Confessions of a LDR gf

The next series of posts are titled Confessions of a LDR gf for a reason. Their purpose is to say or “confess” what every person in a ldr wished his s/o knew, but we are too afraid to point it out directly to our partners. We don’t want them to feel like they are failing. What we want to do is to remind them (and ourselves in the process) that we can build better, stronger relationships. Yes, thou it’s mostly us on the scene, I can’t leave out of the picture the true fact that there are guys out there fighting for another day to keep their LDR’s alive. Guys we salute you 😉 👍.

To start off I don’t want to demean or discourage anyone’s efforts, or way of handling their relationships. No offense intended on my part, but I do wish to open up and speak in the name of many struggling with the issues I’ll address today.

Nowadays in LDR’s we tend to pour out our hearts in actions, words, efforts and as in many cases we even give away a part of our lives we’ll never get back, and that part is our time so willingly and lovingly invested.

Not that we complain about it, we struggle, adjust and overcome it because of different time zones, circumstances and even cultural differences. Yet something comes to my heart and it troubles me at all times. I for example am a very emotional person, I feel everything I do has to be weighed before set out there for the world to see but that’s just me, I know for a fact each one of us handles this special kind of relationship as a delicate one because not everyone is made to withstand distance, or the type of relationship many will question.

My heartfelt attention is the tremendous weight of efforts made on our part that go unnoticed by our sentimental partners, or as we call them S/O. 

  • We plan our whole lives around our relationships so we can be available to call, text and video keeping in mind time differences and sometimes even sacrificing our social lives while theirs remain intact. 
  • Our endless tries as in posting, writing, idealizing, recreating and as I mentioned before giving so much life to our relationships that we end up drained in the midst of it all and without motivation as well, because of their lack of empathy, and contribution towards us.
  • We get inspired with a song, a thought, a feeling, and we wish to share that with our beloved but many times we barely get a response or any reaction from their part.  

Instead of getting our S/O attention, we end up showered and encouraged by others who know us well, and even dare to try out as suitors for our hearts. But do we give in to those suitors? Of course not!! We’re only into the object of our affection. If not, we’d be seeking the attention offered when others seem to know what we like, what we don’t, when something goes wrong and can tune in to our emotions. 

 Not many understand our devotion surpasses all of these things. In fact we have our ups and downs as those in a normal standard relationship, except we guard it with a not so invisible  shield of undivided attention. We continue to hope our feelings are felt, understood, delivered and reciprocated.
We can even compare it to an app used on a daily basis: we go to it, we text, we send, all in hopes it will be seen and replied to. Still seconds become hours in our hearts and when not understood we become wounded, and in some cases we hold our feelings back in avoidance of “confrontation mode” as I call it.

Our hearts are visited as a place of invisible encounters and rare meetings. Because we then begin to build a force field that repels any advances intending to break it down…but reality is we’re only trying to salvage any remains left of our soul’s feelings.

To read more about long distance relationships don’t forget to follow Dua e Maryam at Voice of a Broken Heart

Happy Birthday (My Love)

Birthdays are special occasions. When you are in a LDR it can be hard to cebrate it the way you wish. Today it’s Ahmad’s birthday and I hope my words reach where I can’t be so I wrote him a little note that I would like to share here. 

My only hope is that we get to celebrate many more birthdays together in the future. 

He Said/She Said

Love means everything. Those were the words he texted me while we try hard to fix all the damage we have caused to our relationship. Sometimes we talk about other people or other situations and then we overthink on the ways those situations apply to our relationship. No matter how hard you try, you can’t help comparing your relationship to others, even though you remind yourself (while comparing) that not two relationships are alike.

When I decided to be in a LDR, I knew it would be a challenge in many levels. We had distance and time difference, but I guess the biggest challenge was culture. Among all the differences that we had, the most difficult for me to absorb was that his culture is more closed, and not as open minded as mine. That includes the way they handle romantic relationships with people from the other side of the world.

Our relationship has always been kind of a secret. I must admit that I agreed to it from the start and got used to the way things were. But as I said before, the situations of others sometimes remind you of your own and in this case, it reminded me that to his side of the world, his family, friends… I do not exist. It reminded me of the struggle I have to achieve this sense of normalcy in my relationship. While I tried to include my boyfriend in every aspect of my life, I felt I had no real presence in his.

With all that we have been through in the last couple of months, overthinking about that issue (the secrecy) added some pressure. I was feeling bad about something I can’t change (and agreed to it since the beginning) and he felt bad because he couldn’t give it to me. We took turns to argue and hurt the other and then we would try to fix the damage we did.

