….And we kissed, and suddenly everything was amazing.
And it was.
I was young, unjaded. My biggest worries were contemplating wearing beige chinos or untagging myself in dubious photos of me looking hammered.
Trying to maintain a long distance relationship is not easy. It’s like an orgasm. It’s fantastic when it happens, but it doesn’t come around enough.
You want to hold that person in you arms for a hug or cuddle or, if you’ve been paying them the right compliments and have cheekbones as delectable as mine*, a cheeky fumble. To travel 200 miles to hold someone’s hand, however, just doesn’t feel right. Like Instagram validation and all you can eat buffets, you want lots of it and you want it now.
*This is bullshit btw
We spoke on Skype most nights, sometimes until 4am, saying goodnight as the birds sang good morning. While the milkmen were loading up their floats and various TOWIE stars were stumbling out of nightclubs, we were chatting far into the night about how much we loved each other and the excitement of seeing each other in 26 days.
In order to get a good connection, I had to perch on the landing, often tripping over cables to get some precious Wi-Fi bandwidth to talk to my e-girlfriend. I felt like the third wheel between her and my temperamental Broadband connection.
Once I had a glass of water near the laptop, a great idea for pre-Skype hydration, but I tumbled over a wire and knocked over said water, sending a short splash over my keyboard. After this unwanted lubrication, I could no longer use the W and O keys.
Imagine trying to tell friends online you have recently found a great
I did some research and followed Google’s advice and used a hairdryer to dry the buttons to prevent further letter corruption.
Sadly the hot air ended up fusing the keys and I raised an angry fist at the Internet’s lack of wisdom. Eventually each letter died until the only impact I could make was via the space bar.
It’s hard to tell someone you love them without vowels and consonants.
Staying up to 4am also meant mornings were unloved. I once awoke to my manager phoning me up asking where I was. I should have been at work half an hour before, but had been fast asleep in bed.
Another stipulation to long distance, particularly with a University First Year, was seeing your girlfriend get ready to go party at various liver intoxication events during Freshers’ Week. With events called ‘Carnage’ and 18 year old boys who have recently been released from their family nests, it didn’t fill my mind with the greatest joy.
It was difficult to see her make herself look pretty on Skype with me before she went out. I wasn’t much of a party animal at the time, so I’d be left watching Skins Series 5 (a form of self-punishment) back in England whilst she was dancing her socks off at a sticky club floor. I might receive a drunken message or an incoherent picture of a z-list celeb or Hollyoaks guest star who’d turned up for a paid appearance.
One such event I’m glad she didn’t partake in was a sports team drinking event. The social club’s rules were that you would be handcuffed to a Third Year student rugby player whilst dressed as a sheep. Then you would spend the night drinking copious amounts of liquor. You would be penalised if your drink cup was empty, with the added bonus of having to drink a shot with every sip. Even Phil Mitchell would find this to be hardcore.
One time I came back from a late swimming session to find a text message saying from her ‘I kissed someone.’
I almost stumbled back into my locker.
Someone had stolen her phone and sent this, and she had apologised profusely. I didn’t know how to talk to her the next day as it was such a confusing situation. She was terrified at the thought of losing me over this. Regardless of whether this cuckoldry was true or false, it was hard to find the words to say back.
Despite this incident, or non-incident as it could have been, we moved on.
At one point later in our relationship she was coming out of Popworld whilst on the phone to me. She had just seen Jay from The Inbetweeners riding his post-movie fame and posing in photographs interlocked between various female forearms. She was trying to find her friends and was feeling a bit dry in the post-apocalyptic world of a closing 3am Welsh nightclub.
I could hear some guy (not Jay, who was probably too busy being knee deep in clunge) come up to her and offered her some support.
“Hey, you thirsty? You have my drink!” he said, in what I think was an Indian accent. This kind gentleman offered her some of his canned lemonade. Such a Samaritan.
She thanked him and and guzzled it down.
She then started to feel a bit off-colour, but presumed it was the copius amount of Jagerbombs she got on the latest 6 for £10 student deal. She began to feel faint and drowsy. She left to go somewhere else to find her friends and luckily bumped into a housemate.There are no words to express how it feels having your girlfriend get her drink spiked 200 miles away, whilst you are helpless on the other end of the phone hearing it happen.
I could barely sleep.
Luckily, her mate had managed to take her back. She spent most of the next morning and midday in a deep slumber, being nursed back to reality by her housemate who gave me a reassuring phone call. I wanted to be there for her instead, but I couldn’t.
