At the party where I met my current boyfriend, I asked him a Sophie's Choice question of my own invention. Would you rather, I asked, spend the rest of your life on a deserted island, completely alone but with modern conveniences like a smartphone, laptop, and good WiFi? Or would you spend it wherever you want, with whomever you want, but without the ability to communicate with language—no talking, no typing? Both of us love to read, discuss our feelings, and make sense of the world through words. Both of us chose the island.

We didn’t know then that we would start dating, or that we'd fall in love, or that he’d move 5,000 miles away. We had no idea we’d end up spending the better part of a year in a transoceanic long-distance relationship, living on the islands of our separate lives, turning my thought experiment into a real-world trial.

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