But that wasn’t the only thing I was struggling with. Some time ago I told him that I felt things had changed. Somehow, our relationship didn’t feel the same (I dismissed it because I thought it was because of his time in army) but we did talked about it and even agreed to work on it. I felt that we were back to square one. Back to the way our relationship was when we started and it sucks because I know we put a lot of effort to bring our relationship to a point where we both felt happy before he left for army.

Even today I feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about telling him because maybe I’m the one stuck on a moment in time. The one who can’t stop to think that I knew the rules of the game before I decided to play. The one who is having a hard time shaking doubts creeping inside my mind. Maybe I’m the one who refuses to understand that things change and there’s nothing to do but accept it and move on to whatever comes next, even if you don’t have the same hopes you did before.

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Is it still My December? 

People close to me know that I overthink and obsess about things and it’s really hard to slow down my brain. One of the things I do is to convince my brain to “care less” about certain things and focus on simple, short goals to achieve each month.

This month I will…

  1. Finish the 2 books I’m reading simultaneously. Because obviously one wasn’t enough. Ha!
  2. Finish at least 3 of the 4 drafts I have sitting in my blog. Do I see a pattern here?

Last but not least… A relationship goal:

  1. Take a few steps back from my relationship. Not wanting to add to the pressure my bf has, I think the best thing I can do is give him some space. I’ve been kind of sad and my mind is racing in all the wrong directions so the best thing is give all the love stuff a break. I will train my brain Jedi style to not care about anything anymore.

 

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Happy Anniversary (Love Letter #3)

On November 23, 2013 I heard myself say the words “I Love you too” making that a very special day. Anniversaries are not just dates in a calendar. They are reminders of special events in our lives. In my relationship they are a reminder of a decision we made to be in love and keep this love alive for years to come. It is a reminder of the commitment we have towards  this relationship and each other.

Love should be celebrated. We should look back with pride at all the years we’ve been fighting for love and conquering everything that life has thrown at us. We should look forward with confidence that we will still be fighting in the future. We should look forward and plan for our “forever”because I read once that “Forever is composed of Nows” (Emily Dickinson).

Our “nows”should lead to each other. Just like every big decision in  my life, every choice I make leads me to you, brings me closer to you. After all, you are my relationship goal. You have been for 3 years and I can only hope that you will be forever. You and Me turned out to be Us November 23, 2013.

Happy Anniversary Mi Amor…

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* The letter above was written during a hardship in our relationship. I thought that I had lost part of it during this time when some external factors were threatening everything we have built together. The letter is a reminder that we chose to fight for what it’s ours. Love.
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Guest Post by Sean Mars: Commitment in a LDR

I was talking to “Pamela” for almost 2 years. Finally, at a beer garden overlooking the Allegheny river I finally had the chance to meet her. After the first pint I had an idea that we had differences of opinions. She exceeded all of my expectations; I felt a wave of disenchantment and disappointment coming from her. By the third pint it was clear that I expected too much and came all that way for nothing. For a moment I regretted putting myself out there. I went to bed that evening rather depressed, wondering what was wrong with me. 1000 things could’ve been wrong with me that she did not agree with, looking back. I was happy for the chance to have finally met her versus having her as a possibility that I would maybe someday, one day, get enough strength to meet in person.

A few months later she told me that she had no romantic interest in me and wished to be friends. I agreed, knowing then that now it meant a distant acquaintance.

When people talk about long-distance relationship that started on the Internet(ie. Internet LDR), it usually involves deep thought-provoking conversation, instant messaging throughout the day and the occasional cyber sexual encounter. While many people talk about meeting each other, such an occurrence might happen or not. Both parties earnestly want to see each other in real life. Stories like the one I told above doesn’t help that.

People get afraid.

Finding an Internet LDR partner can be such a gift. You can see people, they can see you, and you have a wide variety of mediums to make your relationship work. But there comes a time where we have to come out from behind our respective screens and hold the hand of the person who was touching another keyboard in another room, far away.

To do that takes a different type of commitment than to figure out time zones for possible date nights. It is the desire to be engaged, though the prospect of success might be poor. Think about it, meeting an Internet LDR partner in real life for the first time is like meeting a possible partner in real life. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a blind date, connected through a message board or dating profile. Distance becomes irrelevant. All that matters is time. For someone who is local that real life meeting commitment happens in days or weeks. An Internet LDR could be months and years.

