Sunday, August 05, 2007

No matter the distance

I thought the first few months of the year that I was in-love (like I used to in the past).

Yeah, I even blogged about it - I enjoyed the feeling, I cried about it, and even thought I - we - could work it out - despite circumstances.

I tried - we tried - but I just fell out of it - I say this because it's me who just walked away (the nerve, yeah). Like a smack in the head, it just hit me that what I was pursuing was not worth it.

Thought I'll give my heart a rest - but then, I'm into it again. And, like a mentor I know - and a lot of people out there - I found myself finding a romantic interest - of all places - in an online dating site (yeah, the more "dating" version of our good old Friendster). Yes, there are wackos who would visit your profile, and when they see you're online, they would chat with you - first it was OK, of general interest, sensible conversations - but some progressed to nasty things (well, nasty for me, at least), so at that point, I say adieu.

Then I met this special one.

I'm of legal age and sane mind and knows what am I doing - and so is he - he knows what he wants and must do in this stage of his life. But it's noteworthy to mention that we're of different age, background, culture, interest, nationality, and yeah, among other things.

I also told him, I have reservations about this online dating and relationship - he has reservations about the long-distance relationship (LDR) itself.

But so far, it's going OK for us. Of course, we're working for an actual meeting - and again, the reservations (on my part, that is) comes in: what if he will get disenchanted when he sees me in person? That we will not really like how we exactly laugh, look, talk, smell - everything. That what we thought the reasons why we fell in love (yeah, that whirlwind! whew!) at the course of this LDR are just good only at yeah, long-distance.

But I'm getting ahead. What I know - and we both know - is that we want to make this work. A friend dear to me commented she feels "positive" about my relationship now (unlike my "misadventures" in the past). I also feel the same - I feel positive about this - even if this is LDR. And like some relationships I know that started online, I'm hoping for a good result for this.

And I find the following that might be worth remembering (on my part, at least) so to bridge the distance. And maybe these "tips" (for starters, at least) will come handy to those, or by chance, gets into LDR:

Communicate - and avail all means possible. So far, we never run out of things to discuss (even the Marcoses!). And when it comes to us, we share things that we want to do someday, or have in the near future. We get to know each other's frustrations - and mood swings (on my end, I just had one yesterday, one that he couldn't fathom until I explained, anyway). Through this, we get to know what we both like and dislike, and that, I'm learning a lot through this communication we have (like some vessel stuff :->).

Most of our communication is via online (where we started - and continuing). When there's time (and top up card at that, haha) he will call (then we stop to chat online) for more conversation (and go back online when credit runs out, haha).

Just this week, I finally gave in (kidding, mahal) and bought a web cam (I had him at disadvantage the first weeks since he would oblige to be seen while I had no web cam - I only sent him pictures daily that I took via my phone - and mostly the setting is at the loos! Just to shy to cam whore anywhere.) This added visual put a more human dimension to our communication - as we get to see what each other's doing while chatting (and how we mirror each other through some mannerisms!), how we're reacting to each other, or when we need to leave a bit (him to get either wine or coffee in a cup [with emphasis on "cup"] and I get my coffee in a glass! Yes, in a glass!) If we don't see each other online, we leave each other e-mail or we send SMS.

Good thing we're both of the same time line - no need to worry about time difference or any delay (well, if our ISPs don't work well, or that our phone service providers mess up, that's a different case).

With this constant communication, I think I'm becoming more of a good, genuine listener and a conversationalist (not just on auto-pilot, as I sometimes become as a struggling journalist here). And that I hope we keep this open communication as we go along.

Commit - demonstrate that you both want this to work. The level of commitment varies for both couples. It's a risky venture to get into a LDR - like in a business, you don't know that you might be investing big time in what you thought a handsome proposition but later would turn out to be a scam.

As for me, I know to myself that I'm faithful when I'm in a relationship. And for his end, he never fails to end the day to tell - and to let me feel - he's serious about our relationship - and to say that he "loves me" among other cutesy, mushy stuff (as for the details, the lovey-dovey is just between us, OK? But I tell you, he's mushier than I!)

So far, by being "committed" to each other, we tell - and in our means - show to each other (and trust that we're not both talking to the wind) that we both want this to work. By demonstrating commitment, we find time to still chat after a long day's work (for him most especially, since I have quite a flexible work time), catch up, converse more and all (that's why he always tells me he no longer is able to do something about his "panda eyes" because I'm always keeping him up late! Ha!)

Be both independent - and dependent. This relationship we have - should not be in anyway a threat to our respective social lives (since we already have those before we met). Sometimes, we take time to tell each other what we're doing - and that we're both looking forward to "see" each other at the end of the day. This, I think is a good (and a bit mushy start) that you know you're both into this relationship - despite what we're being busy with, among other activities we have.

It's also OK to be dependent on each other. This is where the listening and conversing parts play a role, I think. There are things that you don't just tell to anyone else - even to your friends and family - and that you can tell to your special one. We've had this already, and I must say, on my end, I feel honored that he's trusting me that I can somewhat help him with whatever concern he has just by listening and conversing sensibly with him - and I think this goes vice-versa.

Combining both independence and dependence will allow each of you to grow and give room for changes - and maybe, once you know that you're both settled in this relationship - you can well discuss about how to cope with each other. As far as I am told and what I read, one of you has to give up something if you want to end up with each other. But, again, I'm getting ahead.

What's important now is get to know each other better, enjoy the feeling, and that, again, try to make this work - no matter the distance. And these, on my end, are what I'm determined to do.
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