i_love_freddie: (Drugs)
Tonight I had one of those odd random, 'Hey, my life sucks' moments. I came home to find a huge hairy spider on my wall – and immediately started wishing yet again that I had someone around to deal with spider removal for me. That is one of the huge downsides of a long distance relationship. No one to capture spiders, to fix things around the house, to come home to at night. No one to celebrate holidays with, or share domestic tasks, or to talk about the random events of your day with. It can be a lonely existence to be sure.

The strange thing is, I already did the long distance thing and it didn't work. After my first relationship, which was really abusive, I met a guy who seemed nice, except he lived 200 miles away from me. But I figured that we only get one shot at life and I did like him. But in all honesty, it was never going to work out, and in the end he ended the relationship in the worst possible way – by disappearing off the face of the earth. It was a learning experience, but it took me a long time to get over it and I swore that I'd never do that again.

Then I met D and we got to know each other. And for the first time in years I was happy, I fell totally in love. Everything was great until the company he works for decided that he had to go aboard to work on a project. That was in September 2009 – and to this day I am still waiting for him to come home. For the first two years he was in the US while I was in the UK, and that was awful. More recently he's been working mostly in France and I can cope with that a little easier, perhaps because it seems closer.

I recall reading something once about long distance relationships: You get basically all of the negatives of being single, and all of the negatives of being in a relationship, but very few of the positives. In some ways I can certainly understand why many people say they could never do a monogamous long distance relationship. It is hard and upsetting and frustrating to be separated from someone you love. It is worse if you don't know when exactly you are going to be able to be together again. Then it just becomes a strange day by day, week by week thing.

It drags you down physically too. Last year, when I was going through a difficult time emotionally and I thought maybe he wanted to break up, I actually experienced a phantom pregnancy. For three weeks I experienced pretty much every single pregnancy symptom in the book; morning sickness, enlarged and sore breasts, metallic taste in my mouth, odd sense of smell, stomach cramps... even a very faint positive on a pregnancy test. That was hard, I was so confused and afraid... but also really disappointed when the doctor confirmed that there was nothing there. I feel kind of stupid, but it just goes to show how powerful wishful thinking can be.

I think the worst thing is the loneliness. It eats at you, little by little. I've always promised myself that I would never be one of those women who relies on a man for happiness – like so many of the women in my family. Yet now I cling to every little bit of contact we have, because none of it is ever enough. Checking my phone for text messages has become something of a ritual – it's the last thing I do at night, and then the first thing I do in the morning. In addition to that, I find myself frequently looking during the day; randomly, no matter what I'm doing. Just hoping for that little bit of contact, that reminder that I'm still important to him and he is still thinking of me. I go through these stages where I wonder... I think of him every day, no matter what I'm doing he is always in my mind... I want him to feel that way about me, but I don't know if he does. Perhaps it's just me.

It has other consequences too. Over the last two years, I've watched more and more of my friends fall in love, move in together, get engaged, get married, have children. I hear about all the little things; the holidays together, the day trips, the romantic gestures, meeting the parents. And I admit it, I am jealous. I want what they have.

I do not want to go to another family party and have them look at me with pity because I am once again highlighted as the eternally single girl. I have a gut feeling that most of them don't believe he really exists because they've never met him – and let's face it, I wouldn't be the first person to lie in order to get family off my back.

It's hard. I won't lie, I often struggle. Some days it tears me apart inside.

Now and then I find myself wondering why anyone does this. Why do we sit and wait? But I know the answer, deep down – because as much as the separation hurts sometimes, it is nothing compared to how I would feel if he was no longer in my life. Because he is the person who can make me feel whole again. And perhaps it is childish or naïve, but the child in me still wants to believe in fairy tales. Whatever anyone says, I have to believe that once he comes home, everything will be okay. If I just wait patiently, soon I'll get my Happily Ever After ending. I know deep inside that it won't be quite that easy, but need to believe that.

I just want my soulmate back.

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August 2017

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