I’m in, well, I don’t know what status I’m in exactly, with a wonderful young woman. We are both very busy independent people, both doctoral students, both Catholic. I really respect how much she loves her family, and how she’s always there for them. We have very different spiritualities, in that she is from a big Catholic family, is really close to them and tells me she really wants to be a mom and a school teacher, where as I am a convert, an only child, and my life is more about parish life than family life. I think we’d complement eachother well, I’d keep her close to her Church family, she’d keep me close to my natural family, though I know I’d need to move to be closer to her family, because she would never leave her hometown where all her family live. I really love the way she’s always available for her little nieces and nephews, and I know she respects the way I’m so devoted to the Church.
All the same, it causes problems, we live about 200 miles apart (not a huge problem for me, my last relationship was trans-atlantic), and on several occasions one of us has had to cancel a trip to meet up for family or Church or work reasons. In fact, we’ve only met once, 3 months ago.
Long distance relationships where people don’t meet often are fine, with my ex, we often went 3 months without seeing eachother, but we talked online or on the phone every day. With this girl, I hardly ever even talk to her, she’s always busy, or I’m busy, or sometimes we just don’t bother to talk. It’s been over a month since we spoke on the phone, and I’ve sent her messages online to ask if everything is OK, and she’s just said she’s been busy but is always thinking of me.
We’re both quite independent, and both have a strong quiet side, don’t always need to be talking to know that the love is there. We’ve probably both got used to being on our own, and it’s hard to get into the habit of sharing your life with someone else. All the same, I don’t know her well enough to know whether her silence is a way of hiding her doubts from me. I am part of a very international University community, and know lots of people who are separated from their husbands, wives and fiancees by oceans and continents, they don’t all talk to their other halves every day. For some, particularly some of the Indian and Middle Eastern students, it seems as though it’s enough to have the security of knowing that the other person is alive and living his/her life, waiting for your return. Maybe it’s easier for them because it’s all arranged between families. I’d like to have that kind of solidity to my love too, but I don’t know if I can cope. I don’t know how I am supposed to discern the suitability of someone who doesn’t feel the need to talk to me, and someone I don’t feel the need to talk to in return.
On the other hand, I know I need to live in the reality of where I live now, not spend all my time online and on the phone as I did when I was with my ex. I also know that there are women here, where I live, who I could also discern a relationship with, but it seems weak and selfish to give up on something as promising as what I (think I might) have with my current (friend/interest/girlfriend?) just because I like what I see closer to home. Knowing that we’re thinking and praying about eachother is sweet, and I don’t want to throw that away. We just need to keep doing our respective duties to family, Church and studies, and keep trying to make time for eachother in between, if it’s God’s will then occasions to meet will come our way.
There’s a side of me thinks a marriage to someone who is this independent and quiet would be a very good healthy thing for both of us, but it doesn’t seem very romantic.