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Can Long Distance Relationships Work?
I asked myself the same question while sitting on a plane, just about to depart from Prague, back to London Heathrow. Journey time close to 2 hours, conditions permitting: scattered showers were forecast in London on arrival. Soft movie music was playing a dramatic scene that seemed to whisk me away into a melancholic haze. I had double vision due to the salty tears - my tear ducts unable to cope with the emotional turmoil from my heavy heart. We'd been together for just over a year, six months of it, she was in the UK. I tried to plan with her, my next trip back to Prague, or the next event we'll both be invited, whereby she'll have five weeks vacation in London with me. I'll pay for her airfare, food, entertainment and beverages, I didn't mind, so long she was safe, and that she could see a future with me. Something we can work to, yes; it was real.
My trip back to the UK was always bleak, travelling back was heart wrenching, however this time was different. I always had the same earthy, dry, acidic taste in my mouth that started in my larynx; brought on by a quivery vocal tone as I said goodbye to her at the airport. I was trying to sound strong, made sure I breathed in deeply, chest back, diaphragm lifted. On departing, we without fail walked ten yards and then turned around simultaneously, smiling and waving discreetly. I gave her my customary masculine nod for good measure which she liked. Those last few hours were magnified to such intensity that I had to remember every iota detail in correct sequence: the snack, the comforting murmurs, did she close her eyes when we kissed tenderly? I don't know, I had my eyes closed at the time. She did I'm sure. Going through those moments so meticulously; drained me, made me nauseous.
Snippets from our conversations throughout the last week vibrated round my head, it was as if I was looking for clues, detecting whether she did see a life with me, she said she did, but that is easy to say when you're there in front of her 'in the present moment'. Just by being there, makes the question, do we have a future together? Now, in my head seem forced, and unintentionally superficial, considering the gravitas of the subject. She made the positive delicate cooing noises at the right time and I felt secure in my relationship then at the time; so what has changed hours later? I'm not sure, I recap that she spoke of her friends, what they plan to do in the summer; yet no word where I fit into the equation. No reassuring words to lift any doubt came thereafter, no mention of her love sitting in front of her; just a loving look and beaming smile. 'God I'm lucky I thought'; those eyes, electric blue, her ear lobes soft and innocent, and her endearing beauty spot an island for two straggly hairs; looking out onto an ocean of milky skin. I was lost in my own love intoxication - 'self made' - the worse kind.
By the time cabin crew checked I had my seatbelt on, my vision had become impaired with tears partly due to staring out of the ergonomic Boeing portal at the tip of the wing. Within ten minutes the darkness had swept the runway. The darkness had a profound effect on me - symbolic to an ending - the curtains were drawing to a city I grew to love. Buildings were dark masses; they had lost their style and clarity. I could be anywhere. I felt lonesome, overwhelmed by an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach, incredibly emotional and all I wanted to do was reminisce. I tried telling myself not to dwell on the fact I won't have her beside me, laughing, asking me; 'if my bum looked big in this skirt'. Have her directing my hairdresser advising him how to shape my stubborn locks. The pride she radiated when I allowed her to be my financial manager, and immediately set aside one hundred pounds purely for her shoe purchases. Her whimsical ways were child-like, it was incredibly refreshing. It rubbed onto me. We were like two children playing adult games, holding hands in shopping arcades, drinking one too many Johnny Walkers, eating out every other night - Italian, Mongolian, French, and her favourite Chinese. Greek cuisine was a big no, no; she ordered every time in Czech. The waiters were remarkably friendly to her; too friendly? They would observe me politely from shaded corners, as if my presence in the establishment rallied up a formal consultation. Paranoia slipped in, like an uninvited guest at a private party. Each time my eyes wandered from her mesmerising angelic exquisiteness, her mild flirtations magnetically got my attention, as if she had tapped into my man default setting. Too assured? Perhaps; but I was living the dream.
While in the air, I felt in the air. Matchstick cities below appeared insignificant, the people even more so. I perused whether by 'not seeing' makes everything else insignificant - the conundrum regarding long distant relationships. Notably, it was her turn to commit the time to make a planned London visit, a date reconfirming a commitment to love. No date was arranged, it was all up in the air. Instead of a scheduled date to focus on, all I had to focus on was an infinite blanket of space. The only companion was my memories from the past. It's now the past?? Then it was only hours ago. That was in 1996.
