I was once asked what I have to share with the world and I thought what better topic than my old hypocritical relationship views. I used to have so many rules for myself in terms of dating; don’t date co-workers, don’t date friends, don’t date someone long distance, don’t date a smoker, etc. Well guess what? Life happens. And low and behold, I broke ALL my rules.
The one rule I broke that surprised me most is “I will never date anyone long distance again”. A past experience led to this mentality. I dated someone in college for years and remembered how brutal that first summer apart was.
We were only two hours away, but when you are used to seeing someone every day, two hours seems like an eternity. During the semester, I would walk to the dorm next door to see them. When summer came, we could only see each other for a few hours once or twice a week. After college, this person moved abroad and we were together for a few rough months.
We had a new set of challenges; time differences of 12 hours, not being able to see each other, finding time to chat, insert whatever other challenges comes with a long distance relationship. It was definitely not my idea of fun. We eventually broke up.
After things ended, I told myself (and everyone around me), “I will never do long distance again!”. I was 22 and not ready for such a serious thing. Living in Chicago also was a factor; with such a highly populated city, I figured I will have options! I was not willing to give up my weekends to see someone who did not live nearby.
Fast forward, a few years and guess what? I am in a long distance relationship!
Granted he does not live across the world, but we are still separated by a five hour drive, one hour time zone difference, and countless days of not seeing each other. We met through mutual friends and I never thought anything of it. My impression was he’s a cool, fun person to hang with, lives in a different state, whatever, FRIEND ZONE.
After a few years, our mutual friends dynamic changed and when he came into town, we would hang out alone. Our communication increased to almost daily emails and texts. He ended up inviting me to a wedding and took me out for my birthday that same year. During this time, it hit me, “Shit! This goes against all my rules (friend and long distance, how dare I!. I can’t like him! This can’t be happening!”.
I tried to push my feelings aside, but the heart does what it wants.
He had the tenacity to keep trying, subtlety at that. He continued to come into town to visit, communication increased and then it hit me, “We are dating!” As time went on, I let it happen and got comfortable with the notion of a long distance relationship.
Here we are three years later in a “long distance relationship”, and I could not be happier with it, besides it being long distance. We have plans on closing the gap and I am excited to see what the next chapters in our relationship bring.
Having rules and guidelines works to an extent, but are you compromising something that could something more because of them?
Take a step back when you are looking for a mate. Just because they don’t fit your mold doesn’t mean it couldn’t be everything you dreamed of and more. Or on the other side, are you settling because this person does fit your mold, but you actually do not get along or click with them?