Well, where do I begin? I’m writing this at 5:09 am when I should be sleeping because I have to help my Dad take the trash to the recycle center. Not that he needs my help, mind you, he just likes having me for company. But that’s not the point of this blog. If it were, it would be very short and boring. This blog is about some of the turmoil that comes from being in a relationship. More specifically, a long distance relationship.
I’m dating my amazing boyfriend Angel. He lives in California and I live in Missouri. So, that’s quite a distance. As you can guess, that puts anxieties in one’s mind immediately. I met him through an app in an LGBT support group that I happened to be an admin in. At the time I was dating my boyfriend Ryan. He was my first boyfriend… but I didn’t feel the way he felt for me. I suppose, no I don’t suppose it, I know that I was just happy to have a boyfriend. Which is terrible. You should never date someone just so you can say that you have a significant other. But that’s exactly what I did. Anyway, I met Angel while I was dating Ryan. And as soon as we first started talking, I told myself “Austin, don’t you dare fall for this boy. You have a boyfriend. You can’t go liking another person.” but that’s exactly what I did. And I knew I was falling for him, and he had expressed his feelings for him. But…I didn’t know how to tell Ryan. I didn’t want to hurt him. I did love him, just not in the way he did me. So, in a very long act of stupidity…I cheated on him with Angel. Now, there’s not a lot to do in a long distance relationship, so the cheating on Ryan didn’t really include anything but flirty texts and the…occasional scandalous phone call. That’s when I knew I needed to tell Ryan it was over. And I did…and the second time I tried he finally took it. He tried to guilt me, say things to me, yell at me, and I deserved it. Oh, how I deserved it. And I knew I did, but I also knew I couldn’t keep this behind his back forever. The reason I did was so I wouldn’t hurt him, but I knew deep down inside that not telling him was gonna hurt him more in the long run. Anyway, Ryan and I aren’t on good terms.
Angel and I didn’t become an official thing until about three months later. We wrote letters to each other (we still do) and I knew it was coming. If there is one thing that Angel is not good at, it is keeping a secret. But, I acted like I was surprised when I got the letter (he made me Skype him so he could watch my reaction. I know, subtle) and I of course said yes. However, with a long distance relationship, things build up. Things that shouldn’t build up inside someone, lest they bubble over and explode like a crock pot left to simmer for too long.
Angel graduated. (should I mention that he’s turning eighteen this year and I turned sixteen about a month ago?) I was so happy for him. He was so excited too. And that’s when the real emotions bubbled up. He is going to college soon. And I know what comes with college. Friends, parties, friendships that might become more. I mean, who wants a boyfriend that you can only hold virtually, when there is a chance you could find one that you can hug in reality? And see, the difference between Ryan and Angel, is that I really like Angel. I like him for him, not the idea of him. And I really want us to last.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “You guys only met seven months ago. You can’t be in love already.” And I used to think the same thing. When I would hear other teenagers say those three little words to their significant others, I never believed them. They’re teenagers. They don’t know what love is. Now I’m the hypocrite that tells his boyfriend that he loves him, all the time. And I’ve thought about it. I really have. With my almost non-belief in love comes the very big hesitation to say those three words. But I do. I love Angel with all of my heart. He is the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of before I go to bed. But he’s so far away. He goes out and does things. Has adventures with friends. Meets people. People that are really there. People he can touch, talk to face to face, and people he can love…easier than he can me. And that terrifies me. Because I love him so much, and I think… I think… I think I’ve fallen in love with him. And believe you me, for someone who doesn’t believe in love that is a very scary statement. A statement even now I find terrifying to utter.
It took immense caution, thinking, and a lot of cups of green tea to even come to that conclusion. But, I can see a life with him. My stepmom knew from the day she first met my dad that she loved him. She was only fifteen. And now they are happily together with five beautiful kids, one of which is looking down on us from above, and love each other still to this day. They still act like hopeless romantics around each other and they have been married for seven years, and together a lot longer. And…I want that to be Angel and I. I will fight all I have for that to be us. I want to be the one he comes home to in the afternoon in twenty years and the one he retires to in fifty. I want to be with him for my whole life. And, I can picture being with him for the rest of my life. I can see us as old men, the life escaping our bodies with each slow heartbeat, sitting down with each other in a house of our own, the kids grown and out in the world, and having only each other. Or waking up to his face each morning, and smiling at his peaceful look. Do you know how scary that is? I have shut myself down many a time thinking like that. I tell myself, “Austin, this is ridiculous. You are a teenager. You don’t know what love is. Nonetheless, you are a teenager in a LONG DISTANCE relationship. Do you know how often those work out. Almost never. Now, stop acting like a hopeless romantic, and come to reality.” And sometimes I just wanna take that little voice in my head and punch it in the face. Because if reality is not being with the one I love and want to be with, then that’s not the reality for me.
And I still have immense fears and concerns. I’m scared he’s gonna cheat. Not that he is the type of person who would do that (I mean, he was the one who told me to tell Ryan about us when I was too scared.) but it’s always a scary fear. Basically… I don’t want him to be a me. And I know I deserve all the anxiety in the world for what I did to Ryan. It would probably suit me to be cheated on.
I also am scared for his safety constantly. I mean, one week he went camping with his family at the beach, and I couldn’t sleep until I knew he was in bed. One night I cried in the laundry room because my anxiety was acting up and I kept imagining him dead. And I imagined him not answering my calls and texts, so I would text his best friend and see what was going on and I could imagine the text that I would receive and how I probably wouldn’t be able to afford a plane ticket to the funeral, that is, if I was invited at all. His family doesn’t know of me, and the ones who do think I am just a friend. But I couldn’t stop imagining his body laying in a casket, looking like he was only just taking a nap (he’s fond of those) and I could imagine not being able to text him anymore. Not being able to talk to him, tell him I love him, see where our relationship would go. I wouldn’t be able to visit him after we had collected enough money for a plane ticket, or listen to him complain how stressful college was. I wouldn’t see his smile, or watch him fake a laugh after I say a horrible pun. The hopes of growing old together would be smashed into the dirt. Everything I know and love would be gone. He would be gone.
A couple nights later I had a night terror about it. And the day after Katy Perry’s The One That Got Away played and I had a breakdown in the kitchen in front of my siblings and everything. I just love him so much and I really hope that we aren’t one of the relationships that don’t work out because I want to spend the rest of my life with him. It might be a silly thought, and I know most of you just think I am an ignorant kid who doesn’t know anything about love, and all I have to say is yes, I am an ignorant kid. I’m the ignorant kid who is hopelessly in love with a short Filipino who likes anime and lives in California. Who is always there for me during an anxiety episode or attack and who says he’s in love with me too. And yes, this whole relationship might crumble in the future, but I try to look on the positive side of it. We’ve been together for seven months and dating for only one, and I still find a reason to love him every day. I hope I can do that for the rest of my life.