…run for the hills!
Ok, maybe I am a little bias BUT in my defense, when it comes to my blog posts I am writing about MY experiences, so why not write about this one??
When I was growing up my mother had a boyfriend who was one of her better ones. He was a wonderful guy, or so I thought. It was a few years after their break-up that I came to find out that he had cheated on my mom while on a trip to Colombia but that’s for another story..maybe. His and my mother’s relationship was a strenuous one. I remember my grandmother always telling her, “Amores de lejos, Amores pendejos.” Which pretty much translates to “A love from afar is a love for fools.” My grandmother didn’t hold back. She was a wise one that one and this phrase always stuck with me. Watching my mom have to really plan out her week when it came to her being able to drive off for two and a half hours to go see her love, or even vice versa, I noticed how big of a challenge it was for her. God forbid it was an off week for them and they fought during one of their visits. They would each leave one another feeling defeated. My mom spent every night talking with him on the phone when he wasn’t around. In a way, it was cute to watch her get so excited when he called for their nightly talk. Giddy like a little school girl she would be.
I don’t really recall how long they dated. It was about four years I believe? Possibly longer. All I really remember was that one day he no longer was going to be apart of our lives and I was a little crushed. It wasn’t so much that their love really fizzled out. This heartbreak was a big one for my mom. Neither of them were willing to relocate for the other. He lived in Jersey City, north from our south Jersey home, in a dingy city with great mom and pop style eateries but nothing motivating enough to get my mom away from her pension job and safe neighborhood. Why hadn’t he wanted to move south?? I’m sure he had a level of comfort built around his life in Jersey City. He had a good job, and I also feel that he liked being able to take a break whenever the family life got to be too much for him. A single mom with two daughters can’t be the easiest or most ideal situation. No matter the reason, it hadn’t lasted.
Moving forward about 15 years later, here I was in the same style of relationship. The young man and I had met one night while out at one of the local clubs in my town. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t live locally so then started my first (and only) long-distance relationship. Of course, I had remembered the wise words of my grandmother and, yes, I had remembered what my mother had gone through. Yet, in my eyes, I felt as though I had been given an opportunity and so snatching it up was what I had to do. I began my weekly (at times bi-weekly) commute to the east coast of Florida. It was two and a half hours for me to get to my home from his. Sometimes, if I was feeling up to it, I would leave after work and drive straight there. Most times I would leave on my day off early in the morning and drive back home the next day. In the beginning, it wasn’t such a chore but later on, as life moved forward it took a toll on me and my emotions. There were moments when maybe he had to work late that night or the entire next day that resentment would build because I felt as though I was getting the attention I needed or expected after a long ride to see him. Arguments that sometimes didn’t need to go on for more than a day would go on for a week because there wasn’t much quality time to work on issues. At one point I was even starting to believe I was dating a complete stranger because who I thought I had initially met was now turning into someone I hadn’t even thought existed.
The biggest downfall in our relationship I will say was the fact that we hadn’t given ourselves enough time to really get to know one another before really diving into an official and committed relationship. By week two I noticed that he was no longer in the courting stage. We had become an item so soon that comfortability took over and with that, the “wooing” period went straight out the window. Little by little I began to learn who this man really was and although I cannot speak ill of him I do know that if distance hadn’t played its part, I would have gotten to realize a lot sooner that maybe this man just wasn’t for me.
We made it nine months before our issues got the best of both of us. This wasn’t until after I had already made my move to the east coast to be with him. I won’t lie that even when I was sitting in the moving truck driving across the state I knew that this wasn’t going to work out. But a commitment had already been made and to be honest, I was also tired of the town I was in. I had decided to move forward with the plans, always staying hopeful that maybe, just maybe, by being closer together we would be able to work things out.
Moving in together had only amplified our issues. No shock there, right?
I write about long-distance love because it happens every day. I feel that people are in such a desperate need to find love that they don’t really think about what it means to be in a long-distance relationship and the hardships that come along with it. It is truly difficult to get to really know someone who lives hours away. You seldom get to see each other in one’s natural habitat and the “best behavior” aspect of dating lasts a lot longer. Meaning, that it takes a while to really see what the other person is truly like, what their flaws are, etc
I don’t think I was at his place for an entire month before things began to fully fall apart. We had different ways of approaching life. We wanted different things. What he was willing to settle for was not something I wanted. Not only that, but I soon began to discover that he had habits that I was not willing to ignore. Substance abuse and the refusal for help wasn’t going to be tolerated and so it wasn’t long before I packed my bags and said adios.
Most of what I learned after I moved in with him were all things I would have probably picked up on if we would have not had the distance in the way to slow the learning process down. Love already isn’t easy. You have to work at it no matter how easy it is to love the person. Adding distance to the equation almost dooms it. Don’t get me wrong there are people who succeed in making it work and do end up lasting a lifetime. However, the odds of it working out are slim and the journey will be at times empty and almost always frustrating. I guess when it comes to love, we never want to pass up the love of one’s lifetime. It’s only human nature to try to go after the impossible when it comes to it. If the pros outweigh the cons, then hey, go for it and make sure it’s adding to your life more than it’s taking. All I’m saying is that long-distance love is not for the weak. It’s more for fools in love.