A little back story: I’ve known my best friend, Carrie, for almost 17 years and she is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Six years ago, she moved to Tampa Bay. I regret not spending the money to visit her. Five years ago, she moved to Seattle. My ex-husband continuously told me that we didn’t have the money to visit her, so I just accepted the fact that I would have to wait for her visits home. About a month before we split, I decided that wasn’t acceptable any longer, and I planned a trip to see her. That ended up being perfect timing: two weeks after we decided on divorce, I was spending a week with her and feeling happier than I’d felt in years. I vowed to myself (and kind of to her) that I would visit her at least once per year. I visited the following September (2013) and again this March (2014). I knew she was going to be busy during my last trip, but I had ulterior motives for visiting: I wanted to wander around the city and see if that was somewhere I could see myself living.
About two weeks prior to leaving for my last visit, I started chatting with a fellow on Match. Electrician #2. We went on two dates and things seemed to be going fairly well. He called me almost every day, but I was being fairly casual about the whole thing, as none of my other “matches” had worked out very well. He texted me quite a bit the night I arrived in Seattle, as I was on my own for a few hours once I stepped foot off the Link. I settled at the Tommy Gun, a bar just feet away from my friend’s condo (little did I know I’d end up there almost every night during my visit). We texted memes back and forth until he had to go to bed and I thanked him for keeping me company. We texted a little during my stay, but not much and I assumed he was being polite and not trying to intrude on my visit.
My third night in Seattle, I was on my own. I sat through dress rehearsal of Carrie’s play on Thursday night and I was planning attending the official production on Saturday. I had about four and a half hours to kill, so I started with an hour of the Mindy Project. I got hungry and spent the next hour and a half wandering the streets looking for somewhere to eat dinner. After all that wandering, it started to get dark and nothing sounded good, nor could I find somewhere that wasn’t completely packed. I remembered a little (and I mean little) sushi place that Carrie, Doug and I had gone during my first visit. I managed to find it fairly easily. I stood in the back of this walk-in closet sized place, staring at the menu as two fellows entered, one after the other. I was confused by what I was ordering, and was horrifically embarrassed by the tall, attractive blonde fellow showing me a poster depicting the thing I thought I wanted. He struck up a conversation with me, and suddenly I felt a little less ashamed. He was reading something sci-fi (the name escapes me) and I was definitely into it. As our orders were ready and we walked out onto the sidewalk, he asked if I had plans for the evening. Surprisingly, he invited me down the street to a coffee shop where we ate dinner and had this awesome kind of pseudo-date. We talked about everything: sci-fi, our families, art, and a few other things. I found him intriguing, but told myself to keep it light because I will probably never see him again. Again, to my surprise, he asked me if I’d like to hang out before I flew home. I had quite a bit planned with Carrie, but told him if I had time I’d let him know. We didn’t see each other again while I was in Seattle, but we texted a little. We became Facebook friends. We casually texted the next week. In the meantime, Electrician #2 agreed to a third date. We never had that date because two days later he said I was “a really fun chick” and I made him laugh and smile a lot, but he just couldn’t date me. Okay, no worries. Plenty of fish in the sea. The next day, Seattle fellow asked if he could call me. I was surprised, but excited. We talked every day for the next week. Every conversation had me a little more hooked. He was flying out to see me the next week. I was terrified. I called him the day after he booked his flight, telling him I thought we were rushing things. After we talked, I felt a bit more relaxed about things. Why would we wait? We had only spent a couple of hours together. How would we know if we clicked in person unless we hung out in person?
He flew in on Thursday evening and stayed until Monday afternoon. I was so nervous. I could tell he was nervous too. We were both shaking when we hugged for the first time at my office in front of my nosy co-workers. All I could think was “is he going to kiss me? Will we mesh in person as we do on the phone? Where is he going to sleep?” I was a wreck! I could barely look him in the eyes. I don’t know how long we had been in my apartment, but it couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes before our lips locked. It was magical: longing mixed with lust and a bit of uncertainty. We spent the next 90-something hours glued to each other. I still have the image of his furrow burned into my brain, as he tried not to destroy me in chess (which he did, more than once). I remember how comforting his arm felt around me as I drifted off to sleep with my head on his chest. I miss running my fingers through his hair while we talked into the wee hours.
I’ve never been in a long distance relationship. Honestly, I’m not really sure how the whole thing works, but it seems like we’re doing okay at it. We talk or text every day. We still play chess sometimes, though now it’s over the internets. We’re finding ways to spend time together because we can’t physically. One thing I absolutely love is that he reads to me. I love his voice, and I could hear him talk for hours.
He’s not perfect, but I’m not perfect either. It seems the more we talk, the more I fall. I don’t have to wonder what he’s thinking because he will tell me if I ask. So why do I worry? At times, I feel like a self-saboteur. I wonder if he’s going to become bored with me over time and choose a geographically closer lady. I worry that I’m not physically fit enough. I worry that I’m not smart enough or technologically savvy enough (he’s a programming smarty-pants). I’m not stupid by any means, but I can’t keep up with his explanations at times. I know he became frustrated with me when trying to help me troubleshoot a simple game last night, though I think his irritation stemmed from my frustration with myself. I don’t have a high-paying career, so I have to save to be able to visit him. I want to equally contribute to our rendezvous, but I truly can’t monetarily and it makes me feel… not inferior… inadequate? I worry and I don’t know how to make it stop. When he worries, I’m calm for him and I have wisdom and insight to share. Most of the time, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world that he chose me as the object of his affections. I don’t remember feeling a connection so easy and comforting as it is with him (not even with my ex-husband). I feel like I can tell him anything and I appreciate his openness with me. I get giddy and my heart skips a little when he sends me a hug or kiss on our connectivity phone app (it really is the little things). When my phone blinks blue, I hope it’s a text from him. I can’t wait to be in his arms again.
But I’m scared.