Airplanes, skype, facetime, whatsapp, viber, and all the technology we have nowadays at our disposal has enabled us to cut travel times, transcend time-zones, remain connected even when we are the furthest away we’ve ever been. Having been to more than 30 countries, going to school on a different continent and simply living to travel, I had always been grateful to the available technology to keep in touch with whomever I meet on my journeys and leave behind when I move on.
Truthfully, I was never a sentimentalist, never crying at the airports and hating to say good-bye, never worried about leaving family, friends, boyfriends, relationships of any kind behind. People told me I am cold-hearted, but I felt I am too young to be tied down and there was so much more ahead of me than anything I could possibly leave behind. I always managed to maintain a distance with respect to the people surrounding me, as I knew I would soon leave. Still, the internet helped me create a sense of an international community that I am part of, having friends all over the globe and knowing I have someone to visit or crash at in all these different places. I always used it more for simply checking in, stalking what people have been up to, making sure I maintain enough of a presence so that people don’t forget me rather than actually maintaining any significant contacts. I only skype my parents when they forgot to refill my card or I miss seeing my dog and probably have two life-long friends that I talk to once every couple of months to make sure we’re seeing each other when we find ourselves in the same country.
And now I get to my story, of how the unexpected happened, and how despite me carefully not forming any lasting emotional attachment in person, I ended up being totally messed up by one formed on the internet.
More than a year ago, at my pre-departure orientation put together by the organisation that had helped me with my US application, I felt happy and cheerful enough to make small talk with the people around and even made a detour afterwards to walk with one of the other students (let’s call him A) and chat some more. He seemed nice, the nerdy type, all harmless interaction. What followed however, for more than a year, was many texts, facebook chats, leading up to skype conversations and hour-long phone calls that culminated with me visiting him on the other coast for Thanksgiving and now being heartbroken.
Do not ask me how this has happened, especially since I clearly remember being annoyed at him bugging me so often, thinking he is not attractive, considering myself so superior to him and being disengaged in many of our earlier talks. Perhaps, this in itself is the answer, as I had absolutely set no guard and knowing what a practical person I am, so against any hint at long-distance relationships or scenarios of the type girl follows guy. ( I had seen my sister, my cousin and a friend go through such stories always considered them especially weak)
So our hour-long conversations were always flirty but I knew none of us would actually decide anything on the phone, and I am the type of person that gets bored by uncertainty and prefers to cut it and decide the matter one way or another. We had toyed with the idea of him visiting me for Thanksgiving, but somewhere along the way that dropped. So, on an impulse, the weekend before Thanksgiving, knowing I could get a flight on my frequent flyer miles I asked him if he wanted me to visit. He obviously said yes, and after spending Thursday all day and night on a flight and two buses, I found myself at his place. What followed were two days perfect-looking from outside, but that had an undertone that increasingly bugged me. I think we had great chemistry but personality wise would not match up. I am almost certain that if we were living near-by, a relationship would not last. And I know I do not want or need a long-distance relationship, nor does he. He was even rude, kept texting someone, and said he wouldn’t be able to visit me home (where we’re only a 4hour, 10$ train ride away from each other). All bad signs that should make it clear to me, that there is nothing there; yet, he got into my head; and now, I’m jealous of whomever he was texting, of his new pictures on facebook and of the fact that even though I told him not to call me anymore, he seems fine with that idea and looks more than happy to continue his life; all why I am bashing myself for letting this happen, and can’t focus on school or anything for that matter. Jealousy is such an ugly feeling that I have rarely experienced. I do not know how to deal with it.
So why in the world, did I let the fact that it felt so good and so comfortable to have someone to wake up next to, and go to bed next to, and cuddle with affect me? Even knowing beforehand, and especially after staring at the truth, I still think of what? I know there’s nothing there, yet I have gotten so used to thinking I was liked, having someone call me and text me goodnight, that I am unwilling and unable to give it up. This is so frustrating and it is taking a toll on my mental well-being, especially since I always considered myself above situations like these and finals knocking on my door. I am utterly lost and do not know how to handle a problem for the first time in my life. What do I do?