It’s official, I’m a masochist. I’m lacing up the shoes and I’m getting ready to bolt.
I’m coming to recognize that I am equal parts thrilled and pained by my decision to be in a long distance relationship. I’m remembering my previous long distance relationships (henceforth referred to as LDRs for simplicity’s sake) and recalling specifically that the amount of withholding I had to do was eventually what broke the relationship apart. Not in terms of, I wasn’t able to hold out so I cheated, but more so meaning, I realized how miserable I was which is when I decided to call things quits.
As I anticipate the day where the guy I’m currently seeing and I meet in person for the first time, I find myself feeling increasingly agitated and decreasingly attracted to the idea of him. Not him, personally, but him, as in a boyfriend/future husband. Why, oh WHY, would I choose to commit to someone who lives over 2000 miles away from me? Here’s what else – why, also, am I even toying with the idea of completely sacrificing my independence in order to be with another person forever?
I was jokingly discussing this reality with a friend several weeks ago when out of her mouth came, “The same dick forever? No thank you!”, followed quickly by my realization that the phrase she just uttered really ought to be the title of my autobiography someday –
So over the past few days I’ve been taking moments of introspection to really consider what I’m about to enter into and whether or nor it’s a good idea for me to do so. Here are some of the epiphanies I’ve had about what will likely have to change if I’m in a committed relationship:
- I now have to actively suppress my flirtatious/charismatic/ultra-friendly nature. Example: cocktails with my coworker last week. Our waiter is cute in a non-obvious way, we banter, I think nothing of it, she informs me that I was OBVIOUSLY flirting with him. Is this not allowed? Am I not allowed to interact with people the way I always have anymore?
- Personal space. Now… this isn’t totally affected right now because we are in a long-distance thing which means I have my own breathing room at the beginning and end of every day. I sleep peacefully stretched out like a starfish in my bed and nobody is waking me up in the night by bumping into me or wanting to have sex or coughing or being too warm or in general just breathing my air. My bathroom counter is completely littered with makeup and brushes and hair products and earrings and any other girly thing I tend to need in there and it’s okay because I don’t need to make room for man-things. I can peacefully spit toothpaste into my sink without looking down to see scraggly man-hairs from some dude shaving and just leaving it places. My kitchen is clean and my fridge is full and I know that when I return to my pizza leftovers the next day, they will still be there and won’t have been inhaled by some guy when I wasn’t paying attention.
- “Me time”. Yeah, you know what I mean. Never once have I gotten myself off in the presence/under the same roof of a partner because he *thinks* he’s “hitting the spot” every time we have sex. News flash buddy, I can be enjoying things to a certain degree and still never “get there”, but yeah, sure, get yours. So let’s say I move in with a guy or we get married. Am I allowed to do that? Do I have to hide it? Do I have to feel ashamed for just wanting a little battery-operated fun on a regular basis for the sake of my heart health, skin glow, and mental clarity? Furthermore, if I am “allowed” (in quotes because I’ll do whatever the hell I want) to do this, do I get privacy or will he want to either watch or participate in some way? Do I get ZERO sacred alone-time anymore?!
- Friends. Ohhhhh the friend button, the hottest button of them all. “Of course you can still have male friends”, they all say, until you actually want to go hang out with one of those male friends and then it’s a biiiig f**king problem. Believe it when I say that I am able to make friends very easily but it is my personal belief that male friends cause less drama/problems than female friends tend to. In high school, my two best friends were guys, both of whom I’ve stayed in touch with over the years and who continue to be my go-to guys if I need any sort of friendly advice or a place to vent or, when we lived near each other, a shoulder to cry on and a couch to sleep on if my roommates were driving me nuts. Believe it also when I say that no husband is going to want his wife crashing on the couch of her male friends if she’s ever upset, because apparently being a wife means that I’m only allowed to express frustrations or joys with 1 man, but as many female friends as I want. Like… no?
