Thursday, October 4, 2012

TESTING A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP

The morning started with a kiss between Alexandra and Aaron. It was their typical virtual kiss while on video with each other on their laptop computers. Most days this was their routine, only seeing each other in person once or twice a month or so. They seemed content about their long distance relationship… until one day…

“Why won’t you come see me?” Alexandra asked.

“You know I am not able to cross the border due to all the Homeland Security rules now,” Aaron replied.

Alexandra was deeply saddened by this; she wanted him to share her life with her, her friends, her family, and to travel to places together. Aaron noted her great disappointment, and feared she would give up on him… after all, it had been a year since they started dating, and she had done 100% of the travel to come see him in order for their relationship to work. He figured it was only a matter of time before she gave up entirely.

The stupidity of the American government made him angry. Why did they extort him like that? Why did he ever try to cross to see Alexandra? Suddenly he became irate at the whole thing. “I don’t really care if I ever step foot in the U.S. again! I should have never tried to come down to see you. This would have never happened if I had just stayed here instead of coming to see you.”

Alexandra was taken aback. He had never blamed her before for something that was completely out of her control. She chose to say goodbye and hang up on their video session and let him cool off. But it just got worse.

For two days he stayed distant, and sent messages only to say things like how much happier he was to be single, and that he didn’t have to deal with girlfriend ‘stuff.’ Aaron said bluntly on phone text: “My friend thinks that, romantically, you are a waste of my time, and I am starting to think the same thing.” Alexandra wondered if he would even let her come see him, as they had planned for, the following weekend. She moped and fretted and felt a mess emotionally.

Alexandra wondered why Aaron or his friend would think that she was a “waste of time” when it did not even make any sense? They had a good relationship, she thought. She felt confused and lost, yet she knew right away that Aaron was hurting and lashing out. She told her friend, “I think Aaron was projecting his own fears onto me… that he was afraid I would think I am ‘wasting my time’ with him since he can’t come visit me, and so is trying to make me the bad guy so it will be easier to break up with me before I have a chance to break up with him. The man somehow has no idea that although I’m saddened that he can’t come, I’m also otherwise content with our relationship and circumstances. I’m willing to continue to go to him indefinitely. I love him deeply.” On the afternoon of the second day Alexandra texted Aaron on her phone and told him that very thing, calling him on the carpet for his rude behavior.

She had hit the nail on the head. Aaron responded favorably, and later started up a conversation as if nothing had happened between them. “There’s a comforter on sale that you might want to get, since you said you need a new one—at a really great price!” She was amazed by the turnaround.

He sounded normal, she thought, but she was afraid to read too much into it. “Will you take me to that store when I come?” She cringed, hoping that he wouldn’t disallow her to visit him after he had tried to make it so easy—even pushing—for her to leave. She noted that he never did break up with her, and only made insinuations.

“Absolutely, but it will cost you!”

“Uh oh, what will it cost me?” she recognized his sarcastic style and hoped he would say what she thought he would say next…

“At least one kiss.” Aaron meant it.

Alexandra beamed, and said simply, “I will allow it.”

Later, they got back on their video chat and she asked why he had acted like that (even though she knew), and he said, “I was testing you. If you were going to leave, I wanted you to feel free to do so.”

“Did you want me to leave?”

“No honey.”

“Did you want to leave?”

“No sweetie, I didn’t.” Aaron smiled and felt happy that she didn’t abandon him.

“Don’t ever scare me like that again… that was miserable for me!” she demanded.

“Yes dear…” Aaron submitted.

Both of them settled back down into their normal routine of sharing, on video, how their day went, and how happy they were to be together, even though it was still a long distance relationship. They lied down in their independent beds and faced each other on their laptops, as if no space or time separated them at all.

Before they knew it, it was late at night. Just as they started to fall asleep, their evening ended with a kiss…


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