LDR. Long-distance relationships. Sounds like a disease. But are they really that bad? Not a single one of the 12 dating self-help books sitting in the cubbies under my coffee table touch on this. Google would know. Indeed. All the web sites I found (and there were a ton) were surprisingly upbeat about how LDRs actually can work. The key: daily communication to maintain a connection. Which is why I had heart palpitations a week before I was supposed to go to NY to see Simon.
I knew it would be fun. But anxiety still gripped my throat. We hadn’t talked much and the noose got tighter and tighter as I ruminated over the possibility that he wouldn’t like me anymore or I wouldn’t like him. Or the trip would just be a terrible disaster like that other time I went to see a guy who I had no real relationship with. He talked about his ex-girlfriend and made us stay in a hostel where I slept on the bottom bunk in a room with six other people including one Japanese couple who liked to play with their shrink wrapped toiletries at seven in the morning. So yeah, I assigned all sorts of negativity based on past experience. But none of it came true. There were no uncertain hugs, hostels, bunk beds or shrink wrap involved.
It was warm and comfortable and familiar. There were big hugs and a quiet dinner at a French restaurant with amber walls and glowing lights, where we did gross things like hold hands and kiss across the table (only once. i liked it.). We also went to the movies, got pedicures, and ate bagels. All the New York things. And we talked about what our relationship would look like. This is when anxiety gripped me again because we seemed to be dancing around something that resembles commitment. Anxiety because I think I have to know it’s all going to work out before I move forward. But how can I know anything until I try? So I asked all the hard questions I was supposed to ask up front (according to wikiHOW to have a LDR), I voiced all my concerns and we found a comfortable spot for our relationship to reside.
One thing is certain: I’m not repeating old patterns. These are most definitely unchartered waters. I’m snorkeling on the surface, just seeing what’s what in a presumably shark-free cove. I’ll say one thing. It’s a hell of a lot more interesting than all the one-date-wonder toe dipping I’ve been doing over the last year and a half.
Worst case scenario: It doesn’t work out. Best case: I’m happy.
I can live with that.