Of Long Distance Relationships and The Heartbreaks.

Long distance relationships, I hate them. I have never believed in them. They should be banned, illegal and punishable by castration, or even execution by the electric chair. The only ‘long-distance’ activity that should be allowed is this one for traders, this one of long distance traders, and maybe the long distance runners too. Not relationships.

A long distance relationships, or relationship via Skype, is the worst position you should ever wish to find yourself in. It makes you vulnerable, sad and lonely and if it goes to the extremes, you even forget your lover’s face; that beautiful face that would always be by your side every morning when you woke up, and at times you’d even kiss with that smelly mouth before you brushed your teeth. That face that had gotten implanted so deep in your mind you’d perfectly draw it on a plain paper a thousand times.

At first you both promise to keep in touch via any means possible; skype, twitter, whatsapp, facebook, instagram etcetera etcetera. You swear to call as often as you can and end up spending over six dollars per call just to listen to the voice on the other end, a voice you’d normally listen to free of charge for the whole night, and to jobless fellas like me, all through the day too coz you had nothing much to do except to listen to each other talk and laugh and talk and laugh again…and at times fight.

The first few weeks roll down nicely. You call and talk for hours unending, saying how you miss each other so much, how you wish they were around. You send pictures on whatsapp, and depending on how deeply stupid in love you are, some even send nudes. On instagram you tell the whole world how you’re missing your other half…all this time you console yourself that it’s just a matter of time and you’ll be together once again. But as they say, even the strongest of storms must always die down.

All that energy of constantly calling and keeping in touch begins to die down. Slowly, you realize that its only you who’s making the effort, that its you who always thinks of calling all the time. You even start asking yourself whether you’re doing too much coz its now clear that your lover has either lost interest in you, or your relationship, or worse still, somebody else has come into the picture, someone closer to them than you who’s more than 3000 kilometers away. Then you decide on the an-eye-for-an-eye policy, the policy of do-me-i-do-you. You decide to slow down on the phone calls too coz after all the relationship should be a two way traffic; you shouldn’t be the only one who cares.

Then gradually the frequency of the phone calls begins dropping and before you know it, you stop calling completely. The calls now turn to text messaging. You begin sending those boring ‘hi’ sms and wait for the reply which never comes, or at times the reply comes twenty minutes later when you’d probably even forgotten that you’d texted. So you end up sending another ‘hi’ but this time no reply is forthcoming. You feel lonely, dejected, rejected and unwanted by this person that you once loved so dearly…then gradually even the daily ‘hi’ sms trickle down to a once-a-week affair. Your love life is on the rocks, the relationship is slowly breaking up…things are falling apart the Chinua Achebe style. And before you know it, the relationship that you built for months and years hits the rock bottom and ends. You decide to call it quits. No happy ending, the only consolation here is that you don’t end up hating each other like most break-ups. It isn’t much of a heartbreak either coz you both let down each other easily….no abuses and accusations of how who cheated on who, how who was flirting with who, who did this and who did that. Things just die down slowly and painlessly, no heartbreaks. If you’re lucky, your relationship ends at this point…and trust me many who don’t end it at this point will regret it later coz the next phase is even worse.

And now to the second and most common path that long distance relationship leads most of us; one full of lies and temptations.

As usual the first weeks will be nice, you call each other, send messages, Skype calls and stuff. But again the fire doesn’t last for long. You begin developing trust issues, that situation where you start doubting whatever your lover tells you on the phone. You start asking all sorts of questions…You always want to know where he/she is. What he/she’s doing? Who she’s doing it with, at whose place? Even a simple statement like “I’m home alone doing nothing” is quickly misinterpreted into “I’m home alone but Eddie is about to come by coz you aren’t here to stop him.” You question every single thing they tell you. You even go to the extent of trying to listen to whatever’s going on in his/her background whenever you’re talking on the phone, hoping to hear the voice of whoever they’re cheating on you with coz at this point your shallow mind has successfully convinced you that he/she is in the company of another person of the opposite sex.