More I dwelled on our long distant scenario, the worse it got. We didn't have technology to fan our cinders of passion. Wretchedly our relationship fizzled out on December 7th 1996. I haven't returned to 'Praha' where I still call my adopted homeland.
I always found it hard to think of being in love with anyone going through school I didn't have the greatest of times through school, and my first thought was why would anyone love me? As the years went by I sort of steadily grew inside trying to shake off things from the past, which I have now done thanks to my wonderful girlfriend.
I first encountered my wonderful girlfriend at university where we both attend, I first saw her in the student bar before term ended. I was in the student bar when I noticed her buying a drink which looked like vodka and coke, good drinking choice I thought. It was quite hard to see her properly as there were people in the way. But when the person who was getting served next to her moved away, I froze on the spot and took in the glorious sight I immediately felt something within me and without further ado, walked over to her. After a long conversation in which Paris Hilton popped up we exchanged numbers. Unfortunately term ended before we were able to see each other again. We had a long 4 months of not seeing each were we constantly texted and called each other before we were both back at university. We arranged to meet at the bottom of her street and walk to a local pub called The Bell. I still remember taking ages as what to wear and the feeling I got walking to meet her, it was a buzz that same feeling you get to an a big event, it was quite empowering. I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck but, I instantly felt at ease and relaxed with her she seemed to give me confidence just by being beside me, the date went extremely well and that was the start of our wonderful relationship.
Love is one of them indescribable things, its something you feel within you. I absolutely love my girlfriend to pieces, its amazing how much extra energy and fight that I seem to have found which I never knew I had. Love is a very powerful and curious thing, I find it's a great feeling knowing that you have someone there that will always be there for you, listen and be able to make you smile with absolute ease.
There are so many things that about my girlfriend that make me smile even the simple things, such as the way she yawn's, laughs, looks at me, and rests her head on me. I always find myself feeling a deep warm fizzing sensation rising inside when I see her, and everything just seems to evaporate. I absolutely adore her eyes and smile and this little hmm noise she makes when she is tired or if she agrees with something. I can't count the number of things I love about her, I just need to look at her and I smile and if we both look at each we usually end up laughing. There are so many things which we find funny together that from the outside would just seem a little silly, things such as little jingles, words and phrases ("plastic one with handles" or sticky little...") done in accents. There is also Mr Cakey who is a very dear friend of ours and the red haired man, who we have over for tea every once and a while. I also find it very difficult to fall asleep without her being in bed with me, just being able to hear her as im drifiting on, makes me feel warm, happy and more relaxed. She is brilliant at cooking, she has introduced me to foods I would never have tried before hand, such as Rissoto, Gnocci, varity of different cheeses, courgettes, kiwi fruit, along with many others. Someone once told me might have been on TV, that "when you find someone who makes you happy just by sitting down with them watching TV then you have found your soulmate" might sound silly, but if I had to choose between a day out with my friends or sitting on the sofa with my girlfriend watching a movie, the sofa would win every time.
I love the feeling you get for being there for someone you love, its so heart warming to do things, knowing your making them smile and feel happy. I love being all romantic and occasionally surprising her with a gift, or flowers, I love her face when she see's them its priceless. I love her more and more each day, and I can honestly say that this moment in my life is the happiest I have ever been and I will continue to get happier. I received the best gift anyone could ever have given me for Valentines Day a trip to Paris. Paris has always intrigued the closest I got was driving past on the coach in the dark staring out the window hoping to see the Eifel tower and of course Notre dam (or the dam which I call it) which is a place from one of my old favourites, The hunchback and Notre Dam. During the trip to Paris my girlfriend had already booked a trip up the Eiffel tower and we saw the Notre Dam the following day, it was one of best weekends of my life spent with my favourite person. Since I have been with my girlfriend, I feel a lot more confident, when you have someone who loves you back as much as love you them and believes in you it gives you a great sense of pride. My girlfriend makes me who I am, if it weren't for her and her love I would be less then half the man I am.
I never understood all this you know when you have found the one business, but now I do, I can't explain but there's a feeling which takes hold of me and I can't picture any thought of the future without my girlfriend in it. Everything which I am looking forward to the most, involves her, things just feel as though they are meant to be.
