Harder Than I Expected

So, my relationship has been a bit of a roller coaster lately. Last month I wrote about how I was completely, hopelessly in love, but I warned that I may feel completely different in a few weeks. And I did. I didn’t really matter that I had kind of seen it coming, it was still somehow a shock.

When I saw him a month ago it was perfect. Then, within days it was going downhill again. Communication was the culprit once again. I knew it would be a busy month for both of us and we wouldn’t be able to see each other, but I didn’t expect the texting to become so sporadic and the Skyping to become non-existent. We didn’t speak for four weeks, and it was driving me insane most of the time.

The real problem was that I thought he didn’t care at all. I thought that he didn’t even notice the lack of communication, I thought that’s how he wanted it. And when I went to see him this weekend I thought that he didn’t really want to see me. Of course, without communicating, how are you supposed to predict what someone else is thinking? That didn’t stop me from trying though.

I was half expecting to get into a heated argument and break up with him (though I knew that if that happened I would regret it instantly). I was even more afraid that he was going to break up with me. Apparently he was thinking the same thing.

I knew that we needed to talk. I didn’t know that he was itching to talk even more than me. The talking. That was hard. Way harder than I expected.

I suppose we haven’t had many serious conversations. At least none about our relationship and our needs. Nearly a year and a half into this relationship, it was way past due.

For a few moments, when the conversation shifted into serious territory, I really thought it was over. He grasped for the words he needed and panic flooded through my veins. I recoiled a few inches away from him, bracing myself. Holding my breath, and pulling at the roots of my hair, I waited for the tiniest eternity. Until he finally asked if I ever feel like our relationship is fantastic when we’re together and then when we’re apart it just gets gradually worse and worse. YES!!! That it exactly how I feel! I had no clue he felt the same way I felt. And he exhaled in relief to know that I felt as he felt. How had we both been feeling the same thing and assuming the exact opposite? How had we both been hurting and neither of us had seen it?

The conversation that followed took many unsuspecting turns, but it did not end in a break up. It did end in a better understanding of each other, which was what we needed. I finally said what I’d been thinking for far longer than I will ever admit: I need more. I need more than texting every other night and visits once a month. I need more than lukewarm feelings and endless questions. And I got what I needed, which was not – as I had expected – the promise of weekly Skype sessions and the occasional phone call. I learned what I can expect, and I learned not to jump to conclusions. I also learned that I need to be more supportive. We can both do better. We need to, if this is going to work. And I want it to work. More than I’ve ever wanted anything.

I never thought I would care so much. I never thought this would be so hard. I thought that as soon as this became too hard it would be over. But I can’t imagine it being over. And that scares me. What if I’m too in love? Is there such a thing? I’ve always been scared of being too invested, caring too much. That’s how you get hurt. That’s how you end up curled in a ball on your floor crying hysterically while a bowl of ice cream melts into a sad puddle nearby. That’s how I picture it anyway, the aftermath of a broken heart. I hope (possibly futilely) that I never know better.

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Long Distance

Grad school has brought me many new challenges, stuff I never had to deal with as an undergrad. Most noticeably, maintaining a long distance relationship – or any relationship for that matter.

I’ve had to deal with homesickness and feeling lonely. But this feels different. I change my mind about my boyfriend on a daily basis. Granted, I wasn’t 100% happy with how our relationship went this summer. I felt like I didn’t see him enough and he felt like we saw each other all the time. It’s a little bit more complicated than that (at least to me… but then again, I never even told him that I felt like that) but that’s the easiest way to describe it.

For the first few days after I moved away I was too caught up in the excitement and nerves of starting something new. Then I started to miss him, really intensely at times. But before long I started getting annoyed. I felt (and still feel) like he wasn’t taking any initiative. He never called me, he never suggested we Skype. If we did Skype it was because I suggested it. We still texted daily, but it didn’t feel like enough. (I’m writing this all in the past tense, but really I still feel the same in many ways)

I thought that I was finally not missing him anymore. And that scared me. Because I haven’t seen him in nearly 6 weeks and if I don’t miss him then I figure that maybe I don’t love him anymore. Maybe I’ve felt ignored for too long, maybe my feelings have changed.

But then I got a voice mail from him, and the sound of his voice just made something in me crumble. And I’m right back to where I was at the very beginning: missing him.

