I Understand

No secret. My boyfriend lives far away. Pittsburgh to Bristol, CT far. 438.69 miles far (thanks mapquest). See you at most once a month because our schedules so infrequently match. Spent too many thousands of dollars visiting each other in the last 17 months far. So when you are talking to me about my long distance relationship and you say, "I know, because when I say bye to my boyfriend on Sunday, I'm always like, (sigh) I guess I'll see you on Friday," or "I have a friend who has been in a long distance relationship. I don't know how y'all do it," I think, "That's very the same at all." See how that made no sense?

I get a little pissed. Y'all know I'm sensitive about questions. (Skip to the last paragraph if you don't read a lot of not totally related stuff).

Oh to have the luxury of living in the same city as my boyfriend. Oh to have the luxury of seeing him every week... or more than once a month. OH TO GUARANTEE I COULD SEE HIM EVEN ONCE A MONTH. But for now I can't. I seriously try not to complain about it because right now its the best we can do. Plus is complaining going to make it any easier? And no one wants to hear that crap.

I also know this is preparing me for something else. I just don't know what. At the very least its a lesson in something. Everything we endure is. As much as I hate cliches, they seem to pop out rather a lot and this one is hideously true: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I have never felt so loved (family and friends excluded of course) and I have been in positive relationships. Or at least one anyway before him. I appreciate what we have.

It's not like I don't consider the people who let this stuff pop out of their mouths my friends. But sometimes, I just wish they'd think a little bit. Because it hurts when they don't. If you haven't been there, you don't understand.

One girl was asking me about my relationship yesterday and she just said "Wow... that's really hard" and I felt instantly better. I don't always need commiseration, but every once in a while CAN I BE ACKNOWLEDGED?!?! I can't help that I'm bratty. It's who I am. Know what people say to me all the time? "You are so spoiled!!" They mean loved. They get tongue-tied.

There's another guy who has been in 3 long-distance relationships of 2 years or more. YOU understand. YOU are allowed to talk about it. The rest? You really don't even have to say anything. If I want to talk about my relationship, I will. 9xs out of 10, I won't bring up the distance. If he's getting on my nerves, guess what? That likely has nothing to do with it. It's because he's a person and that's what people do. So let's not let "Is it the distance?" pop out every time we talk okay? Our relationship is not defined by that and our love is not built on it.

It's built on this. (From May 2, 2006)
We went to Hampton together. Met freshman year and became friends thru several mutual friends. Got closer soph. yr. b/c we were in the same major, had a lot of classes together, and would give each other love/relationship advice. It was really great. Over the course of soph, jr and senior years, he became one of my closest friends and confidantes. He tried to convince me to kiss him (he claims once a semester, but i know it was more than that) but I didn't want to ruin our friendship. He was one of my few male friends to keep in touch with me throughout the summer. We went to Sr. Ball together. The night of graduation we stayed up all night talking and listening to music in his car. (Hmmm.... That's strange. He had an apt. I have no idea why we stayed in his car).

The year following graduation, we stayed close and in touch. Continuing to talk to each other at least twice a week for at least an hour and a half, and up to four or five hours. What the hell do we talk about? We try to figure this out everytime we have a marathon session (including yesterday's 3 hour convo). We talk about music a LOT, sports, work (those two go hand in hand for him), rachael ray (LMAO!!), tv. I think that's about it. But probably not. So about a year ago, maybe even a year and a half, I started thinking about him in "that way." As more than a friend that is. And it took me about a year, from about October 2004 to August 2005 to convince myself it was ok to love him beyond our friendship love; and that it wouldn't ruin our friendship. So I sent him a letter. It was only one page but it said everything I needed it to. He didn't know how to take it. So we just kind of ignored it.

He sent me a package for my bday in August and it was just what I wanted. I was home alone w/no friends as I had just moved to Pittsburgh. So he talked to me from 1130 pm on August 22nd until about 3 hours into my birthday. In October, we made plans to meet in the middle for the first time. It was our first time seeing each other in a year and a month and a half. I knew then and he says he did too but we weren't honest with each other. We both acted like it was nice but not really a big deal. Then he called me in November to ask me if I wanted to fly in to see The Color Purple on Broadway w/him. Of course I said yes. We saw the play on December 5th. I went home on the 6th. The 10th he told me he loved me and asked me to be his girlfriend. So it has been nearly 5 months.


shani-o said...

