As I was catching up on some blogs, something that Rachel said a little while ago really made me realise just how early on I should have realised that it wasn’t going to work or that things were starting to fail. Scheduling a weekly skype night seems to make so much sense right now. How did either of us expect that our love would really survive the long distance for such a long time without making each other an actual priority? Simply ‘knowing’ that the other was a priority without really making the effort to do something as simple as scheduling a night to talk and catch up, is just asking for trouble.
Not that it was the single cause but it certainly would have been a good starting point. After that, maybe facing the fear of pissing each other off and fighting would have been another good step. Though that’s a difficult one; we started off fighting. I thought he hated me because his friends hated me. And then there were trust issues… so we started by fighting and it was understandable that neither of us wanted to fight over the long distance.
I know this could be an unhealthy exercise… looking back on why it fell apart and what could have saved it. But I think it’s a necessary exercise, so long as I put it away after this. And if I’m being honest? I don’t remember why I insisted so much that we were meant to be together other than I just ‘knew’. Yes, he made me laugh. But for the most part… me made me feel like shit about myself. He judged me because his friends judged me. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t out right abuse me 24/7. He was very sweet to me. And our interests did align, because I forced it to do so. It wasn’t until I moved to Dublin that he really turned around and started treating me the way I knew he could have treated me all along. I was in heaven.
I was devastated when I had to move back to Toronto, but I was optimistic because of how great everything was going. But even 9 months of a perfect relationship doesn’t just heal the past. And the rest is history really. At least for now.
I’m not ashamed to admit this but I’ve been watching a lot of Dawson’s Creek reruns lately, and its gotten me thinking about relationships. Mostly about how they begin and the crazy mix of feelings that goes along with it. I have my own relationship issues right now and it was actually refreshing to watch people go through something I know I won’t have to again. But it did make me remember when things started between the boy and I.
I was just finishing my 2nd year of University and trying to end a relationship I had been stuck in for a year and a half. The total length of the relationship was 3 years by the time it was over but I had been unhappy for half of it and didn’t have the heart to break it off with him completely. Everytime he begged me to stay and try to make it work, I would give in because I did love him and he was a very sweet man – but I was no longer in love with him.
Jon had asked us all to meet on the mothership for our first meeting as management for the summer. I was excited and also a bit cold. I had never seen him before, and to be honest I was still infatuated with another boy I had met the summer before; one of the bartenders at work who I’ll be calling Dixie who I shared a stolen kiss with at the Christmas staff party a few months earlier.
To start the summer off right, the managers were in charge of getting the boats set up for the summer. Making sure all the boats were amply stocked with dry goods, liquor and linens. This meant plenty of cold, early mornings down by the harbourfront; one of the first conversations I can remember having with him was about our love lives as we sat on the grass and enjoyed the Toronto spring sunshine. I didn’t think anything of him, except that I was really comfortable with him and that I loved his accent.
I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think I admitted to myself that there was a spark between us until someone told me how much he liked me, and how great of guy he was. I must have been scared of something if I was in denial about it for so long, because thinking back… I’m pretty sure he was right when he tells me that there was a spark between us the first time I touched his crotch accidentally as we were bartending on our favourite boat for that one shift.
And while I’m being honest, I should probably tell you that I was so in denial about my feelings for him that I actually went home with Dixie the first night that we kissed. In my defense, it was the summer and I was under the impression that I was a summer fling. So I adjusted my own feelings and acted accordingly. Apparently, I assumed wrong.
As you can see our relationship has been pretty complicated from the start! Here’s hoping this new beginning goes more smoothly than the last two 😉
Its no secret that I’m in a long distance relationship and while we’re surviving, it hasn’t been easy. The greatest difficulty I’ve personally had to face is finding the balance between doting and being clingy. How do I stay warm and be cold enough to remember how to function in my daily life without him? How do you organise a time to talk on the phone or chat online without making it impossible to live your life where you are? How do you stay devoted without becoming a homebody who waits by the phone or computer all day?
It hasn’t been easy and I haven’t found the secret. If I hadn’t been able to see him every few months or so I think I would go crazy or worse yet, forget. Not that I could ever forget him but I’m certain that life would simply get in the way. It doesn’t help that we don’t get to talk often. A five hour difference might not seem like a lot, but its an awkward 5 hours. When I get home from work, he’s in bed. When I get up, he’s at work. During the weekend, when I wake up its the perfect time for him to be doing things. And before he goes to bed, its the perfect time for me to be feeding my social life.
We’re lucky that we have such a great connection that we can always pick up where we left off when we see each other. But I want more, and I hope that these next few months we can talk a little more often that we used to. Of course, now that we’re talking more often I find myself wanting to speak with him every night!
We hit a bit of a snag late last year. He had just left after his 3 week holiday in August/September, and I was devastated so I buried myself into blogging. So much so that I stopped replying to his emails on time – and sometimes I didn’t reply at all before he sent me another email. There is no logic involved, but it was as if I was trying to avoid him to avoid feeling hurt.
Thankfully, he called me out on it and snapped me out of it. If he hadn’t done so, and had just let it go it could have well been the end for us. But he cared enough to call me out on it, and I cared enough to listen. As I’ve said, I haven’t figured out the secret but if there is anything I’ve learnt that I would like to pass on to anyone else who is crazy enough to try this long distance thing: You can’t forget how good it feels to hurt. It may hurt but its worth how good it feels when the hurt stops long enough for you to feel how great your love is.
Do you think absence makes the heart grow fonder?
The day came too quickly, and it certainly lasted longer than I ever could have imagined. I went to bed the previous night dreading what a horrible day January 5th 2009 would be. I had no idea just how wrong I could be. Waking up that morning was not difficult, I didn’t want to annoy him by being late or taking too long so I made sure to get up on my own and get fully showered and dressed. I was still a little late, and he did well not to get upset with me.
After I checked in, we had a few minutes to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and prolong the inevitable. I’m not usually a sucker at airports, but I turn into a real blubbering fool when I’m leaving him behind. We usually follow a long tradition of looking back and waving at each other while trying to fight tears in our eyes as I wait in line to go through security, but he ran out of there rather quickly this time. I was a bit sad, but the line for security was rather short so I didn’t have time to be sad for very long. To my delight my phone beeped signalling the beginning of the next tradition we carry out at the airport, texting.
I quickly bought some Butler’s chocolate to give as gifts to various people and headed towards my gate. Once there, I settled into a nice seat, put on my headphones, turned John on and started reading Angels & Demons. I had gotten to the gate fairly late, but they hadn’t started boarding yet so about 10 minutes into my book I looked up. Sure enough, the flight was delayed. I wasn’t that worried yet because it had only been delayed by 40 minutes. Soon 40 minutes turned into an hour, then an hour and 20 minutes. I was going to miss my connecting flight to Toronto.
Sorry to do this to you, but its a long story!
Posts in this series:
Part 1: The holiday.
Part 2: The gift.
Part 3: The New Year.
Part 4: Flickr Friday: The never-ending journey.
Part 5: Even the never-ending journey has to end sometime.