My ever changing feelings are starting to drive me crazy. Sometimes it’s even hard to concentrate on my school work (granted, some of the readings are so boring). And sometimes (right now) I just need to get my feelings written down so that I can try to sort through them. I haven’t come to any conclusions, but I’ve organized my thoughts. And sometimes that’s all that you can do.

Procrastinating and Missing Him

It is 10pm, and I am supposed to be writing an essay! But instead I’m going to write a blog post… because I’m crazy. And boy do I feel crazy right now!

I just started graduate school a few days ago, and already I am having trouble with procrastinating. I literally just sat at my desk and watched Tarzan for an hour and a half. Bad idea. Not only because it was a waste of time, but because Disney movies are so sappy. And they make ME feel sappy!

In all honesty, I really did not miss my boyfriend for the first five days after I moved. I was wondering if I would ever start missing him or if maybe there was something wrong with me and I really didn’t love him as much as I thought I did. But it has finally hit me. And it’s hitting me pretty hard.

It’s not even that I’m lonely, which I kind of am. And it’s not that I miss kissing him or any of the physical stuff (ok, I DO miss all of that, but that’s only a small part of it). I just miss him. Talking to him, seeing him, telling him everything, holding his hand, being near him, even just being in the same room as him.

I guess there’s nothing I can do about it, except for wait. And maybe stop watching sappy Disney movies. And get back to work on that essay…

How Can You Know It Will Last Forever

It’s been 5 months since I officially started dating my boyfriend. He’s my first love. My first everything.

I don’t know what it’s like to be in love with anyone else. I hear all these stories that when you start dating “The One” you will know the difference. It will feel different. But how will I ever know if my love for him is different than for everyone else, when I’ve never loved anyone else. (I’m talking about romantic love exclusively, or course. I’m not some heartless person. I love a lot of people, but I don’t want to rip their clothes off)

Maybe it’s just because he’s my first love that I can’t imagine loving anyone else. I’m sure a lot of people feel that way with their first love. Maybe in a few years I will look back with a greater understanding and it will all make sense. Maybe I’ll find someone else and it will feel different. But somewhere deep in my heart I know that no matter who I end up with, I will always have some love for my first. Not that I won’t be able to let him go, but I will always care about him.

Chances are we won’t be together for as long as I imagine when I let myself dream. And if this thing ends, I will know that it just isn’t meant to be. But I also know that if we somehow end up together forever, I will be happy with that. Not just content, but extremely happy.

Of course, maybe 5 months isn’t long enough to know any of this. But I can’t keep myself from thinking about it.

The “L” Word

Four months after making our relationship “official”, my boyfriend and I finally said the elusive “L” word… well, I finally let it slip, and then we said it in a more romantic way.

For the past month it has seemed that in every tv show I was watching there was an “L” word episode where two characters clearly loved each other but were afraid to say it until one character let the word slip in some awkward way. I was determined not to let this happen.

For a month I tried my hardest not to say the word every time we said goodbye or hung up from a Skype call or cuddled on the couch. I was going to say it when the time was right. Or better yet, I was going to wait for HIM to say it at the right time and then I would look him in the eyes and smile slowly and tell him that I love him too.

That did not happen.

Somehow, it ended up happening just like it happens in the TV shows. I held it in and I waited and waited until I couldn’t wait anymore. Then I let it slip when we were joking around, in a more awkward way than I’ve seen on any TV show.

It went something like this: he was doing something stupid and I jokingly said, “I’d love you even if you were …[you’ll have to fill in the blank yourself, because it wasn’t the nicest word, although I’m sure it’s not what you’re thinking]”. Followed quickly with “Sorry…” because I’d realized what I’d said and I thought I’d ruined the moment. We sat awkwardly for a few seconds before continuing with whatever random conversation we’d been having. But a few minutes later he stopped and asked why I said I was sorry. I might have some serious short-term memory problems because I literally had no clue he was talking about, and that’s what I told him and he must have thought I was lying. A few minutes later while we were making out it finally hit me what he was talking about. Then, finally, he said “I have really strong feelings for you.” And I took a deep breath and said “I love you”… only it was much harder to say that I expected. The words caught in my throat and came out so quiet they were hardly even a whisper. “What?” was his oh-so-romantic response. So I took a deep breath and said it again, this time just barely load enough for him to hear. And he said he loves me too.

And in the end, even though I made a mess of things, it was perfect and beautiful and a little bit funny.

