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Single +1

Sarah Fowler

If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. Well isn’t that just a ringing endorsement for fidelity. My best friend, God love her, reminded me of that lovely little phrase yesterday when my newest relationship suddenly and unexpectedly hit a speed bump. I’ve been seeing someone new for the past month and while it’s quite possibly the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in, it’s long distance. And trust me folks, that ain’t easy. It’s also one of the main reasons I’ve avoided writing about him until now. With a good 300 miles and five hours between us, we’ve spent the last month primarily getting to know each other on the phone. He comes down to Columbus on the weekends and while I truly treasure the 36 hours we get to spend with each other, it’s already getting old. He makes me dang happy and I would like to think I do the same for him. I’ve never felt like this before and for once in my life, I have a hard time coming up with words to explain how I feel. I find myself smiling for absolutely no reason at all and I don’t care what we’re doing, I’m content just being next to him. Suddenly I’ve become one of “those” women and oh my Sweet Lord, I have no idea how I got here. It’s only been a month but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel this way. I’m either under medicated or over medicated but one way or another; this is a feeling that I could definitely get used to. The only problem is that those 36 hour weekends seem to go by in the span of about 5 minutes and before we know it, he’s standing at my door leaving again. It feels like a little piece of my heart goes with him every time the door closes. I thought I was just being a girl and being clingy or needy or some other emotion I’m not really familiar with but as it turns out, he’s feeling the same way. The honeymoon phase is definitely coming to a close and stone cold reality has smacked us in the face. He has a booming career in another state and Prinny and I have settled into a nice little life here in small town USA. I’m not moving. He’s not moving. No matter how you slice it, if we want a future together, one of us is going to have to give a little. And it just plain out sucks. It’s wonderful but…it’s starting to be a bit of a hassle. So all of this begs me wonder…when it comes to love and long distance relationships, how do you know if it’s worth it?
In the world of the internet, more and more couples are meeting online. While it would be ideal to meet someone in your own town, in a small town like Columbus, chances are you’ve already dated everyone except your cousins which is why you went to the internet in the first place. Off the top of my head I can think of four couples who met online and every single one of them literally lived on opposite sides of the country. And I have absolutely no idea how they did it. My new…whatever he is…and I met on match.com, which from here on out will be known as a “mutual friend.” He had just moved to Nashville and joined to meet new people (so he says. Here’s hopin’) and I joined because…well, because I write a column about dating and shockingly seem to have run out of local prospects. Then one day I got an email from a guy in Tennessee. He called me the next day and we were laughing in the first 30 seconds of a phone call that lasted five hours. I was hooked. I just knew he was different. I can’t explain it but…I just knew.
In a long distance relationship like ours, it can sometimes feel like we’re in a pressure cooker. I feel anxious, like we have to make the most out of every moment. We can’t just go grab dinner and a movie on a random Tuesday night; if we want to see each other it takes planning, scheming and at least a week’s notice. At the end of the day, we hang up the phone and he goes to sleep in a bed hundreds of miles away from mine. But the thing about it is it almost makes me appreciate him more. When we finally get to see each other we don’t spend that precious quality time arguing or watching separate TV shows in different rooms. We actually soak up the time we have together and just enjoy the moment. Managing our busy schedules is becoming increasingly difficult but when we are finally around each other there is an effortless ease and comfort to the relationship that makes it all worthwhile.
I have obviously succumbed to the moonlight and roses mentality in this relationship and figure if I’m already being sappy, I might as well go in all the way. I want to do this relationship right. And I’ve decided that that means holding off on anything physical for a while. Whew Lordy, being in the same room with him gives me butterflies and after spending a weekend together, you can literally feel the electricity in the room. But…I want this relationship to last and I can’t help but wonder if we would have a better chance if we focused on our mental and emotional compatibility instead of just a physical one. Don’t get me wrong, I know the physical aspect of a relationship is an important one but what’s going to get us through twenty years of highs and lows isn’t going to be our sex life. One day sooner rather than later my boobs are going to hit the floor and his teeth could be floating in a glass. We’ll be shuffling along in our orthopedic shoes and the idea of a roll in the hay won’t seem worth the risk of breaking a hip. But what will matter is how we communicate, how much we respect each other and how much we have in common. I’m no certainly no angel but the distance between he and I has forced us to work on the mental and emotional connection instead of a physical one and I think our relationship is stronger because of it.
Being so many miles apart from each other, you don’t immediately get to know each other’s little quirks. He came into town last weekend and I have discovered that he’s one of those people who leaves half full water glasses around the apartment, never closes a cabinet door and of course, leaves the toilet seat up. But I also notice how he kisses me on the forehead, reaches for my hand when we’re crossing the street and holds me longer than necessary just because he can. I have no idea how we’re supposed to navigate the miles between us but the first time in a very long time, I truly feel like I have a partner. I “get” the cheesy Lifetime movies, bad country songs and dopey little hearts with your names drawn inside. He makes me ten kinds of happy and I’m content in knowing that no matter what our future holds, for now, I have a partner who understands me and appreciates me for me. And that’s I feeling I would travel the world to find. Luckily for me, I don’t have to go that far. I just have to go to Tennessee.

