The Non-Distance Relationship Story.
Last week, around 10:30 p.m. I noticed a missed call from Sailor Ryan. I hadn’t heard from the Sailor in weeks! He was in the very bad habit of calling me at 2:30 a.m. So, I had been ignoring him, obviously, since I was sleeping. However, being awake when he called, I decided to call him back.
We started off with standard small talk. Sailor Ryan drove me a little bit crazy with his small talk, but I felt like he was a “nice” guy. I’m calling him quotation-nice-quotation because he spent several months professing his unrequited and unrelenting love to me. Now, since we’d only met in a bar once (and since I was a lady, one who was spoken for at the time, nothing happened), his feelings were largely rooted in my Facebook persona and a few phone conversations. Therefore, my friends used “creep” and “stalker” instead of “nice,” but, I find it usually flattering to hear how amazing I am, so I stuck with “nice” as my standard descriptor.
Naturally, though, I’m skeptical. I spend 90% of my time thinking I’m too smart for love and the other 10% stupidly in love. In my lucid time, I tend not to believe in long distance relationships (did I mention he was in Alaska and I was in Connecticut?) Call me cynical or unromantic or whatever, IN MY EXPERIENCE, people stay together until someone “better” comes along. So, I never got swept off my feet with Sailor Ryan. Plus, he didn’t speak my love language, which is a huge chemistry-block for me. I am 100% a “gifts” person:
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Sailor Ryan (clearly) is not a gifts person. I would classify his love language as empty words and text messages. Or, to be diplomatic, he is a “Words of Affirmation” guy.
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
You can see a conflict, yes? I don’t buy words; the Sailor doesn’t buy anything. Really, I don’t ask for much as far as “gifts” go- all I needed was for him to write me (I love getting letters!), and he probably would have done a bit of sweeping me off my feet. Nonetheless, that didn’t happen and I stayed firmly grounded. Thank God.
Because that night turned into the strangest phone conversation of my life.
Sailor Ryan led with,”What was the best part of your week?”
I rolled my eyes. I felt like I was talking to a distant uncle that didn’t “get me.” One that never took the time to really listen to me, so he didn’t understand me or why him asking that question in the specific tone of voice he used made me feel as if rats were kickboxing against my intestinal lining. I provided the obligatory peppy answer and asked him how things had been going in his neck of the woods.
“Oh, just wonderful!” he says
“Hm. That’s good.” I say
“I climbed 8,000 feet today.” He says
“That’s cool.” I agree.
“Yeah. And I’m in love!” He says
“Oh? Yeah?” (I’m still not paying much attention).
“Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing and wonderful and just so perfect. So wonderfully perfect.”
“Well, that’s good to hear. Congratulations.” I started paying attention. He can’t still be talking about being in love with me, can he?
“Yeah. It’s perfect. And Amazing!”
Yeah, you said that.
And then he goes all Geyser-in-Yellowstone about love on me:
“It just came out of nowhere. I mean, completely unexpected and totally unplanned. But I’m in love and it’s amazing. She’s amazing. It’s just so wonderful, but we certainly didn’t plan it. It just totally came out of nowhere, took me by surprise, I mean. Yeah. I mean, well, you know how love goes, right?”
*Key inner bitch* I answer, “Umm no.”
He stalls. And stutters.
*Key inner sweetheart* “Well, I’m really happy to hear that things are working out for you, Sailor Ryan.” WHY THE HELL ARE WE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION?
“Yeah, it’s just amazing and wonderful” (MY GOD, SOMEONE GET THE MAN AN EFFING THESAURUS ALREADY!) “but, oh, hey sweetheart, that’s my work phone, I gotta go. I’ll call you later.”
“Yeah…later…” dazed and confused
I didn’t know what to think. I was laughing my head off – I mean, that was completely out of the blue. But I also kinda felt like crap. I just didn’t understand why the Sailor had to call me and blabber on and on about this new wonderful girl he loves.
1. We were not dating, so it wasn’t like he needed to come clean with me.
2. I wasn’t pursuing him, so he didn’t need to send me the “I’m off the market” memo.
3. We hadn’t talked in weeks! How much easier is it to just not talk for forever?
Honestly, I was happy for him and glad the pressure to think about visiting Alaska was off my shoulders. Not to mention, being loved and adored, even from a distance can get quite exhausting and make one very irritable at times. Still, I felt like a puppy whose nose had just been rubbed in something very stinky. *crinkles nose at the very memory of it*
I de-friended him on Facebook.
Sometimes things don’t make much sense to me. I guess Plato got it best when he said, “Love is a grave mental disease.”