Monday, April 4, 2011

Love On Hold...

When Henry and I first talked about the possibility of a long-distance relationship back in August, I hesitated. Long distance relationships have never really worked out for me and I thought for sure that a long-distance romance based on only 3 days together wouldn't stand a chance.

But Henry has surprised me over and over again these past few months. He's been the perfect long-distance boyfriend: he calls when he says he will; he listens, really listens when we talk or gchat; he's interested in my life; he counts the days in disbelief that we DON'T communicate; he sends flowers and hand-written cards; he comments on my Facebook status updates; he tells me about his family and he talks about the future. He also supported me through that whole medical scare I had last year by letting me know I could call him any time of day or night and he even consulted his own doctor about my mysterious conditions. In short, he's been absolutely wonderful to me and knowing he is in my life has given me a certain confidence and happy buzz. 

Everything was going just great between us - until he came to Indonesia over New Year's to visit.

Things didn't bode well for his trip right from the start. His luggage was held up in Brussels and didn't arrive in Jakarta until the end of his trip. On his second full day in Indonesia, we flew to Lombok and transferred to Gili Air by boat. The seas were a bit rough and when he jumped off the boat, his iPhone, forgotten in his pocket, was instantly swamped. As frustrating as either of those two events would have been for some, Henry wasn't phased. He hadn't come to Indonesia to show off his fashionable beach wear or spend all day glued to his email messages. He came to spend time with me and see my world.

To prepare for his trip he spent a lot of time, energy and money in learning how to scuba dive. His goals were to see this underwater world of mine that I rave about so much and to take pictures of us wearing goofy scuba masks. To get his certification, he did his Open Water dives in a rock quarry in Virgina, in December, huddled around a space heater with the other guys in between dives. He even did his Advanced Open Water as well to increase his confidence underwater. Only later, after I subjected him to diving with sharks and diving in a frightening current, did he admit that diving actually terrifies him. But he tried it anyway. He tried it for me.

So, between the lost luggage and the dead iPhone and his fear of diving, Henry had a lot on his mind and was completely thrown off guard by what happened next. So was I. In fact, neither one of us could have predicted it. My tall, blond, blue-eyed guy who I had been missing for months just traveled half away across the world to see me and I freaked out. Finally, we were in the same place again but for some reason I was nervous, uptight, stand-offish and just not myself. Things grew incredibly strained between us and after five nights of a pretty icy reception from me, he cut his trip short and flew back to the US, heartbroken. 

In the months since he left, both have us have been trying to figure out what happened and make sense of it all. What went wrong? How come this man, who felt like such an intimate soul mate from afar, suddenly felt like a stranger to me in person? Why did I feel such an overwhelming need for space and breathing room?  You would think after four months of not seeing him I would jump at the chance to...well...jump into bed with him. But instead I felt paralyzed. And the more he tried to be affectionate, the more I pushed him away. I spent so much time thinking about how awkward and uncomfortable I felt, that I completely failed to see just how confusing and dismaying my behavior was to him. All he wanted to do was hold me but for some reason I couldn't relax in his arms. 

Right now we're at a terrible impasse where we're broken up but neither of us wants to be. Well, at least I'm sure I don't want to be. I had no plans to end the most wonderful relationship I've ever been in and I'm sitting here still stunned that that's what happened. I've tried to explain myself to Henry and I've asked for his forgiveness and a chance to give this relationship another try. So, after much consideration, discussion and planning, we're going to see each other again in just a few days in Washington, D.C! If our chemistry clicks this time, I think this love story might still have a happy ending. 


  1. Let me just say, in a very different way, with a very different story, I've been there. Good luck! And I can't wait to see you!

  2. Jules-thinking of you and hoping that your love can be rekindled. You deserve it!

  3. Jules, I think your readers need an update to this story...!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.