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11 comments

  1. BLUEPLATE

    Congratulations Sarah!! He sounds almost as good as your wonderful writing skills! I’m happy for you! Just know once you get hit by the love bug it is a “need” and it sounds like you found a great guy to fulfill that for you! I am a faithful reader and wanted to let you know I had to go through all the creeps to get to the amazing, wonderful guy I have now, it sounds like we have both hit the jackpot and have been able to lay our dating book down! Once you find “that” guy the long road is worth it!

  2. Single -3

    I cannot believe what I just read. You of all people should know the difference in one’s true self and one’s false self. And, trust me,, for any given weekend I can put on my best behavior, which could be the true or the false self and you won’t know either… And, I can’t imagine you having to go online to find a suitable mate. Anyway, I don’t recall reading the nature of the “speed bump”, but my guess is it’s that you two (2) are too entrenched in your exhisting lives which are five (5) hours apart,, which only leaves two (2) choices. A Leer jet or sexting.

  3. Regina

    I too am in a long distance relationship. I can relate to so much of your article. A long distance relationship requires a lot of work. I think it’s worth it.

  4. Mike

    Geez, Louise…you are the very reason men run! You’re in a month long “relationship” and you are already thinking about who is or is not going to move?! No wonder you hit a “speed bump.” I suspect the men are building them as fast as they can in order to slow you down!

    • Chloe

      I was thinking the same thing! She has seen the guy 3-4 time, he’s apparently staying at her house with her and her daughter and she is thinking about moving to Tennessee. After just last month being in such a serious relationship she was wondering about being the step-mother to his children. Eager beaver, this one.

  5. D

    Where is your +1 while this new man spends the weekend with you? How does she feel now that last months millionaire is no longer around? Does she feel put out while you on the phone 5 hours at a time with this fellow?
    Don’t be so desperate to find love or date just because you write a “dating” column. Let it find you.

  6. Fed Up

    Good Grief. You guys don’t let up do you? This girl not only has the balls to share her life with you-which you clearly see as public fodder, but she’s doing what most people don’t have the guts do do- say screw the risk and fall in love. Give the kid a break. And best of luck to ya!

  7. Lindsey

    I was the girl in Tennessee dating the boy in Mississippi. Naturally, I gave in and moved closer to him since he has a 4 year old daughter. It took me a year and a half to decide if I wanted to leave Nashville. I’m glad I did. with time your beau could make the same choice.
    No errors this time, bravo!

  8. Single -3

    all I want to do is point out the male spin to the female story. This distance thing cracks me up. Granted, some of it depends on how far, and for how long. But at some point the distance has to end. And, then, how do you know?? You have two (2) double lives co-mingling. Sounds like tough odds. Find one you can stand to be around DAILY and hang on to that one….

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