And We’re Off to a Greeeeat Start.

“Okay. Tell me. What is it?” Sheri asked as she pulled the lid off her soup cup.

I opened my cheese sandwich and removed the wilted lettuce. I placed it in a pile on my plate with a deep sigh.

“This is not going as I’d hoped,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

We’d met for lunch between our two offices so we could fill each other in on the latest news of our lives. We usually order our meals ahead of time at Chipotle so we can avoid the extensive line and just pick up our food and grab a table. But we’d been running late on our plans and had to settle for a mediocre diner instead.

I put the sandwich back together but the lump in my throat was making the idea of eating quite difficult.

“The thing is, I know I should feel lucky. I know that. I got the love of my life. But I just…,” I trailed off.

Sheri nodded. “You miss him.”

“Yes,” I said and blinked back my tears. “I thought things would be different. I thought after My Boyfriend and I decided to make a go of our relationship, I thought everything would be okay. But it’s not. If anything, I feel even worse than I did before.”

“How long will it be again? That you guys are apart?”

And I told her. It was, as I’ve mentioned, a very long time.

“Long distance relationships are really hard,” she said and stirred her soup thoughtfully.

Yes. Harder than I’d expected. I was completely unprepared for it. In some ways, being in this relationship has exacerbated the loneliness I already felt. I mean, I’ve gotten used to being lonely all these years, but this is a different kind of feeling. It’s more intense, more painful. The void felt deeper. I was in a relationship but in reality, my life had not changed at all. I still had to go to events alone, still was the third wheel or the fifth wheel at social gatherings. Still had to go home to an empty apartment every night. Now I finally had that person that I wanted to rush home to tell about my day or go to dinner to celebrate one of our accomplishments or ask advice to if something was troubling me. But, the thing was, he wasn’t here. And the time-difference and our work schedules made it hard for us to connect. It was like I had all the responsibilities of a relationship, but without any of the benefits.

And I wasn’t handling it well.

I looked out the window, silently cursing the couples walking by. They had no idea how lucky they were just to be in the same goddamn city. “The thing is,” I continued petulantly. “I was so unhappy for so long being single and now I’m even more unhappy because I miss him. I am just so tired of being unhappy. I want my life to start now. I just want to be with him. I just want to settle down.” I wiped my hand across my eyes. “I just want to be happy.”

Sheri took a deep breath and grabbed my hand. “It will go fast, I promise. Just think about how fast this Summer went. It’s already almost the holidays. And it will be so, so worth it.”

“Hmmm…,” I said. With my other hand, I picked off a caraway seed from my bread and rolled it between my fingers. I hated the way I felt. Missing My Boyfriend made me feel weak. It made me feel vulnerable. It made me feel insecure. And worst of all, it was making me act out with him, disengaging because I thought (incorrectly) that disengaging from him would make me miss him less, or picking fights because I thought (correctly) that being angry with him would make me miss him less.

This was a dangerous path.

That’s when I knew. It was time to see Dr. Shay.


28 thoughts on “And We’re Off to a Greeeeat Start.”

  1. Love, it gets easier .. Promise. I can’t say the same for your cliffhangers! More please! Miss you, Chipotle tomorrow?


  2. Awwww! 😦 Hang in there Beauty, and please don’t pick those fights! It won’t help anything and can possibly damage everything – you know that! Easier said than done, but you can do it! HUGS!

  3. I definitely agree with Jenny. I know exactly how you are feeling. There were some days I would just call R knowing I would get his voicemail just so I could hear his voice. I will say that one of the things that helped most is we made it an absolute priority to talk once a day. That way you do have that person that you can tell about your day and get excited about life’s events with.

  4. Long distance relationships take a LOT of effort on both sides. Believe me, W worked overseas for ten years, 2-3 months gone, one month home. However, we had a set time each and every day that we’d Skype. It meant he had to stay awake extra late (he was ten hours ahead) and I had to make sure I was available for our scheduled time each day. Some days it was for an hour or longer, some days a ten-minute catch up, and on some frustrating days is was two minutes and then the connection would go down. But we never missed a day because of not trying. I made a mental list of things I wanted to be sure he didn’t miss on, and other days we had nothing to talk about. Yes, there will be days when you just want to be in his arms and can’t. Days when you miss him so much your stomach hurts. And then when you;re finally together, you have to get used to being around each other all over again, and that’s tough, too. But if it’s right, it will work. You’ll make it work!

