraged to be open to a new relationship you wouldn’t have considered before.


You can follow our “Modern Love Story” on my blog, Based On A True Story (B.O.A.T.S.), and you can read our perfect engagement story here


Yours truly, Dana
BOATS





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