Long Distance Relationships

(ALERT: this blog post contains extreme gushing and objectification of my significant other. Because I’m obsessed. With my significant other. As is normal (if you’re not obsessed with your significant other, what is wrong with you?) It gets really cheesy and lovey-dovey here. You have been warned.)

The Backstory

In the spring of 2014 I got a divorce. And as you do, sometimes, after a divorce, you try to date again. I hated dating. Mainly because I didn’t want to be in a long-term relationship with anyone, at least not right away, and I wanted to enjoy being single while not catching any STDS. Resources were limited to online dating sites since I had no friends to recommend people to me and worked predominantly with all women (and the men I did work with were not suitable dating material). And that was…okay?

It served its purpose or whatever but by the time the fall rolled around I decided my future was destined for solitude and seclusion (living in my mom’s house so I wouldn’t have to pay rent) because random hookups get boring after a while and listening to a guy say, “How come you’re being so distant? What do you mean you don’t want to hang out again?” is really obnoxious. No, I don’t want to see you again, we met on plenty of fish, what did you think was going to happen? Overall the online dating scene was really boring.

So I gave up trying to find someone to become romantically involved with and just focused on making money (lawyer fees made me broke) and enjoying not living with an asshole (my ex) anymore.

And then I met Mr. J. I met him at a teeny, tiny comic convention in Little Rock, AR. I was there with friends because James O’Barr was there and I was the only person who dressed up like The Crow. When I got my picture taken with him I told him how much I loved his work and the comics helped me get through both my marriage and my divorce. He laughed and told me to choose better next time. Thank you, Mr. O’Barr.

Shortly after, my friends and I were walking around the sellers tables and I’m not going to lie, I was scoping the place for potential “dates.” People hook up at cons all the time, right? And again, prospects were zero. After listening to this one dude talk about his Attack on Titian fan fiction (that didn’t have any titans in it, I remember that very clearly) I walked away thinking to myself, “I am going to die alone and I am never going to find someone hot to fuck me.”

And as I was thinking this, I heard a voice behind me that said, “Miss, can I see your tattoos?”

And when I turned around I saw the HOTTEST guy I’d ever seen. I am seriously not making this up. He wore a suit of black leather Roman armor complete with leather gauntlets and cape, he was amazingly fit (like the best muscle arms ever), and his smile cut right through me. So fucking beautiful. In my head I said a little prayer, “Thank you!”

And he joined our little group and we hung out all day, I’m not ashamed to say that when my friends wanted to leave (and he was very nice to them, he didn’t exclude them in conversation or anything) I told/asked them if they didn’t mind if I stayed and hung out with my new friend.

Mr. J. was living in Mississippi for work and he wasn’t originally going to go to this con, he’d met up with someone who said they were going and at the very last minute he decided to go on the off chance he met up with him.

We spent the entire weekend together.

When Monday rolled around he called me when he got off work and we spent hours on the phone together. Same on Tuesday, Wednesday–you get the idea. Though we were apart we were already inseparable.

The cool thing about our meeting was we both weren’t looking to date, either short term or long term, but we came together as friends and discovered we really liked each other.

So the weekend after the con he came back to Little Rock to visit me and we hammered out the parameters of our “relationship.” We decided we didn’t want to have anything serious between us, we just wanted to have fun and be friends with benefits. It was easy since I was in Little Rock and he was in Mississippi. We agreed to no commitments with each other and no strings.

So I was very surprised when, after I said goodbye to him on Sunday, he called me from a couple blocks down the road and asked me, even though we talked about not dating, if I wanted to start a relationship with him.

Now, I was enjoying being single and having a friend with benefits seemed like a really awesome way to live. I didn’t want to lose the fun aspect of it and I also told him I didn’t want to ruin our friendship if the dating thing didn’t work out. But he said he was willing to take the risk and as long as (check out how mature this is!) we didn’t stop communicating with each other we would be able to work out any problems we might have.

The Long-Distance Relationship

I have a friend who had to live two states away from her husband for almost two years. It was a work thing, he got a job and had to move but she couldn’t find a job in his new town or in any of the towns over so she stayed where she was and waited, patiently, for something to open up. She visited him whenever she could and he did the same but they were both working and it was hard to take time off for long visits.

At that time I was still married to my ex and I was horrified that they had to go through that, living apart from the person you loved the most was unthinkable to me.

In the fall of 2014 I had to face the unthinkable and I found out it really wasn’t so bad. I became a really up-beat, happy person because I had these awesome weekends with Mr. J to look forward to. I would never be able to get any sleep Friday nights because I was so fucking excited about driving to see Mr. J the next morning.

I do not advise driving while sleep deprived but somehow I made it work and didn’t die.

In the end it was easier for me to go visit him than it was for him to come to me so I had, at the end of my work week, this awesome mini-vacation where I could get away from Little Rock and chill with my best friend.

Even though we were dating and Mr. J. is now my husband, he is also my very best friend and that, for us, made the long-distance thing work.

I never once felt lonely or neglected.

I did wish he was there with me when cool stuff happened but that’s what phones and pictures are for.

I did miss him when we were apart but relationships require compromise and communication to succeed. We both liked our jobs and I wasn’t about to ask him to quit his job and move to Little Rock or me move to Mississippi and leave my job. Financial stability is very important to both of us.

Living Together

When we got married we lived apart for 5 months before he got transferred to Alabama and we moved into an apartment together. It was then, when we started living with each other, that I began to have problems. He got to see my crazy, which I was not happy about, and I got to see his crazy. He handled the situation a lot better than I did and was, thankfully, able to deal with my pouty child-self and still love me despite all my drama.

We’ve lived together for about 3 years now and most of that time has been me trying to come to terms with living in a new place, finding a career, working on my writing, and living with the man I love. I finally can say I am comfortable being in a successful, healthy relationship (because most of my drama came from learning to trust and retraining my brain after coming out of a very unhealthy, unsupportive relationship). We’ve talked out and worked through all of our growing pains as a couple (not that there were that many issues to begin with) and we are so, incredibly happy living together.

Living Apart, Again

And now I have to go back to Arkansas. Because he’s going to be transferring soon and his job will put him in place where I will probably not see him for 6-9 months out of the year for the next 2ish years. So I’m moving back home with my mom because why pay for an apartment that only I will live at when I can live with my mom for free? I like free rent and I like living in Arkansas. Win-win. Except I won’t have my best friend with me.

Tomorrow is my last day living with my husband for a while and I’m okay with that because I respect his job. Also, I have a pretty decent relationship with my mom so I won’t be lonely. But after all the progress I made accepting co-habitation and shedding a lot of my past drama and neurosis, I now have to say goodbye again.

I’m also okay with it because this separation will allow me to work on myself more and give me the space I need to really dedicate myself to my writing and building my career in the medical industry (I’m a certified medical assistant and phlebotomist).

Another positive thing is when we visit each other we’re going to have an EPIC time. Because we’ll be hanging out and having fun. Driving from Arkansas to Alabama is not as easy as driving from Arkansas to Mississippi so I won’t be spending weekends with Mr. J. but we have always found a way to make things work.

I haven’t packed yet. Okay I packed up all my scrubs but that’s it. Tomorrow I’m going to do our last load of laundry and clean the bathroom for the last time. The next time I do chores with Mr. J. will be maybe 3 years from now. It’s kinda intense thinking about it but, like we were when we were dating, we were and always will be inseparable.


Photo by Foto Pettine on Unsplash

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