    1. Thank you so much for this great advice, Nikki! I think what I’m hearing from people who have done it successfully is that they talked every day – like how you would in real life. So interesting to me!

  5. Sorry it’s so rough right now, hon. I think Fabi’s advice is on target and might help both of you feel more connected.

  6. I’m sorry about the frustration, Tracey. All you can do is your best, tho’, and if you love him, he’s worth that. You are strong, you know. Everyone has their kryptonite and everyone gets sick and tired, but geez, look at you – what you’ve done, what you’re doing, where you are, where you’re headed…you are strong. Don’t give in or up – you can do whatever you want. You’re in charge of you, even when you don’t want to be… xo

    1. Thank you so much Elisabeth. I think that is my biggest problem with this situation – I don’t feel in charge, I feel really weak. I am really going to have to work on that.

      1. You don’t need to be in charge. Being in control has its own problems. You’re not the boss at work, you don’t control the subway, The Cat has its own mind… You’re strong. You’re just bummed (understatement) because you want what you want and you want it now. You earned The Boyfriend but you can’t have him right now. And that SUCKS. But the reward will be worth it. Focus on the positive future and enjoy the now. There may be a time you’ll miss your freedom so enjoy it. Work, friends, The Cat, nasty beer, brunch, gum… I’d hate to be in your position – don’t get me wrong – but just as this success is sweeter for all the failure before it, together can be sweeter for all the apart now. Hallmark out. πŸ˜€

  7. I still have to go to events alone, I’m still the third wheel or the fifth wheel at social gatherings, and I usually come home to an empty house, and I’ve been living with the same guy for 22 years.

    All relationships have costs and benefits, including long distance ones. Yesterday my husband and I got in a shouting match about wicker vs. plastic trash bins. TRASH BINS!!!! Cohabitation certainly has its ugly downside.

  8. One more rant, and then I’m back to assembling an IKEA bathroom cabinet (which might explain why I’m ranting):

    If you were one unhappy single, there’s little chance you will be happy in a relationship. At least an unhappy single person is only making themselves miserable.

    1. Haha I always rant while assembling IKEA products πŸ™‚ I understand what you’re saying but like I said in an earlier post, if you are unhappy in a certain situation – say a job you don’t like and you want a better job and are unable to get one, that would cause you to remain frustrated. It’s not that you feel a new job would fix your life – but when you’re sick of a situation, you’re sick of it.

  9. I have to agree that if you’re unhappy single, you will be unhappy in a relationship as well. i have also been down this road twice myself and I wouldn’t wish long distance on anyone. It’s really tough. Having said that, I really believe that living in the moment is key…but also hard to do! If you don’t have regrets and keep the past in the past and don’t project too far into the future, living in the now can be a beautiful thing! Easier said than done πŸ™‚

    1. Like in my comment to Paul – I have to disagree with this. If you really, really want something and you keep not getting it, wouldn’t it be appropriate to be unhappy? I mean, not to give up and hurl yourself off a bridge – but isn’t it appropriate to be frustrated? I wonder why it is okay in our society to say, “If I had a better job, I would be more satisfied” but it’s not okay to say, “If I had a partner, I would be more satisfied.” Having a partner is wonderful, why is it looked down if someone admits they’d be happier if they had one? I mean, it’s fine if someone is just fine not having one and they are satisfied with that, but why is it not okay to say – I believe sharing my life would add something to it and I’m bummed it’s not happening? I will have to think on this πŸ™‚

      1. I’m not disagreeing with anything you are saying above…and I don’t think people look down on anyone saying they would be happier with a partner..I think that’s what most people want. And of course it’s appropriate to be frustrated! I’m just saying that I try to live in the moment – especially when I’m going through a rough time – and it seems to help me get through things a bit easier, that’s all πŸ™‚ I know it’s hard – but try to stay positive, love!

      2. I think “I’d be happier if. . . ” question poses the same issue whether a boyfriend, work, location, etc: happiness usually is not dependent on external factors. There are certainly exceptions: if you’re in an abusive relationship, or your work takes advantage of you, then you certainly will be happier making a change. But longing for something you don’t have (a boyfriend, more money, a beach house, a Fendi purse) generally doesn’t bring anymore happiness.

        As for sharing your life with someone else: ..what do you think the motivation behind this blog is??? Exactly that.

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