Long distance relationships. They’ve been on my mind lately. And I’m talking about mine…not anyone else’s. Since I was married for 19 years, I don’t have a lot of experience with relationships, but I have had a few as an adult. One of those was a long distance one. We lived so far away from each other that we started the relationship when we were together the first time and ended it right after we were together the second time, a year later. Other than the beginning stirrings and the grand finale, the entire relationship was online through emails, instant messenger, and Skype as well as many phone calls. It was amazing. I didn’t realize how much I could feel for someone I couldn’t physically touch, hold, and kiss. Because we didn’t have that luxury, we spent a lot of time really getting to know each other. We talked endlessly about every subject imaginable. I knew her heart. The connection we had was incredible. We were both so honest about where we were and how we felt. Declarations of love and whispers of sweet nothings were shared and we built this sort of way to exist even though we couldn’t be together. When we finally did see each other, we were done talking. We couldn’t keep our hands off of each other and spent the next week taking every opportunity to be together physically. Yes, there were hiccups, but it had nothing to do with how we felt about each other. That was perfectly clear, and in a perfect world we wouldn’t have ever had to part ways. But it was a necessary thing. And it almost killed both of us.
Recently I’ve been talking to someone online. Someone who lives halfway across the country from me. She is someone of amazing character and strength. The way we connected was a little scary for both of us I think. We sent emails and texts and had endless phone conversations. The friendship we were building had undertones of a deeper relationship. We both felt it, but we made light of it anytime it was mentioned. I was terrified to say anything about how I was feeling, because she said that she wasn’t interested in a long distance relationship. That they were too hard and frustrating. I agreed with that and figured being her friend was a pretty good consolation prize. I could do that. And it was so easy to be her friend. I had hoped to visit my friend for spring break or at the beginning of summer. We talked about it and she said she couldn’t wait. We were both so excited to be able to meet each other in person.
The other day we were being silly. Flirting. And we joked about me writing a post about her being my girlfriend. I thought it would be funny so I did it. Some of you may have seen that post while it was up for the whole 10 minutes I kept it visible. Some got it in their readers or e-mailed to them. I ended up taking it down for two reasons. One of those reasons was because my online friend was confused by it. I told her I was begin silly, and I was, but there were serious undertones about how I was feeling in it. She could see that and asked about it. I confused her asking for accusing. I tried hard to back peddle because I didn’t want my friend to think I was really smitten when she had so clearly expressed her lack of interest in a long distance relationship. But the truth is…I am smitten. And my back peddling resulted in my friend needing to back off of communication with me because of how she feels. She never confirmed how she feels exactly, but if I were to make an assumption, she’s smitten, too. And I hurt her by pretending not to be. And so now we’re here. Not talking. And my heart is aching.
The friendship/relationship we were building was akin to my first long distance relationship. I know it would have come with all the frustrations as well. The wanting to hold each other and kiss each other. Because that isn’t possible, we would have shared ourselves deeply, and I have no doubt what would have happened the first time we saw each other in person. We would have holed up someplace and gotten to know each other in the only way that had been denied to us up until that point. I’m sad that it isn’t progressing like that now. My trip to visit her could’ve been a beautiful thing.
Even admitting this here scares me. I just have to put these feelings somewhere. And I know that God will work things out for both of us…together or separately. We both have a strong faith in Him. That was one of the things that was so attractive about my friend in the first place. I pray that we can get past this and move on. I would prefer moving on together, even only as friends, but I’m leaving that in God’s hands. He knows.