You never know who you’re going to meet.

My girlfriend, Krystal, and I met when I was 13 and she was 9. She showed me her drawings she had worked on, and I told her she was ugly and that her drawings were terrible. She told her mom on me.

I have since apologized. Profusely.

The second time we met I was 16 and fighting with my now-ex-girlfriend. Her stepsister introduced us while I was storming out of her house, fuming.

“Why are you with her if she makes you so mad?” Krystal asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied staring blankly at the asphalt.

She thought of my acne-riddled face and thought I was ugly, but she was nice enough not to say it out loud.

I recently discovered that, in early 2012, another friend introduced us while I was working at a Taco Bell in my hometown.

We didn’t keep in contact until we went to yet another friend’s high-school graduation, where we were introduced by our graduating friend. A few months, and an exciting night of Facebook flirting later, we started dating November of that year.

And now, almost 28 months later, whenever I leave, it’s a teary-eyed spectacle, with her crying, and me looking forward to another semester… right up until the moment my stepfather’s car is about to pull away from the parking lot, and I’m breaking down in tears, saying that I don’t want her to go.

When I get back, it’s all worth it.

Sometimes, we’re cuddling and making out; other times, we would play Minecraft, and I’m begging for her not to kill me with her sword, while I greedily finish what’s left of my Lucky Charms.

I always thought you have to look for love to be fulfilled and happy, but that’s not always the case. Whenever I made it my mission to find someone, I was either betrayed, cheated on or literally punched in the stomach.

I didn’t look so hard this time, and I wound up with the most beautiful, amazing and caring woman on the planet.

I realize there’s no master solution when it comes to love, but so far, that’s clearly what has worked for me. However, neither of us thinks it would have worked this well if we didn’t have as many of the same friends.

I will occasionally play songs for her on the guitar, either in person or over the phone. This past Valentine’s Day, when I was lucky enough to go home for the weekend, she leaned into me, whispering poetry into my ear as I cruised along the highway.

To be honest, I don’t know if we are going to make it the rest of the way. A lot of people tell me that long-distance relationships never work out, and based on my prior experience, I’d be inclined to believe them.

But those people are forgetting one thing: you never know who you’re going to meet. The right person will make you feel like those three-and-a-half hours between the two of you are only minutes away.

I can’t imagine laughing, crying or cuddling with anyone else, and I hope I never have to.

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Email Tim Lyman at timothy.lyman@cardinalpointsonline.com

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