Boys, bars, boyfriends, long-distance and open relationships
Long-distance relationships are the shittiest things in the world. No, really. I live approximately 4,909 km, or a 45 hour (straight) drive away from my lover’s front door according to Google Maps, and that means my life is ass.
My long-term, long-distance boyfriend remains in the city I hail from, while I get on a plane twice a year to come out to Concordia and systematically break my heart all over again in a messy PDA of snot-running-down-my-face, hysterical sobbing while I walk through security-type way.
If I hear one more person tell me that I’m lucky, “just to be in a relationship,” I swear I’ll start hitting people.
Long-distance relationships can, yes, fulfil you emotionally in this beautiful age of Skype, Snapchat, text messaging, and unlimited across-Canada calling, but physically the relationships are entirely stunted.
After a really long tough day, he can’t give me a hug. When I’m horny and feeling like getting horizontal and dirty with him, all I have is my own hands and a hot-pink vibrator to get the job done. And I’ve spent so many “date nights” in my room, alone, with a bottle (or two) of red wine and a well-used Netflix subscription that I can recite Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls episodes by heart.
It’s no wonder, after a year and a half apart (plus a month now, with January almost over) that my boyfriend and I have decided to open up our relationship a bit.
And that means I’m allowed to kiss boys. Boys that are not him. Boys that I meet out in bars, at parties, at Jean Talon market, you name it.
This is an arrangement that took three long months of fighting (us), yelling (me), and crying (still me) to be established. It wasn’t easy.
We have strict rules. We tell each other each time we hook up with someone and I will freely offer up all details he wants to hear if he asks, though he usually doesn’t.
We don’t kiss mutual friends, we stay vertical(ish), and fully-clothed while playing tonsil-hockey with hot strangers. We have softer limits on time, where hands can wander to, and if we can meet said hot strangers a second time. Those we kiss know about our relationship status before things get hot and heavy.
There is absolutely no sex, finger-banging, oral, anal, vaginal, or any other type of sex someone could concoct.
These are rules we sat down and banged out together, giggling, bickering, and gravely nodding as we decided where we stood on butt-grabbing, hickeys, and the right to collect phone numbers.
These are rules that we have, for the relationship that we have, for the life that we have. And it works, for now, for us.
So why are people so quick to judge me, my boyfriend, and my “open-ish” relationship status?
First, if you are not currently in a long-distance relationship then you have absolutely no idea how lonely it is, and have no right to comment on what rules I choose to live by. This goes for singletons and couples alike.
Second, yes, I am allowed to kiss boys. No, this does not mean that I am going to have sex with them. Believe it or not, I see kissing someone and fucking them as different acts, with dramatically different levels of intimacy. Shoutout to the chick in the bar this weekend who couldn’t wrap her head around why I was willing to kiss a stranger, but not go home with him.
Thirdly, the same rule applies to those who have alluded—to my face—that I am mildly slutty for, if I may, have my own cake and eat other boy’s cake too. Or suggested that I’m not really in a relationship if I’m kissing other boys. Or suggested that I have zero sexual boundaries, or any other manner of unkind slights.
It’s these rash judgements that have me withholding my byline from this article. Because people seem very willing to judge me for being a sexual being while refusing to listen to how I’m miserably lonely and miss my boyfriend.
Because I already have a boyfriend. So I shouldn’t complain. And should sit in my room with my wine and Netflix and pine for him like a good little spinster.
Long-distance relationships are hard. And I’ve found a (small) way to make mine easier. And if anyone, anywhere, discovers a similar way to make their long-distance relationship any less gut-wrenchingly lonely then they should cling to that like a sailor clings to flotsam in a storm. Because it’s your relationship. And it isn’t anyone else’s damn business.