“The distance is like a mixed blessing,” he says. “It’s a good test for the relationship.” Such trials came in various forms. Zhang recounts an instance in which she debated between choosing a summer internship in New York or one in San Francisco, the latter of which she preferred. When she reached out to Graves for an opinion, he responded by asking her what she wanted. She explains that the moment helped her realize he was the one. “That’s continually been the way that he’s treated me,” she says. “Especially as a woman who wants to be very ambitious, it’s super important to have that partner who is willing to support you and willing to lift you up.” “Something interesting about [our relationship], at least from my perspective, is that it has been something that’s grown stronger over time,” Graves adds. “The patience builds and the trust builds and the understanding builds.” In fact, Zhang calls Graves one of her best friends, noting that her friends say the two are perfect for one another. “My blockmates have a verb called ‘Joan’ing out’ because sometimes I’ll just be sitting there and I’ll start daydreaming….
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