Going the Distance: Two seniors maintain relationship despite living in separate states


Meghan Kennedy, Staff Writer

In the midst of purchasing their first house together in Lincoln, Ne., where they plan on living until they’re 100 years old, they are eager to start their lives together. She wakes up in the morning, pours a cup of morning coffee and gives him a kiss before he heads off to work.
Debating whether the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers or University of Michigan Wolverines have a better football team will forever fill their morning conversations.
Thirteen years ago, the summer before their freshman year of high school, both of their lives changed for the better.
Flashback 10 years.
Flying back and forth between Kansas and Arizona to see a significant other would typically weaken a relationship, but they make it work.
Every two months, they reunite in each other’s home town. Playing basketball, attending baseball games, and watching movies consume the majority of their dates.
Already talking about their future, they plan to attend college together and marriage is definitely a possibility.
Flashback three years.
A casual trip to Scottsdale, Az., to visit her old neighbor, turned into a trip she’ll never forget. They went on their first date, had their first kiss and said they liked each other.
On July 10, 2010, they officially started dating who would end up being their high school sweetheart, possible future spouse, and they have never looked back
Student at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Az., senior Thomas Wright met Blue Valley senior Melissa Wilson through her old neighbor, DMHS junior Maddie Hayes, who moved to Arizona.
“I dated her friend Maddie at like the beginning of eighth grade and started talking to Melissa as a friend,” he said. “Maddie and I broke up, so Melissa and I got a little more serious. Then we finally got to meet each other, and I haven’t looked back.”
Wilson said she started talking to Wright before she actually met him.
“We just started talking on Facebook one day because we were both commenting back and forth on my friend’s picture,” she said. “He then just chatted me on Facebook and gave me his number, and then we started texting. Then, we eventually Skyped, and we just started talking more and more, but he had a girlfriend at that time. He dated my friend, and then started dating this other girl. Then, we started getting feelings for each other during their relationship. Once we met, everything just clicked.”
Wright said they were dating in secret for a while, but made it official after the first date.
“We started talking in 2009, but we officially started dating on July 10, 2010,” he said. “When I first met Melissa, I knew we would start dating. I just figured I would go as long as we could do it because I don’t really like short relationships, and look where we are now. I told my mom first, and she thought I was crazy, but then I told my dad and he just chuckled, I guess. Obviously, they didn’t think it would last, but I knew I cared about Melissa so much. Now, my parents are supportive of all my decisions.”
Wilson said she talked to her parents about the idea of a long-distance relationship once she and Wright became serious.
“We talked about it to make sure I could handle it if I got my heart broken,” she said. “I feel like everyone thought it was really weird. Like, ‘You can’t get a guy here’ kind of thing. They all really like him now and they’re all really supportive of us. [My parents] let me go down to see him whenever I want, and he can come up whenever he wants.”
Wright said their first date wasn’t awkward at all.
“I was just super nervous,” he said. “I didn’t know how I would act or how things would go or if she would like me and still think I was good-looking. Melissa was visiting Maddie, and our first date was upstairs in Maddie’s media room. It was funny because Maddie’s little sister had a crush on me, so she would not leave us alone. Oh, and we watched ‘Insidious’ on our first date — don’t listen to her if she told you ‘127 Hours.’”

Wilson said the hardest part of their relationship is being so far away from each other.
“It’s hard not being able to see him all the time and not being able to know what’s going to happen in the future,” she said. “We talk a lot, so I trust him no matter what. We talk on the phone a couple times a day, and we text non-stop. We Skype almost every single night. Sometimes we watch movies over Skype or hang out, it just depends.”
Wilson said she sees Wright in person every two months or so.
“It doesn’t feel like anything has changed when I see him,” she said. “It’s like we picked up right where we left off. I still always get really nervous and have butterflies when I see him, like it’s the first time I’m meeting him all over again.”
Wilson said it’s hard to not have Wright live near her, especially when school dances come around.
“It’s really hard because I want to be able to experience those things and have fun,” she said. “At the same time, I don’t want to hurt his feelings by going without him.”
Wright said they have so many great memories together that it’s hard to pick a favorite.
“We have so much fun together,” he said. “Our first date was awesome, and our first kiss on that date was even better. The way we just hang out and make each other laugh so hard is unbeatable. Oh, and making her laugh so hard she peed. When we see each other it’s the best feeling in the world. You can’t even imagine. It’s hard not being able to have that relationship we have non-stop. I would be at her house every single day if I could.”

Wilson said their relationship has made her more cautious of her actions and realize how they might impact someone else.
“In a way, this relationship has made me not only think about myself, but now I have to think about two people,” she said. “Since we’re far away, I can’t just go out and party all I want because I know I have someone who cares about me and wants the best for me. I also have to think about how he feels about what I do before I do it.”
Wright said Wilson has left a positive impact on his life.
“There isn’t a single way this relationship has made my life worse,” he said. “She’s made me nothing but happy from day one. If I have a bad day at baseball, she makes it better and makes me feel like the best player in the world. She’s made me a better person in every way possible.”
Wright said his favorite part about Wilson is how she treats him.
“She does all the little things for me,” he said. “She does absolutely everything for me. I can truly call her my best friend. She has taught me to show your loved ones every day that you love them. If there is someone who you care about, let them know.”
Wilson said this relationship has taught her to be more honest.
“I think we’ve both become more patient because we have no choice,” she said. “I’ve learned to be honest about everything, especially who I’m with. It’s really important to be honest because it makes you stronger. When you lie about things, it just makes a situation worse. Sometimes it’s hard to trust him just because I’m not there all the time, and I don’t know what’s going on. But then, I know I can trust him with everything, and I know he would tell me everything just like I would do for him.”

Wright said they have talked about their future together, and marriage is a common topic.
“I know I’m going to marry her,” he said. “I love Melissa so much. No word in the dictionary could describe the way I feel about her. She’s so amazing, and she makes me so happy all the time. Even when we fight and argue, I know she’s the one no matter what.”
Wilson said they’re like an old married couple.
“We fight all the time,” she said. “We fight probably every day about stupid stuff for, like, an hour or so. But, then we’re done, and it’s like we never fought. He’s just a genuine person. He’s really sweet, and he has a really great personality. He’s just so much fun to be around.”
Wilson said she plans on following Wright wherever he plans on attending college.
“For college, it kind of just depends on where he is going to play baseball,” she said. “We’ve talked about marriage, and I think it’s going to happen. I don’t think anyone is surprised that we want to get married. They know how happy he makes me and how good we are for each other, and they can see us together in the long-run.”
Wright said there is no doubt in his mind their relationship will last.
“We’re going to be together for a very long time,” he said. “Next year, Melissa and I will be at either [the University of Kansas] or [the University of] Nebraska, depending on baseball stuff. It’s really cool that she is more than willing to follow me for baseball. Oh, and we always argue about [the University of] Nebraska and [the University of] Michigan, especially in football, and how ‘Nebrasketball’ would beat [the University of Kansas] nine out of ten times.”