With the summer creeping fast upon us, dreams of cocktails on a beach with a Mexican masseur to hand are not uncommon. What? Was that just me? Awkward... Anyway, as I was thinking about how the above would undoubtedly make my USA summer even more fun, I automatically remembered the luckiest girl I know. Karyn is one of my best friends, and she was fortunate enough during our shared summer working at Walt Disney World to meet a very handsome Mexican man called Mau (pronounced m-owh not m-ee-owh like a cat... was that just me too?). They enjoyed an envy-inducing holiday romance and are still going strong today! I know, you cynics out there are shaking your heads, gob-smacked that *SHOCK HORROR* a long-distance relationship has worked.
So, I got Karyn on-board to write a guest post for me about how to make a long-distance relationship work, because let's be honest the world is so full of skepticism these days that we rarely indulge ourselves in ideas that we could one day conduct such a fairy-tale relationship. Karyn offers a fantastic little injection of romance for HauteFuture and reminds us that nothing worth having in life comes easy, but working that bit harder means the benefits are awesome...
Long-distance relationships are one of those things that everyone has an opinion on; it’s either extremely romantic and exciting, or it’s a stupid idea, will never last, and is bound to end in a messy break up. I always loved the fairytale of them, but in reality I thought there was no way to make them work.
My opinion of these kinds of relationships has dramatically changed in the past year. After spending the summer of 2011 working in Disney World in Orlando, (where I met the beautiful and talented Miss Gabriella) I returned home with a whole new outlook on life and love. I myself am now in a long-distance relationship, with a Mexican...now there’s something I’d never thought I’d say!
***See, this is us in the bath if you don't believe we met in Florida. Our tans testify to that...***
I worked alongside him at ESPN, where we spent almost every day together for 4 weeks before anything happened. It was just one of those things where I was flirting with him, but I wasn’t sure if he was flirting back. But in my experience, when it comes to guys, if you have a hunch about something, it’s usually true. So one night, I told him to come to my apartment after our shift, to be perfectly honest, I thought he would respectfully decline and attend some crazy Mexican party with too many Four loko’s. He didn’t. That first night was the strangest, but nicest night I had ever had. Now before your mind starts to wander, there was no kissing or nakedness or even any hand-holding, but that was the night that it all began.
From then on things moved incredibly quickly! If a friend had told me that within 10 days of dating a guy she was telling him she loved him and they had already planned their long-distance relationship (approximately 7000 miles), it’s safe to say I would have my doubts and think she had gone loco!! But that was what happened, just because things progress at a quicker than normal rate, doesn’t mean to say that they are any less real. When someone has an impact on you like Mau had on me, it makes you a little crazy, but it also makes you trust and love like you never have before. When you are blown away by the smallest things, like waiting around until you finish your shift an hour after he finishes his, or tucking you in at night before you go to sleep, opening the car door for you, or making sure he walks on the side of the pavement nearest the road, all the while holding your smaller (and a lot whiter) hand and keeping you safe on the other side. When all of the little, seemingly meaningless gestures, make you smile and your heart flutter. That’s when you know that someone like him is definitely worth holding on to.
So here I am, living 7000 miles away from my boyfriend, but it is a small price to pay in order to be in the most trusting and loving relationship I have had to date. People always ask ‘Isn’t it so hard?’...Well, not really. Partly because we now both have Blackberries so we bbm all the time, and Skype almost every day, but mostly because it seems to be a general rule that if you want something badly enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to get it. The fact is, even though I never thought that in a million years I would be able to say my boyfriend is Mexican and his first language isn’t even English, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Comparing him with all the guys I’ve dated, and all the guys I know in my own country, there is absolutely no way I would trade! Sorry, but if you want an old-fashioned, chivalric, treats-you-like-royalty kind of guy...Mexico is definitely a place to start looking. That is one country where chivalry is definitely NOT dead.
