I was not surprised when she blocked me on Facebook and Twitter. She TOLD me that she was going to do it. But I figured it would be for a few days, and then she would be back. It wasn’t the first time we went through this charade.
Juli and I met online. We became immediate friends. We were both going through a divorce, but as bloggers, we chatted mostly about writing. Gradually this platonic friendship grew into something more — a long distance romance.
And it was definitely a LONG distance romance. I lived in New York. She lived in New Zealand. When we spoke on the phone, we were more than a day apart. After a year of struggling with our schedules, chatting at inconvenient hours, we decide there was only one solution — I had to travel to New Zealand to see her.
For a month and a half, I had the most amazing time of my life. I spent Christmas and New Years with Juli and her young son. It was summer in New Zealand! We traveled around the South Island, and everywhere I went, the beauty of the landscape blew me away. I even learned how to camp… in a tent! I found myself falling in love with a special woman.
The problems only started when I returned to the States. Where do we go from here? She was unable to leave the country because of her son. We discussed my moving to New Zealand, but where would I work? Where would I stay? What if things didn’t work out?
There were no fights. Just a lot of unanswered questions. I was indecisive. I wanted baby steps. She wanted grand gestures. If I could go back in time, I might play my hand differently. Or I might not.
A long-distance relationship can be powerful, but it comes with it’s own set of strains. There were times when Juli would tell me that she needed to hide me on Facebook or Twitter, not out of anger, but because it brought up feelings of yearning and jealousy. I would laugh and tell her that she was being silly, but I understood exactly how she felt. It was difficult being separated from someone you cared about, and the breezy connections you have on social media can feel like an insult to the deep and honest love of a true relationship.
Three months ago, Juli went one step further. She said that she needed to stop talking with me — for the sake of both of us. Our long-distance relationship was holding us back from real life.
I laughed and told her to take her break. “I’ll be waiting for you when you come back,” I texted.
But she didn’t text back. And she didn’t answer any of my emails.
We haven’t interacted in three months. She was serious this time. Circumstances had changed and time had passed. She had gone back to school and was searching for work. She didn’t need me bogging her down, especially if our relationship wasn’t going anywhere.
Now the roles were now reversed. She didn’t see my updates online, but I still saw hers. I knew she got a new job from seeing her Twitter updates. But I couldn’t talk to her about it. The sight of her name brought up emotions that I’m not sure I wanted to feel anymore. So, after I write this post, I need to go on Twitter and Facebook, and block her too. It just hurts too much.