Sooner or later one partner would want to meet the other, willing to travel great distances to seek out the possibility of a real-life relationship. The other partner might be not want to meet for a variety of reasons. Those reasons have to be dealt with.

If the point of an Internet LDR is to meet, marry and live happily ever after, then the there has to be an overall commitment to make it work. Meeting in person is just the opening of this larger cluster that is a committed relationship. It’s not about promising to meet and never following through. It’s about having this virtual relationship with the understanding that it’s temporary and will be superseded by a real-life one.

Yet people think that an engagement ring, gifts and elaborate virtual encounters make a relationship. But what are they really? Is it someone who will never hesitate to tell you that they love you? Someone who willing to stand by your side in all encounters? What about that person who’s willing to travel to ends the earth, literally? A $2000 engagement ring delivered via special courier pales next to your former virtual lover placing a $150 ring on your finger. One is a financial commitment, the other one is a commitment of many resources. The former looks great to your Facebook friends, the latter appeals to your emotional and intellectual needs. The problem with gifts is they are material and somewhat ephemeral. You wear the ring, but the ring is a symbol of commitment. If after a period of time no action has taken place, the two of you are still apart, that symbol would look like an indictment of idleness.

Yes, again, it’s possible that nothing could come from taking a chance with this person. They might go ghost on you in the last possible moment. You find out they are really catfishing, not who they claim to represent. Finally, they could reject you for a variety of reasons. But what is the alternative? While there are some merits for having an Internet relationship that is not the goal for most people. When exchanges of love happens, intimate conversations ensue, people start thinking of each other all the time, each person want to know are they going to share their lives with this other person physically in a meaningful timeframe.

If you been afraid in meeting your Internet LDR it’s time to show some bravery. Pick a date that the both of you can agree that you will get together and make arrangements. If you and your partner live on the other side of the world and the both of you are financially capable why not meet in the middle? For example, one person lives in Calgary, the other lives in Johannesburg. Why not try to meet in Paris or Madrid? It doesn’t have to be fancy(a three-star hotel in Madrid gives a unique cultural flavor missing from better hotels) or particularly long (5 days should do it), but it should happen.

When you meet and hug each other it will feel like the beginning of something new. Hopefully that feeling to be with you forever, long after details fade away in memory.

 

About the author:   Sean Mars, writer of A Google 365 Days blog is currently not in an Internet LDR. He lives in Detroit, Michigan.

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Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try

I’ve been in a Long Distance Relationship for over 2 years now and still there are days where I wish someone would’ve handed me a map at the beginning of it (or maybe just a Magic 8 ball ). When you finally decide to give it a try, it’s when you realize you are already there (yikes!). The good news is that the ones traveling that road -myself included-  will always leave some directions in every turn for the ones deciding to take the same route. As the Grand Master Yoda said: Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

Here are some notes left for the ones standing in the middle of the road:

  • Make a decision. There is no “trying to see if it works”, no 50/50. If you decide to be in a LDR you have to give 100%.
  • Remember you were friends before you were a couple and if you weren’t, build a good solid friendship so you can feel comfortable with one another.
  • Get to know everything you can about the other person. You are not together physically so you rely on sharing to better know each other. Learn from one another in terms of language, culture, traditions. There is always something new to experience.
  • Involve friends and family when you can. You want to treat your LDR as a normal relationship and support may be needed.
  • Communication is the key (or one of them). There will be a lot of talking, texting, messaging and sharing in every social app/messenger you guys have. Learn to talk and listen and keep in mind you can’t actually read intonation from a text message.
  • There will be arguments. A lot. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement and don’t make decisions when angry. Calm down, talk, understand and resolve your issues.
  • Knowing what you want is half the battle. If you want it to work, make it work. Make time for dates, calls, video calls…anything that can make you feel closer. There are lots of ideas to keep your LDR fun. Browse the internet or make your own. Each couple is different.

I’m sure there are a million advice for everyone that decides to embark on the adventure that is a LDR. It wouldn’t be an adventure if we knew everything that was going to happen along the way. We have to enjoy the ride while we arrive at our destination. With that said, the last thing to do is to remind you (and myself):The paths less travel by are for the bold so Don’t Quit. Live, Love, Plan your future together. You want your LDR to be a real love story and not some fairy tale  written in social apps. Just don’t forget to leave some notes along your road.

 

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To read more about Pre-LDR Advice and see the writing prompt that inspired this post, head to the LDRBN site. If you are in a LDR and want to be part of the experience, APPLY HERE. Don’t forget to mention my name  Gibran.

 

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