- Sex, to expand on that. Up until 2 months ago, I hadn’t gone without sex for more than 3 weeks in years. Literally years. Some people eat organic, some people do Pilates, some people take medication to lower their blood pressures. I have sex. That is my good-for-you heart-health live-strong activity of choice. I take Vitamin D, so to speak. D for Dopamine, btw, don’t be gross. 😉 So riddle me this: how is it that I’ve allowed myself to be claimed by someone who I haven’t yet met in person, am only attracted to via what I’ve seen on a phone screen, and who I may or may not want to commit to long-term given how things go when we finally meet?? Like HOW? Here’s the huge problem with it. In previous articles I’ve talked about how Jack and I cared for each other but he had “people” in New York the same way I had “people” here. You know, “people” to help quench those physical thirsts who were there solely for that purpose, who neither of us had any emotional attachment to. THAT is what I want if I’m going to do long-distance. I need it for my sanity. It is not realistic to assume that this new guy and I will be able to see each other every month because I have a huge mountain of debt and he has not a huge amount of income. It is ALSO not realistic to ask me to consistently not have sex for 1-2 (or god forbid up to 3) months at a time. I’m starting to resent him for it and it’s only been a month since we started dating. I hadn’t had sex for almost 3 weeks before then, so yeah, it’s been almost 2 months. And sure, I’ve had “me time”. I’m a big fan of PinkCherry by the way, but no matter how realistic a phallic toy is shaped, it does NOT give the same sensation as when there is a human being attached to it! It just doesn’t! I’ve tried the whole, I’ll just have many self-induced orgasms in order to quench the thirst and then I won’t feel like such a randy little minx all the time, but all it did was make me tired and dehydrated and have to spend another $12 on AA batteries.
- Travel. Say I want to book myself a trip to Jamaica. I want to sit this booty in the sand for a week and be served rum in every form and I want some incredibly hot muscular local to whistle at me as I saunter over to the water’s edge to take a dip in the ocean. By. Myself. or with. some girl friends. Having a husband means I get to hang out with other married people or him alllllll the time, like literally all the time. AH YOU GUYS FUCK I JUST DON’T WANT IT HOLY SHIT. The dopamine high from the initial rush of all this is wearing off and I feel suffocated and I’m FREAKING OUT!!!!!
The problem, aside from the multitude that I just listed, is that everything has been so rushed. SO incredibly rushed. And in Reinventing The Square did I not explicitly express that I need to not do everything so fast when it comes to relationships?? HOLY HELL, I have the worst short-term memory in the world and apparently also no spine.
Here’s how it should have gone. We should have talked/texted/Facetimed for MONTHS, not weeks, before ever committing to each other. Gotten to seriously know each other before deciding to become a couple. Continued to have discussions about things that matter and learning where we both stand on big issues before promising ourselves to be monogamous. Taking a hard look at our individual finances and decided from there when it was realistic to plan to meet in person. We should have “Serendipity”d it instead of “Bachelorette”ing it. Yes, it is true that people crave love and companionship. However, that doesn’t mean, and really shouldn’t mean, that you latch onto it and claim it and force it after such a short amount of time. I want the man I marry (if that ever happens, which, frankly I’m not counting on) to be someone who first was my best friend and confidant, then a lover, and THEN a lifetime partner. Not a whirlwind romance that’s driven 99% by hormones.
The truth is, I’m not ready. This has nothing to do with being withholding or my damaged psyche from all the shit I’ve lived through, this isn’t me “just being scared” (which is every man’s favourite go-to assumption for when a woman says no or that she doesn’t want something). It’s called, timing. Do I believe I met this person for a reason? Yes. Do I think we have the potential to be really great together and to grow something that could be long-lasting? Yes. Do I feel like we are going about it the right way by rushing into a monogamy before we’ve even met each other, and planning for him to fly out to see me when we are both flat-broke/in debt and on top of that I’m feeling woozy at the thought of it because it has all developed at warp-speed?
No, I don’t feel like we’re going about it the right way. I feel like the panic attacks and the increase in stress that I’m feeling, yet have been unable to place, is attributed to being thrown to the proverbial sharks when it comes to love.
No one gets to force you to be ready, no one gets to force the speed at which true love develops. It might happen in the future, it’ll problem happen with this guy, it just can’t happen at this speed.