Then there’s the more realistic aspect of the relationship. If we’re lucky, we’ll only be with each other twelve or thirteen weeks out the year. Paying £700-£800 a year for a flight half way across the world whilst you’re still a student and therefore not making any real money is not easy. It’s now March and I’m still trying to scrape together the last few hundred pounds for a flight in June. I haven’t been able to do a lot with my money besides pay my phone bill and perhaps new make-up if I desperately need it. All the money I earned before Christmas was spent over the 5 weeks that Mau was here on going for dinner and visiting castles etc., basically it was spent on being a tourist, which I may add is NOT cheap! Besides the fact that I’m basically leading an anti-social life and being super tight with money, what keeps me going is the fact that I will be spending my summer in Mexico, being an annoying tourist and probably getting sunburn and heatstroke. I think we can all agree that Scotland does not boast the weather of an exotic paradise like Cancun or Acapulco!
But this is the easy part, when we are both still students enjoying an excessive three month holiday at summer and at least six weeks at Christmas. We have the time to escape for a few months twice a year. But Mau will be graduating in the summer, so by Christmas 2012 he will be a GROWN-UP with a PROPER job, a prospect which fills almost every University student with dread. Employers don’t take too kindly to letting their employees gallivant off to Scotland for the winter. At most, two weeks in December/January, then at a push, 4 weeks in the summer (as I will still be studying) is all we’ll have. Don’t get me wrong, up until about a month ago, the thought of this brought me close to tears. My first thoughts were that there was no way it would ever work past the summer. Spending at most 7 weeks a year together was not the basis of a strong relationship, and it was bound to fall apart sooner or later, but in order to be in a relationship where you live in different time zones, you have to be serious, and I definitely see myself marrying Mau. So to me, the ‘long-distance relationship’ we have is only temporary. All going well, in 2-3 years we may actually be living on the same continent. We have a plan, but I think you need to have one if you’re in my kind of situation. Perhaps some of you may be thinking that we’re a little crazy to already be thinking of which country we’re going to live in once we’re married and if our children will be bi-lingual, but a relationship like ours wouldn’t survive more than a year without a plan.
After that rather negative, harshly realistic side to our relationship, let me tell you why living 7000 miles apart is better than living 7 miles apart. For starters, if Mau was always here and I could see him whenever I wanted to, I wouldn’t appreciate him as much as I do. The time we do get to spend together, we literally can’t keep our hands off each other; I seem to recall Mau following me from my living room to my kitchen for no other reason than just to be near me. You could argue that when we are together, it gets a bit too intense, but I would disagree. I’d rather call it time extremely well spent! It’s better to realise what you do have whilst you still have it! I get to spend my summer in Mexico for the fraction of the price anyone else would pay, and, fingers crossed, learn a new language! Everything is that little bit more special, like receiving flowers on Valentine’s Day; a pretty standard thing to do, but when they are sent from Mexico, it’s all the more thoughtful! Just to be able to hold his hand is priceless! I wouldn’t change him, or our situation for the world!
So if you are reading this and have a similar situation, if he or she is worth it, tough it out. I honestly can’t think of anything more incredible than finally reaching your wedding day after years of living on opposite sides of the world.
And to all you who are jetting off this summer on holidays with friends, travelling, or going abroad to work like I did, keep in mind that HE/SHE HAS TO BE WORTH IT! If they don’t blow you away, leave them behind!
I hope you can see now why I wanted Karyn to write me a guest post! I already knew how romantic her and Mau's love-story is and I just love hearing it, but I had no idea how amazing her writing was. I might even have to rope her into HauteFuture more often... So what have we learned from this post? Always choose Mexicans :D Karyn doesn't currently have a blog of her own. However, you can communicate with her via the comments section of this blog and she's agreed that if you have any questions or need any advice regarding long-distance relationships she's happy to help. Also, if you believe (like I) that Karyn should start her own blog, make sure you mention it in your comment!
I hope you're enjoying my guest posts so far. If you're at all interested in being a guest on my blog please read this post about what we're looking for here at HauteFuture then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I'm essentially welcoming anyone who wants a chance, so get involved.
ps. Although we are all fresh young things, whenever Karyn and Mau feel ready to settle down I'm more than happy to attend a wedding in Mexico. Just saying. Oh, and Mau, you'd better have brothers!