AIRMILES :: Sean Cribbin returns to TheGayGuideNetwork with his three-part series exploring the dynamics of long distance love. The possibilities, pitfalls and probability of making love from afar stand the test of time.
Does absence make the heart grow fonder? With the onset of chat rooms, social networks, dating and hook up sites, love and lust anywhere in the world is a mere click of the mouse away. I doubt anyone deliberately seeks out the love of their life via a long distance relationship, yet it seems to me there’s a huge rise in long distance romances. (Perhaps because I currently find myself in one.) It’s caused me to learn a lot about the nature of long distance love I hope may benefit others so they may enter a similar situation with eyes open and realistic expectations.
I found myself, like many of us at any given moment, cruising the web one night. In amongst several of my chats, benign greetings, and “woofs”, there was a click – thunderbolt, actually – with one man that went above and beyond the norm.
We did not start off as a sudden relationship; the impossibility and realism of our mega-mutual attraction evolving into anything of substance was a back-burner concept (though the concept was still present from the very beginning). Occasional conversations progressed to frequent, and the depth and openness of our talks expanded as well. Six months into chatting we agreed that we had to meet and, frankly, I never thought it possible, but by then I had already fallen in love. Yet we had never been so much as in the same room together, not even the same time zone.
Arrangements were made to meet at a half-way point geographically for what was to become a six-day long first date.
Physical attributes aside, why him when I live in a major metropolitan city saturated with good-looking gay men? Was (and is) this just a case of the grass is always greener on the other side of the world? From the get-go I have analyzed this up and down, inside and out. I think when you find yourself with nothing to lose and don’t foresee a future because of the distance, it is easier to let your guard down, and be honest and open yourself up emotionally. My psychotherapist feels I subconsciously chose this sort of “impossible” situation to brilliantly protect myself and work through some of my own damage from past attachments.
Then again we all have baggage and damage – could it not be that once in a blue moon you meet that one person where your broken pieces fit with theirs? If you come to feel this way, at that point you owe it to yourself to see into possibility no matter the distance, no matter the obstacles, I’ve come to believe. Because in the end it will either work out or won’t, and in the meantime there’s truth to the idea that ‘the heart wants what the heart wants’ – even when what it wants is five thousand miles away.
Hence, just shy of two years since The Day – and many frequent flyer miles later – we are still together. The trick is to stop analyzing and let things happen as they may, ’cause that analyzing shit will drive you nuts.