Every lady knows and loves and yearns for this guy. The One Who Got Away.
By definition, he’s not in my dah, but he’s been in my life for practically all of my 27 years.
We met – as it were – as toddlers in the mountains, where our families vacationed at the same rustic resort. There’s a photograph of five-year-old, platinum blond, chubby-faced me staring at him across a wildflower field. He had long, curly, silken dark hair and in the picture, he’s wearing a red t-shirt and looking back at me cooly, like a miniature rebel without a cause.
If you go up to the resort even now, there’s a piece of driftwood where we both wrote our names in magic marker, probably that same year. He’s a year older than I am, so his name is spelled correctly and mine has a backwards B and Y.
It wasn’t until much later that I consciously knew I was in love with him. I was 12-years-old, with knobby knees and ears that stuck out, but I was still a sun-kissed, freckled blonde and had happily evaded the awkward ‘awkward phase’ that had stricken most of my friends during this time. At home in the suburbs, I was making out against lockers and in his bunk-bed with Rob The Hockey Player, though refusing every day to ‘be his girlfriend.’ I had that compulsive desire for male attention (even adolescent, slightly be-pimpled male attention), but I knew I was saving up my “official” love life for someone truly epic.
That’s when I re-encountered him, The One Who Got Away, on vacation with my family in the mountains.
Listen, I don’t claim to be some sort of love guru — I’m just a girl, with a computer, and a handful of opinions and a lot of experience. And thus, I have some ideas about dating. Specifically, long-distance dating. Business Insider reports that, “about 3 million married Americans and as many as half of US college students are in a long-distance relationship.” Look, I’ll be real — that shit is hard. But if you’ve got a plan, and the love is there, you can make it happen. So here are my tips on how to make a long-distance relationship work. Hope they help! (And to those in LDRs, tell me how you do it. Let’s pull our resources!)
Yes, relationships can be hard work, but I think we forget that at the core of our relationships should be fun, otherwise, why else do it? It can’t be all complications and pathos. So here are some ways to have fun in a relationship, because it’s so important, and it’s easy to forget.
It could be that new restaurant you’ve always wanted to check out, or maybe your partner’s never been to Disneyland — if it’s new to either of you, give it a shot! Doing new things can be exciting and can make for many new adventures and memories. And don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you can try a class together — like cooking, or improv. Whatever it is, explore it together.
Lost is the art of making someone you care about, or someone you’re trying to convince care about you, a mix-tape. I recall my now forty-something cousins sitting by the radio with a tape in the deck waiting to hit record. The 80′s were all about the time and effort poured into crafting artful arrangements that expressed FEELINGS. Remember when CDs and tapes were still being used in tandem? Eventually the technicalities became more refined, what with the ability to take a collection of your CDs, pick your goopiest tracks, and assemble a mix tape, well CD, but millennials love nostalgia. Technology was so advanced you not only got to pick the songs but the order as well. The experience became even easier, and probably less meaningful, with the advent of CD burners.
Now that CD’s are now used as spare coasters, and the fine art of fitting “Time After Time” onto the A side is dead, the best way to express what you’re feeling without using your words are emoticons and likes. The mix-tape of today lives on Youtube, Spotify, other stuff on the internet – and they all give you the ability to assemble playlists, faster and more efficient than ever before. With that in mind, here are some simple guidelines to crafting the perfect digital mix-tape through different stages of a relationship:
Every career comes with positives and negatives, not just for the bloke or dame who’s earning the paycheck, but for whoever is dating them. Doctors will be very busy all the time, but they’ll be able to save your life should you accidentally sever your femoral artery with a steak knife. Men who work in finance will make a lot of money, so you’ll get fantastic birthday presents, but they may leap out of their Wall Street corner office windows when their pyramid schemes go awry. Fanatical baristas will brew you the greatest coffee you will ever slurp down, but you’ll grow tired at the pervasive scent of roasted beans that lingers in their hair and the way they insist that everything has “oaky undertones.”
My brilliant and babely girlfriend lives three-stacks away at the opposite end of the country. Bummer, I know. Fortunately, we get to see each other every six weeks or so. But even in those short interims the painful absence of real skin-on-skin boning starts to take its toll and certain carnal thirsts must be quenched— and I’m not talking about masturbation. I know how to masturbate, believe me, and I’m not going to tell you how to masturbate, because, duh, you already went through that awkward and amazing period of investigating that lush landscape yourself. Unless, somehow, you’re reading this and haven’t been thirteen yet.
Even after a fruitful day of internet pornography (er, I mean, working on my novel…), the intimate closeness of the person you love is still greatly desired, if not more-so. Of course, a quilt of closeness outside of this spectrum is already developed— with various social media outlets, texting, emailing, screen sharing, calling, et al., a non-sexual intimacy is maintained easily. But how does one recreate the silent gaps of a relationship while battling the tyranny of distance?
[Disclaimer: none of this involves sexting, nor whatever LovePalz are, and most of these methods don’t even involve touching one’s self. I can have ‘sex’ without touching myself. Jelly?]
The location: college dorm room. The characters: me and a boy. The scene: Guy is sitting on the edge of his bed. I’m sitting on his lap, facing him, with my ankles crossed behind his back. No, we’re not naked! Get your head out of the gutter. Fully dressed, we are kissing and talking.
I can’t recall our entire conversation word for word, but oh do I remember how it ends.
I’ve known him for years. We’re close, not just in proximity. I stroke his cheek, his stubble rough against my hand. It feels good. I comment on how he’s let it grow out. He replies, this boy I like, “You’ve got some stubble too.”
Holy dagger to the heart.
He wasn’t talking about my legs. He was referring to my upper lip, and I wanted to DIE.
Should you change who you are for someone else?
How do you keep a strong sense of self in a relationship? in the universe? Zubair Ahmed’s poem, Concession, from CITY OF RIVERS evokes this paradox.
For the full text of the poem, click through!
“She worries, as I do, about getting fat.”
That’s a line from Michael Ian Black’s book on marriage and family. “She,” as you might have guessed, is his wife.
“She worries, as I do, about getting fat.”
Reading that, I felt something unexpected. I felt jealous.
How he said it—so matter-of-factly, so unselfconsciously—that’s what I wanted: to express this concern confident that it was normal.
But when I worry about getting fat, it’s more complicated.
Was It Really That Bad?
It’s been nearly 15 years since I had food issues. I still struggle with the term eating disorder. That sounds too official. I never saw a doctor or a therapist, was never hospitalized or diagnosed.
In my eight and a half years with a profile, I’ve been in two major Facebook relationships. Well, I suppose three, if you count the time I made my room-mate be in a complicated relationship with me as a beard while I dated a very bipolar pot dealer during senior year of college.
These days, most of the little notifications with heart icons attached are mostly alerting me to an engagement or marriage, not new relationships. Are people still shouting their new relationships from the rooftops online? As you get older, does it really matter if your relationships is Facebook official?
Like I said earlier, I’ve been in two major Facebook relationships, but actually I’ve had three long-term adult relationships. The one I am in now is not FB Offish, and I’m glad.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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