I wouldn’t change how it happened, although I don’t know why it took me so long to say it and why it was so hard to get out when I finally did say it. That’s where my story is different from the TV shows and the movies. I couldn’t shout it from the roof tops, I could barely whisper it! There were so many moments when I wanted to say it, when I felt it, but I could not bring the words to my lips. I do love him. I loved for quite some time before I said it. And I wanted to tell him so badly. But there is such a heaviness in that word. It means so much, I wanted to be certain that I meant it when I said it. But I can’t help thinking about all the time that we wasted not telling each other how we felt, even though it was so obvious.

I’m glad we can say it now. It feels wonderful and freeing and even kind of magical.

My Boyfriend is a Heartless Vampire Clown

9 Reasons Why My Boyfriend is a Heartless Vampire Clown:
 

  1. He never cries during movies
    (not even Marley and Me!)
  2. He wears sunscreen and a hat every time he goes outside
    (even when it’s raining)
  3. He loves puns
    (even the ones that are too stupid for little kids)
  4. He couldn’t stop making jokes when he thought his pet bird was going to die
    (although he at least waited till his sister was in the other room)
  5.  He hates perfect sunny days
    (but he loves the clouds)
  6. He is constantly making weird faces
    (for no reason at all)
  7. He hates poetry
    (but still seems genuinely interested when I talk about it)
  8. He stays up late with me
    (even when he has to get up early)
  9. He makes me laugh every day
    (sometimes even when he’s making weird faces)

Those are the reasons why my boyfriend is a Heartless Vampire Clown. And those are just some of the reasons why I like him so much.

Staying Close

As I was glancing through my unread emails today something occurred to me. I saw the subject line for an email from the Career Resource Center at my alma mater informing me of a managerial position in Oregon. I deleted it without thought and kept scrolling.

It’s highly unlikely that is would have been the type of job I would apply for, but four months ago I would have at least looked at it. Before I graduated in May I decided that I would be willing to move pretty much anywhere if it meant I could start a career.

I addition to applying for jobs all over California, I also applied for jobs in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio. In hindsight it wasn’t the smartest tactic. Why would these places bother with interviewing me via Skype when there are more than enough qualified candidates applying close by? Regardless, I would have been willing to move for the right job. I was even excited about the prospect of starting new.

Now I have no interest in moving out of Northern California. Sure, if I was offered a chance at my dream job I would accept without a second thought, regardless of location. But that is not going to happen. I’ve stopped looking for jobs outside of the area. And when I was deciding upon graduate schools to apply to I decided to cross the Southern California schools off of my list.

It’s not that I want to stay where I am. I don’t, I assure you.

It’s almost more embarrassing than that…

I don’t want to move any farther away from my boyfriend. He’s currently going to school about four hours away, and I want to be closer to him.

I never thought I would be that girl. The one who makes important life choices based on a guy. But here I am. I picked my first choice grad school before we were even technically dating, and one of my favorite things about it is that it’s only an hour drive from his school. It also happens to have an incredible one year program, but I would be lying if I said the proximity to my boyfriend has nothing to do with why I want to go there so badly. It isn’t the only reason, but it was a factor in my decision making process.

We’ve only been dating for two months and this scares me a little bit. I always said I would never let a guy get in the way of my career. But then, I’d never had a boyfriend before. And I certainly don’t mean to sound like he’s holding me back. He’s incredibly supportive and encouraging. If anything, I’m holding myself back – or will hold myself back in the future, nothing has really happened yet. But I don’t want it to come to that.

I guess what I’m really worried about is that having a boyfriend has changed more than I’ve realized. There are good changes, or course: It’s nice to have someone to talk to, to know that if I have to go through something difficult he will be there, to receive sweet text messages at random, etc.

But being in a relationship also comes with some constrictions:

  • There is a time commitment (which is fine with me right now because I don’t have a life).
  • I’m no longer single, so I can’t get drunk and make out with random strangers (I’ve never actually done that, but it sounds fun, right?).
  • I’m more reluctant to do things that are irresponsible (like booking a trip to France even though I’m $50,000 in debt with student loans), because I’m afraid he’ll think I’m crazy.
  • I’m attached to him, and that means I don’t want to move half way across the country for a job that may or may not work out.

From where I’m sitting right now, it’s hard to tell if any of those are actually that bad. Honestly, I kind of feel like having a boyfriend (not just any boyfriend, but this particular boyfriend) is good for me. I’m just afraid that five years from now I’ll realize that I was wrong.