Dear Captain Awkward:
I’ve always been one for bundling, so I thought I’d bundle 3 for the price of one 🙂 I will also try to make this as compact as possible.
#1 — I am a 19 year old guy, almost 20 in June. The first problem is that I have never kissed a girl, romantically so to speak. I have kissed a girl on the lips, but that was a dare. Now the reason for this is simple, I have not found the right girl. There have been relationships, and one in particular where I almost did kiss her, let’s call her A. But there were people all around us, and I wanted it to be special. I think the underlying issue is that I am filmmaker/musician/artist. I feel like I am the editor of my life, and I want to craft that romantic scene…those perfect moments. But in all honesty, there are very few people that I would actually date, that I know. People tell me to lower my expectations, but I simply will not. I believe there is nothing wrong in waiting for that right person. I know it happens, because it’s happened to me before. I knew the moment I saw A that she was someone I would date. And low and behold, we ended up dating. Now I understand that it is silly of me to think every moment can be that Hollywood blockbuster, and I know that now. I almost never plan things out and am a firm believer of fate. The only problem now is that I haven’t felt that initial spark with any girl I have met so far. (this will come into play with question two)
#2 — I met this girl on a chat site called Omegle. Now this isn’t a dating site, in fact I never thought I’d find someone I like on it. Out of all the people that were on at the time, 15,000 or so I believe, B was the one I came across. Our conversation was incredible, and I felt like I’ve known her for my entire life. We exchanged emails and a few weeks later I suggested we move to Facebook and text/call/skype. She agreed because our emails were incredibly long, and it became very tedious to write haha. So now I am currently waiting for an email from her with skype/facebook information. So right now the only major problem… is that she is from another country and we’ve never met. I really want this to work out, because I feel such a connection to her. But I’ve been hurt so many times, I have learned not to attach myself so quickly. I’d be able to just move on if this doesn’t work out. But I’m just worried it will be a while before I find someone else I connect so closely with…
#3 — I recently decided to withdraw from college, and pursue my film editing career through internships and apprenticeships. I am someone who learns through experience and using my hands, so to speak. I was not learning enough new material, as I am a very fast learner and knew the majority of what was being taught prior to college. I felt like I was ready to enter into the industry, so, after my school raised their tuition, my decision was made to not return. It didn’t help that mostly all of my teachers kept saying we didn’t need film school to be in the industry…since I am no longer tied to school, I could pick up and take myself anywhere, if I find the internship/job for it. So I could go to B’s country and find work there. But this is something that would happen only if the opportunity arises.
So in all, I guess I’m just very confused about these decisions I’ve made and committed to. If you could please help me out and give me your opinion, I would be forever grateful.
I will try to answer your questions:
#1: I think it’s good to be picky and it’s time for everyone to stop apologizing or feeling weird about when and how they started kissing. HOWEVER I think it’s also a bit weird to script your own kissing & sex scenes like they are scenes from movies, for a couple of reasons.
- There’s a whole other PERSON there, and she has her own magical fantasies and will and a mouth and hands and a brain, and it will be way more fun if you let things play out and invent things together than if she conforms to the movie in your head.
- Most movie kissing/sex scenes just make regular people feel bad about themselves because we are not that good looking or bold or graceful. We get sweaty and accidentally fart and have a hard time getting into the right position and we make weird faces and noises. Movies also teach us that it’s the man’s job to initiate the kissing and to take the lead in general. That’s a lot of pressure that we don’t need.
- There are a lot of possible Right People for you. Honestly, there are. It’s a fallacy that “I’ve never felt this way” or “I rarely feel this way and now I do” requires some action by the other person.
So on the subject of #1, I’d keep your standards high in terms of who is worth kissing but let the kissing parts be more of an improv.
#2: I can think of many marriages and important relationships in my personal friend circle that started long distance – meeting in an internet community, sending long emails, staying up all night chatting, eventually meeting up, etc. So I don’t think that’s necessarily a weird thing to hope for or a weird way to find love – no weirder than anything else people do – though, for a storyteller like yourself, that is a really easy way to get caught up in a fantasy and feel like you’re living a story for a while. So do what you can to not be obsessed, take care of yourself and your day-to-day life, let things unfold at their own pace, make sure she is an equal partner in all of this (being someone’s muse is still majorly objectifying and uncomfortable, so don’t make her yours), make sure your plans (as they form) are realistic and mutual as possible.
#3: Your field is one where the work you do and connections you make count more than any specific degree, and if you can find an internship or apprenticeship – here, there, or anywhere – DO IT! Now is the time for you to take big risks and have big adventures.
If you do pursue work in her country, tell her you’re doing it. Don’t have it be a “Surprise, I moved here! For you!” moment, ok? Enlist her support and her help as much as possible, and pay attention to whether she follows through on promises and actually wants you to come. There are all kinds of details like work permits and visas to figure out. It’s probably better if you don’t plan to live together – have your own space. Use the internet to make other friends in the country so you won’t be 100% dependent on her. And pursue cool work opportunities in other places, too. Give yourself options.
One axiom for meeting people on the internet: Internet interactions are real, and feelings are real, but no matter what you’ve discussed in the past, the clock essentially resets when you actually meet the person face-to-face. Some people will feel like old friends you’ve known all your life. Some people at that moment will feel like total strangers. You have to roll with it and you have to give her a graceful out if at that moment she’s not feeling what she thought she would.
Remember, at the beginning of Before Sunrise, the Ethan Hawke character has gone to visit his girlfriend in Europe, planning an awesome trip for the two of them together, but he gets dumped right away and has to travel alone. And THAT’S when the good stuff happens. There is a real possibility that things will not work out if you and she are in the same place at the same time. She might not like you the way you thought she would. You might not like her the way you thought you would. And that’s ok, as long as you have a good plan B (an internship lined up, some savings backing you up, a plan for what you do if nothing works out like you planned) – you can still have a big adventure, learn about another culture, learn a language, learn more about your craft, and get your heart good and broken in a way that you will never forget.
I feel like the ways that this is a bad idea are obvious and there are many people (parents, friends, RESPONSIBLE ADULT AUTHORITY) standing by to explain those to you, so it’s fun to think about the ways it’s a good idea. All of this could be a giant mistake, but that’s okay. Go and make a giant, beautiful mistake. Take one Cinema Paradiso, one Before Sunrise, one Before Sunset, one cautionary Catfish, and send us a postcard.