Then in the midst of all the mistrust, time flies by and one day it hits you that you’re facing the dreaded dry spell. And this is even worse if you were used to an active sex life before the long distance thing happened to your relationship. An active sex life of constant random sex like maybe twice a day, or even thrice. Yes some of us even do it five to six times a day (blame it on joblessness). Any interruption of this sex pattern leads to the dry spell, and no sexually active human being ever wishes for this to happen to them. It’s torture, sexual, mental, physical and emotional torture. You miss having sex; you even forget the styles you’d learnt on kamasutra. That’s when you begin reminiscing on all those sweet sex-times you had together, all the memories roll down one after the other and when you finally reach that point where you’ve no more memories to think of, the torture begins. You’re left with only two options; either you masturbate, or cheat. And since your bible tells you that masturbation is a sin, you opt for the latter. You begin longing for that sexual feeling, that sexual flesh that you were used to and just as they say, simba akikosa nyama hula nyasi, you find yourself in the grazing fields grazing for any readily available grass to chew as soon as the hunger begins to bite. On this side of the world they’re called chips funga or something close to that.

And that leads to cheating, the real cheating this time round. In most cases, (I haven’t said all), in most cases both of you cheat on each other coz you both think that the other person’s cheating on you too. But then again who do you blame? Its like planting your apples in a far away land, in a garden that has no fence to secure it and expecting Eve not to be tempted to go steal an apple and feed her Adam. She’ll always be on the wait, waiting for that right time and pounce on your apples. And so is the modern day long distance relationship thing. All that sexting and phonesex doesn’t help, never! It just slows down the urge during the first few weeks but later, it does more harm than good; it increases the other person’s urge to have sex, and this time to do it for real and not the phone shit that you do, or those silly ‘I’m-horny, I-wish-you-were-here’ texts that you send each other. Coz honestly how do you tell someone you’re horny and expect them not to get sexually aroused? Then when the horniness (am not sure if that word exists) becomes unbearable, you find yourself dialing that other number that you’ve always had, that number that you’ve never deleted, that number that belongs to this cute emergency sex partner you’ve always kept in the friendzone; the grass that you go grazing for in times of drought when you’ve got no meat to eat.

And sure enough, these friendzoned people never disappoint (trust me, I’ve been there, and I repeat, they never disappoint!). They give it their best 100%, knowing that it might be the only chance they ever get to hit that place, or to put it in the rotten language of the 21st century, it’s the only chance they get to tap that ass. And they tap it so good that you find yourself calling them back for round two the day after that and the day after that too, till it hits you that you’re in too deep…and if you’re stupid enough, you end up falling in love with them too! You find yourself in that Atieno moment, Dilemma!

And that’s when the other partner that went away comes back, hoping to pick it up from where you paused the relationship, completely unaware of the new kid in the block. Then you realize you’ve fucked up everything. The dilemma I said above now applies here pretty well. You decide to dump the emergency sex partner and get back to your old relationship. But then you remember how awesome the sex with the emergency partner was, how it was way much better than your lover’s performance and all your exes combined. You think of how you’ll miss that feeling of being in cloud nine, of how the emergency friend made you shout out Jesus’ name till you heard him respond ‘speak yee child of the earth’; that feeling…I hope you know what am talking about.

But on the other side you remember you have this other person you’ve loved all you life, the one you’ve always dreamt of raising kids with, this perfect partner that loves you wholeheartedly, the one that loves all of you with all your john legends and perfect imperfections, this partner who’s never even bothered to ask you why you have a larger than normal forehead, or massive head, or big mouth, or even your small buttocks. Never even bothered to ask you whether its true that your great grandfather was a night-runner. You’re now stuck in the middle of all this mess that you brought on yourself and whichever way the dilemma ends is now up to you, nobody’s making that decision for you.

And so I hate long distance relationships, I loathe them. Ooh and before I leave, just a quick fact; a private researcher recently found out that 92% of long distance relationships never work out, and those that work out end up with HIV infections to both partners.

Have a long distance day, wont you!

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