Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Time and Space

I probably won't advertise this post on Facebook or Twitter, but I feel the need to write about something that only my devoted (haha) fans will care about. It took me a long time to finally give in and start online dating for real. I first started looking at plentyoffish back in October 2010, and was so dismayed at the horror that I gave up. I looked into it again a few months later (whilst tipsy), and again couldn't do it. But in August 2011, something changed. I decided to take control of my life and not just wait around for things to happen to me. That's when I started eating healthier, working out, and finished filling out my online profile. Not that I believed I had to be thin in order to date, but it was a matter of self-confidence.

I actually had fairly good luck with the site. I dated a few guys pretty casually until I met the Gentleman Caller in November. If you've been reading my blog, you may have picked up on the fact that I haven't referred to him as my 'boyfriend.' This is for a few reasons: 1. I hate that word. For some reason, it seems really smug. I used to want to slap girls who talked non-stop about their 'boyfriend' as if they were lording it over those of us who didn't have them. And 2. Being a total commitment-phobe, this label and inherent definition freaks me out. Ain't no ring on this finger, I do what I want! And yet, for all intents and purposes, that's what he was. He fought by my side when the cockroaches tried to take over my apartment. He basically carried my old dead fridge down the stairs and brought my new sparkling one back up all by himself. He even came to my rescue when Stan decided to die on my lunch break at Baja Fresh. He taught me how to golf, fish, and shoot clay pigeons with shotguns. He's good people, that one. We had good times too.

At least it gives me an excuse to eat chocolate again.

But he told me from (almost) the start, that his work might take him elsewhere. Like, other side of the country elsewhere. Basically we had an expiration date from the start, but we didn't know exactly if, when, or where. With that in mind, I really tried to maintain a certain level of distance (which is the third reason I avoided the 'b' word.) No reason to get attached when the axe could drop at any moment. He called me a few weeks ago to let me know that his boss needed him for a wildlife survey in Southern Oregon beginning April 24th and lasting until the end of August. Which is just about how long we've been dating. I don't believe in long distance, especially when the relationship (*shudder* another loathed word) is still new. To be honest though, I was sort of considering it. But he could just as easily get another job in St. Louis or South Carolina right afterwards and not return at all.

Since my work, well what I really want to do, doesn't really allow for me to be anywhere other than Los Angeles, I'm kind of stuck. Plus, as a modern kind of girl, it kills me when a woman uproots her whole life just to chase some guy. Or who sits around at home knitting, waiting for him to come home. It just kind of sucks though. This relationship (blech) didn't really get the chance to fizzle out and die of natural causes like the others. We didn't have time to get bored of each other or make some colossal deal breaker of a mistake, leading to a dramatic and bitter end. So now we're just kind of in this awkward pause. Not exactly broken up, but not really seeing each other either. We're free to date other people, but if he comes back and we're still free, I guess we pick up where we left off?

It seems weird to even think about that right now. I went back on plentyoffish to see what other fish were in the sea, but it just seems tiresome now. I refuse to put myself in cold storage, but every other guy just seems repulsive and lame. Not that the Gentleman Caller was by any means a perfect Adonis (see my list of Fictional Men Who Have Ruined Real Men For Life). But I kind of dug him and that was enough. According to several sitcoms, it takes half the length of a relationship to get over someone. If that's the case, I have a bit of a rocky road ahead of me. My heart isn't broken by any means, but I think I'm entitled to a tiny bit of angst.

We decided to "keep in touch," the long distance variation of "let's still be friends." But part of me thinks that may be harder than just quitting cold turkey. Like ripping open the stitches over and over. (That's a tad melodramatic. It's really not that bad.) So, quick poll for those of you who stumbled upon this semi-hidden post: long distance, yay or nay? And if you decide against long distance, do you stay in touch?


  1. Oy.

    The Hubby and I did long distance at the beginning of our relationship for 9 months and it was HARD. Granted, this was 1997-98, so times were different. We had to rely on snail mail and (very expensive) phone calls, so we only got a chance to speak once a day, if that.

    These days, it's different. You can stay in touch via phone/text constantly if you want. Also, there's Skype, which changes the game completely. I have a couple of friends who were long-distance for years, throughout their engagement and after they got married even, due to her job commitment and his school commitment. Every night, they'd come home and connect to Skype and just leave it on. They'd go about their evenings independently, but they'd talk like they were in the same room, watching tv together, etc. It was still difficult since they missed that physical connection, but it was WAY more doable than it used to be.

    If you and GC don't want to commit to a LDR, I think keeping in touch would be a mistake. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I think that you're going to have a hard time dating other people if you're kind of sort of still seeing him. And then you have the possibility that it won't be hard for him to date other people and you'll be hearing about it or imagining what he's doing when he's not in touch with you. Completely miserable.

    Whatever you guys decide, I hope you'll be happy. I know you liked him, and I think that it could be worth trying the LDR, but if you aren't willing to move and he is then it may be better to make a clean break.

    Sorry it's not easier!

  2. Thanks for the advice Teri! The thing is, he's going to be literally in a tent in the middle of the woods. Not really in cell service range and no access to a computer. It's not like I can go visit him for a weekend either due to his weird nocturnal schedule. We were able to text for a while last week, but without being able to see each other, it just seems pointless. It sucks for now, but at least I have the gym! : )

  3. That's me! I'm a devoted fan! Sorry about your gentleman caller D: You never know what will happen though.