If I look back to the time when I asked myself why would anyone love me, to now and taking that leap over my personal barrier I built, I realise now that only true love can help someone overcome there personal barriers, as love is about being a team, being there for each and helping each other through life, having fun, sharing moments and experiences. I have my girlfriend to thank for that, she means the world to me.
I woudlnt have her any other way, as to me she is perect. Love her lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Logically, I can not believe in love at first at sight. Love requires knowing someone, sharing, learning about them, finding things in common, building shared memories. How could anyone possibly fall in love with a stranger? It takes time to find out what a person is really like. Nice looks don't always mean a nice person. I have always thought love would be something that grows slowly between two people.
But then, love doesn't really seem to affected by logic, at least not in my case. I never believed in love at first sight, I found the whole idea immature and overly romantic - and I've never considered myself a romantic. Then I saw the man who would become my husband. But truth be told, it was even before I saw him. I felt his gaze on me, I could just feel someone staring, my knees went weak, I literally felt faint, and I knew, I somehow just knew he was there.
Then I turned around and saw him. Instantly, I could imagine spending the rest of my life with him. Now while I am sounding so romantic, my dear husband is not know for flowery words. rather than ask my name, or exchange pleasantries as one usually would, he asked if I could have children and then informed me that I would do, he would take me. Any other man anywhere else on earth would have gotten slapped at that point! But his confidence did say something for him, like he could snap his fingers and have anything he wanted. And to be fair he had been drinking. But I don't think it mattered what he said, I'd already been knocked for 6 by a rush of unknown feelings and emotions that literally left me reeling. Still, I'll have to assume he felt something instantly. He does swear that he has never before or since asked a strange woman to have his children :) Everything went like wildfire from there. We discussed names for our unborn children on our first real date! We were living together and engaged within a month.
So much for whirlwind romance, the question is would it last? How far can instant attraction go? Would we have enough in common to form a lasting relationship? As unlikely as it sounds, yes it did last. We have had some hard times, more or less been through hell and back again. The whole having children thing took 5 years with a lot of losses and sorrow. But over a decade later, I still love him as much as the first day. His voice still makes me go weak at the knees at times, or just the thought of him. He is still the most attractive man on the earth to me. Other women may talk about this or that movie star, but I never even look, no one compares to him. I know he isn't perfect. I have seen him at his worst many times, as he has seen me at mine, but that never changes the love I feel for him. Maybe that is really truly love, when you know everything about someone, all their faults and imperfections, and none of it matters, because the love you feel outweighs everything else.
We have two beautiful sons together now. Life is not a bed of roses. I don't believe in happily ever after. I know everyday that I am truly blessed both in my husband and my children though and I thank God for my luck and good fortune everyday. And I will never forget the first time I felt his gaze or laid eyes on him. That's not to say he never annoys me. He does. I'm sure I annoy him too at times, like the times before he quit drinking when I decided to treat him to some of my fishes food, vodka and coke with frozen blood worms, live grub worms in a beer and so on. No one can live together so long and not get angry at times. But I still can not imagine him not being here.
Now I like to think of myself as a reasonably logical person. Falling head over heels in love with stranger just did not fit in with my concept of myself. Even now I try to find some logical explanation. Scientists claim love is basically a chemical reaction that takes place in 1/5 of a second, reducing a load of chemicals similar to a cocaine rush. it leaves one feeling faint, euphoric, and dazed. I'd have to admit that pretty well described the feeling. Other research is looking into the possibility that it is love at first smell, rather than love at first sight. That on some subconscious level we have retained a primitive ability to sniff out biologically compatible mates. I really like to think someday a logical answer will be found. I just don't like to think of myself as romantic. For our first Valentines Day, I told him to forget flowers and get me a toaster. At least a toaster you can use.
But in spite of all my protests, I still can't help believing, maybe there is one perfect match for everyone out there, and if by luck or the grace of God you find that person, you just known from the start.
Here's hoping that those of you who have found that one person always realise what a gift you have been given. and for those who haven't been so lucky yet - here is hoping the right one is just around the corner. never give up, you never know where you will find true love. Or maybe love is just something that finds us.