The thing is, when you’re head over heels with someone then the above instances don’t matter. You just bury them in the deep recesses of your head, they gnaw away at you but you’re to busy preparing for your loved one’s royal visit. When we saw each other it was electrifying; we had curry nights, deep emotional chats and watched The Human Centipede. Nothing quite beats a romantic night in with Chicken Jalfrezi, poppadoms and people being sewn together ass-to-mouth .
Sure, long distance is mightily unrealistic and deep down, like Communism and my singing career, you know it’s not going to work. You get so drawn into the bubble that you can’t stop. Ironically enough, we talked to each other far more than short-distance (is that the term?) couples do.
At some point, things changed. She hadn’t told her family about me until months in. I fathomed they didn’t exactly approve of our holiday romance turned cross-country love story.
It was at this point I realised she was an integral part of my life. I had initially been standoffish about a relationship, but she had won me over and we even updated our Facebook relationship status. Now I’d feel incomplete if I didn’t hear from her or look lovingly at her digitised face over Skype.
Little by little, her communication petered away. There were fewer love notes, drunken phone calls and messages. Conversations became picture memes. One time she muted me on Skype as I was embarrassing her.
I felt funny. My heart was numb. I was confused. I couldn’t eat. Fuck, this was bad. I was pretty much checking off a teenage heartbreak checklist, but I was too old for this angst and confusion. I went to see my Dad, whose not the most emotional. I couldn’t tell him how I was feeling, but I found myself asking him loads of questions about himself to try and fill any potential silence, and to take my mind off of her.
We had our first conversation where she told me she wanted to ‘step back’ in regards to our growing relationship. I wasn’t sure what to make of this, but it wasn’t a good sign.
I had booked a week off work to see her in Wales. She was going to teach me how to like Christmas, a nauseous event that comes around way too quickly each year. Sorry everyone, I’m one of those people! We were to go to Winter Wonderland and I was going to spend my time at the ice-rink holding onto the sides.
Things weren’t right. Our last phone call was her in the toilet at Club Destiny. We had barely spoken the day before I was coming up.
I went to my room and loaded up Skype. The opening tune of it no longer had the chirpy and fun connotation I used to enjoy.
The image of the love-lorn lady with a big smile on her face, calling me babe, was now a weeping mess of an angel.
I knew it was the end before she opened her mouth.
She expressed how she hadn’t been completely honest to her family about me, and how she was struggling to fit me into her university life when I lived so far away. I understood completely as deep down, I knew this was impossible to maintain long-term.
I don’t really remember what we spoke about, but for the first time, we were realistic adults, which wasn’t good.
Like a celebrity’s career after Operation Yewtree, it was all over.
I felt numb, confused. She continued to cry. I may had too. We said goodbye.
I went down to the living room and sat down in exhaustion with such force I almost took out the long curtains traipsed along the floor.
The next few days were a nightmare to say the least. The leftover feelings after constant communication had ended. I now had 5 days off work to dwell and ruminate over the situation, and a bundle of Christmas presents for her, now for me. What the hell do I do with a faux Pandora bracelet, and a belly bar for a navel piercing?
The morning after I stumbled down with a friend to the festive outdoor bar, complete with talking moose, and ordered myself a stiff Jagermeister. The automated moose told jokes, possibly realising I was in a bad way and needed some hilarity
“What has antlers and sucks blood?” it exclaimed. “A moose-quito!”
Later, we began talking intermittently. (No, not me and the moose)
She had been out with other suitors, and at one point coldly told me about these. She later apologised for these confessions and admitted her behaviour had been all over place. She admitted she still had strong feelings for me and if I had lived closer, things could be different.
For some reason, we met up a few months later. I booked a train to Cymru for a catchup. I counted sheep along the way, but lost count.
Our reunion was a very strange experience, we had only seen each other through rose-tinted spectacles before. At first she We bantered for hours, and as we shared ice-cream and cheesecake, our lips found each other as they had done so many times before. As we went to bed and I began to drift off, she shyly said ‘I still love you.‘
Things just weren’t quite the same and I didn’t know how to act or feel with someone I once shared L-Bombs with. There was awkwardness and arguments, but eventually we fell in love all over again, albeit briefly. She spoke about meeting again, and I didn’t want it to be the end.
As we waited for my train, we both looked at each with lumps in our throats and red eyes. She began to cry. The past 9 months had been a roller-coaster, and as Lord Ronan Keating once said about such, ‘You’ve just got to ride it’.
We said goodbye; I boarded my train and felt rebellious, putting my feet on the seats as I looked back fondly over our relationship
We never saw each other again. She later dated someone with a beard.
Have you tried Long Distance? Write down your experiences in the comment box below!
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