Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is the likelihood that I'll wait for him? And what is the likelihood that we'll still be compatible when he comes back?
-Not mine for two years (and possibly never again?)
Dear Forlorn One,
Let me tell you about some of my friends (all names have been changed):
Kai and Lani
Kai was from Colorado, Lani from California. They met freshman year by means of a mutual friend (Addison, my current roommate). It didn't take long for the two to hit it off and start dating. It seemed like they did everything together. Lani went to so many of our ward activities with Kai that many of us forgot she wasn't actually a member of our ward. Eventually, freshman year came to an end and Kai went on his mission to Taiwan. Lani received various invitations to date (some of them creepy), but as far as I know, she never accepted any of them. She was sure that she and Kai were meant to be together, so she waited. Two years passed, and Kai returned from his mission. Apparently on council from Elder Holland (whom he happened to run into right after being released), Kai wasted no time in reuniting with Lani and proposing to her (and by no time, I mean no time; I think it was less than two weeks after he got back). They were engaged all of last fall semester, and were married in the Oakland temple on December 20th. Since then, they've been on a series of crazy adventures in the orient, working and sightseeing in Taiwan, Malaysia, and all over China. They're coming back stateside sometime soon, and I can't wait to see them again. Seeing them happy together makes everyone around them feel happy, too.
Amy, Bryce, and Kyle
Amy was one of the first people I met my freshman year. She was smart, funny, and pretty to boot. I may or may not have had my eye on her, and I wasn't alone; a few other guys on my floor seemed interested in dating her, too. Out of all of us, though, Amy only had her eye on one: Bryce. They took a bit longer to get started than Kai and Lani, but if memory serves me correctly they had kissed by the end of semester. Winter semester started, and Kyle moved into the ward. It didn't take long for us to welcome him right into our group of friends, and by the end of the semester it felt like he'd been with us all year. School got out, but Amy and Bryce were still dating, since she stayed for spring term and he lived in Pleasant Grove. Kyle stayed for spring and summer, too, and everyone was still hanging out and having a good time. Bryce left for his mission in October. He and Amy had agreed that there wasn't any pressure involved; if Amy wanted to date other people, Bryce was okay with it. For a while, she didn't. But, the more he spent time with the group, the more Kyle realized he was developing feelings for Amy. Eventually, he decided to throw caution to the winds and just tell Amy how he felt. To his surprise, she said she had feelings for him, too. So, they started dating, but they didn't tell Bryce. This went on for a few months, and then somehow Bryce found out. Their previous arrangement notwithstanding, Bryce was hurt; it seems both Amy and Kyle had been writing him like nothing had changed. He stopped talking to both of them, and the drama created a rift in our once close-knit group of friends.
Time passed. Amy and Kyle broke up and got back together again several times. I got home off of my mission in the summer, surprised and a little confused at how things had played out. Then, October rolled around, and it was time for Bryce to come home. Both Amy and Kyle came with us to his homecoming; things were more than a bit icy. In the following weeks, Amy broke up with Kyle, but Bryce was still nursing his hurt feelings and said that he didn't want to date Amy, at least not yet. A few more weeks passed, and they reconciled and started dating again. It was downhill from there. Amy and Bryce were happily married the first week of July. Though things took longer to heal between Kyle and Bryce, through mutual effort (and intramural ultimate frisbee), I'm happy to report that the two are friends again, and Kyle is happily dating another girl from the freshman ward, Sally.
Jack and Joan
Unlike all of the previous stories, Jack and Joan didn't meet freshman year; they had been dating since high school and continued doing so at BYU. Their relationship was not without it's problems; Jack often came to me for relationship advice (which does not make sense at all, given my near-perpetual singleness that continues to this day). One time in particular he spent about an hour just venting his problems from underneath my bed while I sat at my desk and browsed the web.
Despite all of this, Jack and Joan were still dating when freshman year ended and Jack went off to Peru for his mission. However, several months into his mission, Jack learned that Joan had been going out steadily with another man and keeping it on the sly. Without too much fanfare, Jack broke things off. Joan continued dating her new man, and ended up marrying him right around when Jack came home (which caused Jack to delete his facebook for a time, since it was full of old pictures of him and Joan and new pictures of Joan and her hubby). Jack dated a girl for a few months, but things went sour by the beginning of this summer. He is now happily dating Samantha, who (you might have guessed) is also from our freshman ward.
(We just had a really awesome freshman ward, okay?)
(Also, I don't mean to imply that it's always the girl that ends up cheating on the guy in these situations. I fully acknowledge the reverse happens; it just hasn't happened with my close friends.)
So, what's the point of all of this? The point is that, though each story developed differently and had its own twists and turns, everyone in the end ends up happy (or at least, they are now). That's not to say that they were always happy the whole time. That's not to say that they won't have further trials ahead. But, again, in the end, they end up happy.
It's impossible to say how your story is going to play out. It depends a lot on you, and it depends a lot on your missionary. If there's any part of you that wants things to still work out, hold on to that and seek to keep up communication. Just know that, no matter, what, things will turn out in the end.
-Frère Rubik, who is still very much in the middle of his journey.
It worked for me.
It didn't work for one of my best friends.
Just enjoy each other's emails and focus on having a fulfilling and productive two years.
I know that's a lot easier said than done, but trust me, it's the best way to make it work.