Long-Distance: Moves, Relationships, & Mindset
Analyzing the foundation of another topsy turvy chapter in a rather extraordinary ordinary neurotic Millennial life
It’s been a minute or two or five months since my last post and of course, naturally, like any rapidly developing, still extremely confused 26-year old, my life has changed dramatically in that span hence the one-way flight to NYC I’m typing this blog post on (in case you missed my 13 different social media posts about it). Not listed on my one-way flight is a “in a (long-distance) relationship” card recently added to my Facebook profile (despite my recent transformation known as a mobile social media ban).
If you didn’t put two-and-two together, my wildly unpredictable life found another wrench during my last couple months in SF, when I met, quite honestly, the baddest babe in the land. At a bar. In the Marina (for my NY’ers reading this, the Marina is the non-Jewish Murray Hill IMO).
One moment, I’m standing to the side of a bar angrily waiting my turn to order yet another dry martini (the new go-to) to celebrate yet another Michigan Final Four appearance. The next, pre-order, I’m approached with the age-old pickup question:
“Why aren’t you with all the other bros over by the dance floor?”
I then respond (she claims) with a gentleman’s age-old answer:
“I’m not like these other guys at the bar.”
What followed was the 2018 Silicon Valley method for exchanging info at a dimly lit bar in the Marina after a Michigan Final Four Victory: a business card exchange.
The rest was histo…actually I fumbled the snap at the goal line.
My default Hail Mary late “nightcap” request text was surprisingly met with a “I’m down”….after I had fallen asleep. I woke up the next day, immediately thinking to myself: “Nice, H — another wasted opportunity thanks to the melatonin-oozed Cabernet.”
Then, I thought, actually, exclaimed, to myself in the mirror: “H, just go for it. Do it. Do it now. What do you have to lose?” to the rolling eyes of both of my passerby roommates.
Missiles away and I launched the text that set the stage for the most exhilarating couple months in my short romantic history:
“AH ugh, I fell asleep. Thoughts on a daycap and homemade brunch?”
This bold proposition, otherwise known as “avoiding-asking-her-for-drinks-on-a-Tuesday-night-at-7pm-because-it’s-boring-typical-and-ehhh” was met with a “I’m dow,” the 💯, an Uber to my apartment, and you guessed it:
A homemade brunch jamming out to Young Fathers over my specialty egg, turkey sausage scrambled with a fruit salad (bananas & strawberries) & a side of prosciutto / gruyere.
Now, the rest was history or as I like to call it, modern romance with a OD of Allegra (i.e. dog allergies).
And by romance, I mean, in the short span of a couple months the eclectic assortment of early dates including (but not limited to):
- Homemade Brunch: see above.
- Farm Day & Hookie: naturally, within a week of meeting, I cut class (work), hopped in a Subaru Forrester, and headed out to a farm in Napa to milk the goats. Some city boy I am these days, huh?
- Sushi & Sound Meditation: mindfulness comes in a variety of ways; most notably, a “A for effort” homemade sushi roll & a sound meditation class in a flower conservatory. SF, you wildin’.
- Fort Bragg & Mendocino: picture breaded adventures on the Pacific Coast en route to a weekend in an Airbnb without an in-unit bathroom, crystal exchanges in nature, a Glass Beach without a beach, and coastal views of all bucket lists.
- R. Kelly & Art Class: jamming to R. Kelly (wierd dude we know, but the music is too good), painting, reading, writing, and pretending to be creative.
- Sex and the City Marathon: who needs Master of None when we have access to the dating saga sitcom that started it all: SATC? The Pilot tee’d it off and Season One stapled the connection: we were both Samantha people.
- Car Break-Ins, European Adventures, and Strep Throat: We perused the oldest Art University this side of the Mississippi on a Wednesday afternoon with all right in the world only to within 24 hours find ourselves dealing with her car-break in // my first ever 911 call (SF PD, you suck), strep throat & tonsilitis, respectively. Oh, the ups, downs, of San Franciscan dating.
- BH & HB: She’s a bougie hippie & I’m a hippie bougie. And it hath written.
Wild, right? As I noted to at least five different group chats, this chain of events during unfortunate timing WOULD happen to me. Right when I was OVER dating in San Francisco, mentally already chilling at a swanky LES bar with some combination of “BIG” (Sex and The City), Dev (Master of None), and Harry (When Harry Met Sally). The great comet landed.
With that said, any hesitation would have been contradictory to my own pieces of shared wisdom about timing.
As long as you don’t watch The Office on repeat alone in your room on every Friday/Saturday night, it’ll happen when you least expect it”.
So that’s how it happened. On the eve of the most significant inflection point in my 20’s packing up from overpriced yuppie city #1 and moving to overprice yuppie city #2, when the very last thing on my mind was dating someone new in San Francisco, I started seriously dating someone new in San Francisco.
At first, downtrodden with the emergence of my old frenemy, timing, I then, realized, if timing had gone right, if everything had lined up: the perfect job at the perfect time in the perfect city with the perfect income and the perfect girl, I would have confusedly scratched my head.
After all, that type of synergy does not happen to me. How else could I explain incorrectly timed life escapades such as getting deported from LONDON, a “N/A” on the PSAT for writing past the buzzer, and 3+ points on my license (still) in the State of Ohio. Quite simply, my life has already had more twists & turns than a Kanye West Tweetstorm (btw, the Tweet about life as a movie will be framed on my wall someday) so this was just another adventure thrown in the way.
So far, I’ve heard at least fifty different pieces of advice from friends on a successful long-distance relationship. Make sure you pick specific dates to visit. Don’t forget to FaceTime often. Make sure there is a potential end-date where you are in the same city. Some friends, encouraging, others, discouraging, but at the end of the day, the important thing (like everything in life) is to trust your gut, and right now my gut tells me two things: I know practically nothing about successful long-distance relationships and I’m excited to create a successful long-distance relationship. My verdict in this situation reminded me of an old mantra of mine:
When you find something dope, try to keep something dope.
Will there be sexy Facetimes? Absolutely. Rendezvous in random American cities (cc: New Orleans) with two solid IG opportunities? Oh hell yeah. Constant “I miss you’s” and overused 💘 emojis? Yes. Melancholic moments when we need each other’s presences only to be forced to zoom in on an old photo in the attachment section of your group thread? Of course.
Life is a crazy movie. Except it’s a movie that doesn’t need Scorcese or Tarantino, the Coen Brothers or Leo, it just needs your willingness to break through comfort zones for different kinds of experiences. An open attitude. A fuck-it, I’m a control what I can control mindset. A pack-up and leave beautiful California for a stint in the epicenter of the industries you want to thrive in. Life, like a movie, just needs bravery.
….and I can assure you this movie will continue scenes of LDR stepping stones, acclimations in the Big Apple (finally, a decent blueberry bagel), and most importantly, how long I can continue my self-enforced Instagram ban?