Ok, so I haven't lived it, and I don't understand it, but I'm going to comment anyway...

I've seen a couple who were together for more than three years crumble after less than a year of being 300 miles apart.

I think maintaining a long-distance relationship (where there are so many other factors at work besides how much you care for each other) is a pretty big deal, so I congratulate you two.

CNEL said...

"Know what people say to me all the time? "You are so spoiled!!" They mean loved. They get tongue-tied."

Ummm the hilariousness of that statement, off the charts.

I do appreciate how you said your relationship is preparing you for something else.

It's one of those lessons to learn.

Vdizzle said...

Well I am one of those people who made the stupid statements about how long distance must suck. But I said you guys rock right after.

Also while I was reading this, I was watching "Dancing with the Stars" and "My Guy" came on. Yaay for you guys.

And on a random note, can I just say my chicken salad I just made is the freakin' bomb!?!? I think it's the best I've ever made.

the joy said...

I've been in a long distance relationship. A long time ago. I hated it. It started out together and then we spent a year apart. I think you're pretty strong for putting your heart out like that.

I'm spoiled too! Yeah, they are saying loved. I mean, that's what I hear.

The Very Reverend Ace Clemmons, Jr. said...

my relationship is somewhat permanently long distance. My fiance is a touring professional musician who goes out for months at a time all over the dam world. So not only are we apart, but she is seeing this planet in a way others cannot. im more or less chained in NYC running a recording studio. the idea of merging our lives is always slightly out of reach, but always hopeful.

jameil1922 said...

shani... thanks.

cnel... :D that's me! hilarious. it is preparing me for something else. i don't know what it is. but i hope its good. life is a lesson to learn.

v... saying it sucks doesn't make it easier. lmao @ you and your chicken salad!!! hilarious. gimme the recipe.

joy... i just couldn't NOT put my heart out like that anymore. know what i mean? we've never lived in the same state as a couple. as best friends, yes. a couple? no. but there is also a reason for this relationship. and part of it is to remind people that a love like this exists.


ace... no for real... thanks.

Sha Boogie said...

Ok, I'm an emotional creature, so please forgive me for doing this: AWWWWWWW!!!!
Anyway, been there, done that. Long distance is HARD. I did it while at Hampton, it was tough. The marathon phone calls, a must! You guys are champs for doing it, but love is not around every corner, so when you find it, you hold on to it and make it work! No matter if its down the street or some thousands of miles away.
Kudos to loving and being in love!!

dreamyj said...

awww, i commend you on the success of your relationship. it is truly a love story.

i know how hard a long distance relationship can be, my high school bf and i went to colleges in different states and the relationship eventually ended because of the distance.

keep on doing what you're doing girl, cuz it's working! =)

So...Wise...Sista said...

I remember that Ciolor Purple date. He had on something really cute (saying that you did too would just be stating the obvious). And thinking back it seemed like you guys were old vets in love by then. It's a nice set up you guys got going. Im prouda you kids. Seriously, you know the stories of your visits are legendary to me. lol

But dammit...no NICKNAME!?

JustMeWriting said...

OHHHHH... that first and last paragraph was beautiful (yeah, I skipped as ordered...LOL) wow, I REALLY don't know if I could do it...but that's so wonderful that you guys have made things work

Anonymous said...

I commend you for it. I was on a long distance relationship. We started together and once I hit college, it fell apart in a month. She couldnt deal with me being gone. she went from seeing me everyday to not at all. She couldnt fathom seeing me only on my breaks. I knew it would fall. I just too busy growing. I outgrew her.

Dreamlover said...

I have been in a long distance relationship, not as long, but about 3 hours and it kinda sucked, but we did not have the love you guys do!!

Stick with it!! I love reading abt your relationship. It makes me want one!!boohoo.

La said...

I'm kinda mad at you for posting this.

I don't wanna think about long distance relationships right now.

Send some of your optimism over to my spot please.