Dear Captain Awkward,
I am starting off with the intention of making this short, but I apologize if it becomes long, which it probably will. I just think it would be better if you knew the backstory. It’s interesting I promise haha.
So I guess I’ll just dive right into the issue at heart: How to tell a girl, that lives in another state, that you’ve never met, but have known for 3 years, that you are in love with her. Now I know this sounds strange, but just like those commercials on TV say, 1 in 13 relationships start online hahaha.
But this isn’t like that. We know the same people and I’m friends with some of her friends. It’s not like either of us are 60 year old perverts trying to “get some”. We’ve video chatted and talked on the phone and texted and facebook and all of that fun stuff. Anyway, Z. and I met online when I fell for one of her best friends at that time, J. She told Z. to try and find out if I liked her, which obviously I did. That was the only time that year Z. and I talked. And then one random day, she started talking to me again for no reason. It turns out she liked me a lot because I was so in love with her friend, but I didn’t know that quite yet. She told me that once we became closer friends.
So then we started talking a lot and it turned out that J. had no interest in me anymore and felt like it would fun to keep hurting my feelings. I turned to Z. to try and help me figure out the issue, and she did a good job helping me.
One night, Z. and I were talking about J. and I can’t remember what she said, but at the moment she sent it, my television froze and two of my lightbulbs exploded, and all this happened at 11:11. And right as it turned 11:12, my television unfroze. Now I know that sounds really fake, but I swear this happened. I couldn’t believe it myself. I just sat frozen in my bed staring blankly into space. At that moment, something tugged right at my heart, and I realized that I was in love with Z. Months and months went by without me telling her how I felt. We started writing each other letters and talking more often and then I just couldn’t hold it in anymore, so one night after we finished video chatting, I told her how I felt. I know, I know I should have told her when we were video chatting, but I was nervous. Everyone makes mistakes. Anyway, I told her how I felt, and she told me she felt the same way, that she liked me as well, but she still needed to think about everything. It turned out that she couldn’t handle the distance, so we stayed friends.
Time went by and we became best friends. We told each other everything and trusted each other with our lives. But I couldn’t stand being just that anymore. I couldn’t watch her be torn apart by the ass holes she dated. One guy tore her heart in half and all I could do was just watch it happen. Yes I comforted her through everything, but I wanted to be able to be there with her. I wanted to be able to just not tell her everything will be alright, but show her. For once in her life, I want her to be treated like the amazing gorgeous person she is. So I let her know again, but this time over text. Once again, I know very stupid of me. But she said she felt the same way, again.
So this time we “dated” for about 3 weeks… yes three weeks. Then she told me that it wasn’t working out because of how far apart we were. She wanted a relationship that didn’t consist of texting and video chatting. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t make it work if we just tried, and I told her that. She said she just needed time to let all this sink in, so we took a month away from each other. At the time, I was devastated and went into a deep depression. I cried in school for the first time because of her, not to point any fingers though lol. I still have not recovered emotionally from that day. But now I realize that she was right and that if we were going to be able to make it work long distance, we needed to at least be together physically first, even if only for a week.
So one month went by, and another, and another, and then we started talking again. Things were just like were before all the drama happened. We were best friends again, and I couldn’t have been happier, except for that fact that I was still in love with her. A few months after we started talking again, she got a boyfriend. She was extremely happier than she was previously because she had family issues going on, and seeing her happy made me really happy too, even though she was with another guy, and skipping to the end, who turned out to be an ass hole. He broke up with her because she wrote on my facebook wall, “you better write me letters at camp, or I’ll give you hell :)” She was broken in half, and it tore me in half as well.
Now at present day, we’ve become a little distant, but I know the friendship is still there. Things have been extremely stressful for both of us and I know that’s not an excuse to not talk to each other, but for now it is. Multiple times we tried to plan to meet each other either in her state, or mine, but every time she finds a way to stop it from happening. I don’t know if she’s nervous or not, I know I am but I’d do anything just to see her, even for one day. All I want is the time to show her how I feel, and this time do it in person. I’ve come to realize that I am not too good with words, so I just want that one moment where I can kiss her and let her know how I feel, for better or worse. But none of this can happen if we don’t ever meet.
So what I’m asking, and sorry it took so long for me to get here, is how should I handle this? If I have to wait longer, I will. I will wait as long as I have to because I love her with all my heart and I just want to be able to let her know. And although I can sense that she might have started developing deeper feelings for me as well, I’m just scared of losing her.
Okay I’m done talking, seriously. Sorry I put you through this essay of my love life. Thank you for reading, I really appreciate it. 🙂
Oh honey, no.
I can’t say I know how you feel, but I know where you’re coming from. I’ve mapped the territory. I’ve spent hours on the phone late at night. I’ve sent love letters and hopped airplanes and met airplanes and had the first moment I laid eyes on someone happen too late, too late, because my walls had already come down for this voice on a telephone, these emails and letters, these words.
This is one of my favorite poems, and the friend who turned me on to it DID ride those miles on a greyhound bus for love. Reader, she married the daylights out of him. It does happen. You’re not stupid or crazy for wanting it to happen.
But for it to happen, this girl has to ride those miles and climb through your window. And she’s not going to do that. And she’s told you that she’s not going to do that. Let me count the ways:
- You asked me how to tell her how you feel, but you’ve told her how you feel. More than once. She told you she couldn’t handle the distance and explicitly did not want a relationship of chatting and texting. She knows how you feel.
- She did try to date you, but broke up because of distance.
- You’ve made plans to meet that always fall through. If she wanted those plans to work, they would have worked by now.
- She dated lots of other people and was happy doing it. However those relationships ended, they were with people she wanted to be dating more than she wanted to be dating you.
I’m sure that she cares for you and values your friendship. But she’s told you in many ways that it’s not really going to work, despite whatever feelings exist. One way to love her is to listen to the words that are coming out of her mouth and take them seriously. Here’s what taking her seriously looks like: She says, “I do not want to have a long distance relationship.” You say, “That sucks, but I hear you.” And then you back off, stop pouring out your feelings to her, and live your life.
Here’s a hard, grown-up truth: Love, the feeling of love, the euphoria of it, the late-night connection, is not enough.
You’re not crazy, though. Long distance love feels good for so many reasons. You’re forced to say stuff out loud or craft it in text. You’re forced to use your imagination, and to describe things, and really say what you think or what you feel. So the relationship can become very vivid and intimate. It feels like you are really getting to know the other person, because both of you are sharing your secret selves, what feels like your *real* selves. It becomes a story that you tell each other, and when your daily life gets dull you can go hide out in this magic secret story. It becomes a lifeline.
It’s shy-nerd kryptonite, and for a long time, it was mine.
I think that the story you’ve been making with and around this girl might be eating your life. And I think a healthy way for you to handle things is to pull back on your contact with Z. and throw yourself into life where you live and stop waiting for her to climb through your window. She isn’t coming.