Me and Michigan

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February 14, 2014 by NowhereButPop

by Khalid Bennett

“The way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other”. According to merriam-webster.com, that is the first definition of the word “relationship”.  We all have dealt with relationships since the day we were born, we have relationships with our parents, friends, classmates, coworkers, etc.  But, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day let’s talk about the second definition of the word “relationship”.

“A romantic or sexual friendship between two people”, this is the definition most people think of when we use the word “relationship”.  In my young life, I have only been in two relationships.  I bet a lot of you have been in relationships where you would see your significant other everyday and miss him/her so much when you are away from each other, the more common relationship.

I’ve never been in that kind of relationship, both of my relationships have been long distance.

Why have I only been in long distance relationships?  Do I prefer the distance?  Am I scared of commitment? Am I scared of being with someone close to me?  Maybe the best answer is…it just sort of happened.

I had my first girlfriend at the age of 21, circa 2010.  I was in my senior year at Syracuse when the relationship started.  We started talking during summer break and things got really interesting soon thereafter.  Around July, I find out that she wouldn’t be attending school in the fall semester because of medical reasons.  Yet, I still wanted to pursue her.  The weekend I moved in, she came to Syracuse and we had our first date and we hung out that whole weekend before she left.  During our time together, we saw each other five times.  The first three times that she came back to school, we only hung out during the weekends (usually Thursday to Monday).  That third time, we became official.  The fourth time was for two weeks, around Halloween.  The fifth and last time I saw her (us being a couple) was the end of the year and I only spent a week with her.  At this time, it had been about two months since we’ve seen each other.  She told me that she wasn’t coming back spring semester.  Yet, we still remained in an exclusive relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. But shortly after, we broke up early February 2011.  Oh, did I mention that she lives in Michigan? That’s where the long distance relationship comes into play.

I had my second girlfriend at the age of 24, circa 2013.  This is where things get really interesting.  I met her online despite myself since I always told myself that I would never consider meeting someone online.  We met on Tumblr and started talking at the beginning of the year.  We kept talking and decided to see each other during her spring break (one week).  By the way, she goes to Michigan State and her hometown is in Michigan.  We finally met and hit it off really well and I realized that I definitely wanted to be with her.  I was going to ask her to be my girlfriend the next time I saw her.  The thing was I didn’t know when exactly I would see her again.  Fast forward to June 2013 and it had been three months since we saw each other.  We became official and spent 5-6 days together.  The next time we saw each other was August and that was for about a week and a half.  As great as things were, we broke up about a week later in early September.

Now back to the present, I’m single once again.  I’m a 25 year old blogger, who will be working soon, living in the greatest city in the world.  You’d think that the world is my oyster. You’d think that I can get with many women in New York City.  But the thing is I still want a long distance relationship. What is it about me and long distance relationships?

I’m going to be straight and say that I’m not a big fan of New York women.  The thing with New Yorkers is that a lot of people who grew up in the city want to move out.  A lot of people my age are most likely college graduates and/or graduate students living in New York City for the first time.  The women that I’ve met seem a little stuck up.  They aren’t really down to earth. They only seem to go out just to get drunk at bars and met random people. There is nothing wrong with that but I’m a little old-fashioned when it comes to talking or meeting women, I don’t just want to pick up a different girl at the bars every weekend.  I need someone outside of New York City.

It’s interesting how both my girlfriends were born and raised in Michigan (second one born in South Carolina).  It opened my eyes and made me see that you don’t have to find someone in your hometown or where you are living right now.  Sure we have seen movies like that but then again, they are movies. The second girlfriend I had was very special to me as I never thought that someone so far away would have such an impact in my life.  It made me realize that maybe New York City isn’t for me.  Once I get my career started, do I really want to spend the rest of my life here?  The good thing about long distance relationships was that I got to travel a lot and see other cities with all the bus rides, train rides, and even airplane rides.  Long distance relationships also taught me the virtue of patience. It was so tough not to see my significant other for months on end, which seemed like an eternity.  Yet, we made the best that we could with phone calls, texting, Skyping, whatever that was needed to keep the fire going.

Maybe the one problem about long distance relationships is the actual distance.  I was involved in two relationships where the distance was almost 700 miles apart.  It’s not like if I had a girlfriend living one hour upstate from the city or living in Long Island or living in New Jersey.  If my girlfriend lived that close, it wouldn’t be a problem with traveling.  I could see her every week or two weeks or just more often and it would only take an hour car ride or two hour train ride.  Plus it’s expensive!  A round-trip can cost to almost $200, even over $200 depending on when you go and what type of transportation you use.  If I had somebody in the city, I would only pay $2.50 per train ride.  I would probably pay $15-30 dollars round-trip if my girlfriend lived in Long Island or New Jersey.

So with all the pros and cons of being in a long distance relationships, would I do it again?  Actually, yes I would do it again, but differently.  If I were to do it again, the woman would have to be very special.  She would have to be someone I can envision a long future with.  She may have to be “the one”.  Right now, I’m not really looking for anything.  I guess I could go for a relationship were the distance is much, MUCH closer.  I try not to rush into things like this because it can end drastically if there is rushing.  I’m just focusing on me right now.  The right woman will come and I’ll notice (hopefully). Maybe I’ll even go back to someone in my past.  That’s probably wishful thinking. 

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