Love is weird like that.
I once got an unexpected email from an old lover who apologized for things having gone wrong almost a decade prior. I was overwhelmed and touched that he made the effort without any attempt to rekindle things but trying to play it cool, I attempted to wave him off, saying, "It's no big deal; it was ages ago."
Taking a moment to be philosophical, he replied, "The heart knows no distance or time." To this, I could only nod. Love is weird like that.
Almost all of us have at least one ex who could send a simple text and send us into an emotional tailspin for a few hours, and while we'd usually like to believe it's because we're so full of hatred, we also know we'd have a hard time shutting the door if that same ex was on our front porch wondering if you'd like to "just catch up." That's love, too ... unfortunately.
If we're capable of maintaining long-distance friendships that can pick up right where they left off after months of silence, it isn't too unreasonable to see that romantic love is the same.
Granted, romantic relationships have an entirely different set of needs in order to maintain, but love functions the same regardless of two people's shared habits or regulations.
True love wishes the object of one's affection was near but encourages the other to chase the life of their dreams, even if that's in a different location.
True love feels the same excitement to be in contact no matter how much time has passed.
True love persists through disappointments in another's absence and even through the choice not to join in our day-to-day life.
True love persists even if two people's paths divide.
That's not a popular opinion, I know. We want to believe that the person we share a real love with will be in our lives no matter what and will fight to sacrifice everything he or she loves to be in ours, but that's not always the reality — and, ultimately, it's a very egocentric form of love. It took me a long time to realize this, personally, but I've seen enough examples firsthand and through others that I'm entirely convinced at this point.
True love wants happiness for the other regardless of whether or not the two people involved can remain romantically involved.
Perhaps, in a perfect world where we aren't tied to ideas of monogamy and fidelity, we might be able to honor our own instances of true love with more fluid, ongoing, touch-and-go relationships, but we aren't quite there yet as a society.
Still, evidence of true love's perseverance despite distance and elapsed time continues to present itself. With every story of former couples rekindling their romances after their long-term spouses have passed away, and every time a life is thrown off track by a simple Facebook friend request from a fondly-remembered ex, the truth about real love is solidified.