Intensity and Finding balance. Or not.

Time for a Wild Card update. ❤️

As you can probably see, whilst the daily discover prompts were an attempt to diversify my writing a little, many of them still end up being about him… Sorry about that.

Truth is, this relationship is consuming me. I’ve never felt like this before, for so long anyway. Everyone gets that intensity at the beginning of a relationship, I get that. But I’ve know him now for six months. And for about five and a half of those we have video chatted every single day. And for the majority of those days, it’s for hours (culminatively).

So, yes, it’s intense.

Since lockdown started here, we have adapted into a new routine of sorts. There’s still the morning text message – usually from me now as I am up first due to the daylight saving changes. This is often followed up by him with a videochat – I am in the car with him as he goes to work or we have a chat as he lies in bed having just woken.

Most days, I’m also with him as he drives back home and goes to the shop or when he gets home and is sanitising everything. I quite enjoy being propped up on the bathroom mirror, watching him wash. 😁

We will then part ways whilst he eats or rests etc. Within three hours there is another videochat and then usually one more when he is having tea with me propped up at the dinner table as he eats/drinks with his family.

All the time in between I’m thinking about him. Yes, really. As the hours pass by, I get more tense until he calls (usually) or I cave and call him. Yesterday for example, I called. He laughed and said “You missing me, or what?” and then said that he wanted to call me but I got there first.

No, there’s not much to talk about. There’s the usual catching up of ‘news’ which as you can imagine, never takes long. There’s always a bit of joking and teasing on his part and laughing/ mock sulking on mine. Sometimes I am with him as he listens to music or when he goes on to his roof terrace to watch the sunset. Sometimes I am just there and we don’t talk. And I don’t care. I just want to be with him and I’m guessing, as he is mainly the one to call me, that it is the same with him.

The LDR advice I’ve read has always been to ensure you carry on with your own life and try not to let the relationship dominate. Erm, I think we are both finding that hard, I’m not sure why. Is it just the situation? Is it the intensity of our feelings? Is it because this is still a new relationship? As this is my first LDR and pandemic 😳, I have no point of reference. Finding balance is difficult, no matter what though. I just want to be with him.

Sure, life still goes on. I’m still doing housework and feeding my children. I’m doing school work. I’ve even done some gardening and extra cleaning etc. I speak with loved ones on the phone. But he is always present in my thoughts.

We still have ups and downs, but mostly ups. It’s hardly surprising with the amount of time we are together (would I be on the phone to him everyday for 3-4 hours after six months if he was English? I very much doubt it.) and the fact that we are going through this vile corona situation. And, yes, we are still getting to know one another.

Our main issues are the same although we are getting much better at discussing them – insecurity and jealousy.

I still have moments of doubt. I can’t believe that he is interested in me. I know he loves me, I feel it. But what if I love him more than he loves me? What if I think this relationship is more serious/connected than he does?

My darkest thoughts, when I allow them to surface, are one of the following: 1) I was wrong all along and he is just after a marriage visa. 2) He’s just playing me and has a number of girls on the go. 3) He does love me but will find someone else as he doesn’t feel as strongly as I do. 4) Coronavirus is going to make this too difficult and he will just give up and marry someone locally.

Believe me, if I allow myself to, I can find/twist untold amount of evidence to prove all three.

But I can also find evidence to the contrary:

  • He calls and texts repeatedly, every single day. He has no time for anyone else, at least to the extent he calls me.
  • Daily, I am with him when he is with his family. Culturally, that is very significant.
  • He tells me he loves me, every single day. He sends me e-cards, videos and memes at important points.
  • He spends a significant amount of time every day just making me laugh and smile. He is daft and silly. Just for me.
  • Almost without thinking, he talks about when I next visit, like it is a given.
  • He’s there for me when I need him. He cares. He won’t end a call unless he knows I am happy.
  • He puts up with my insecurity and jealousy. He talks me through my bizarre thinking. Only sometimes does he get frustrated.
  • He gets jealous and insecure himself.

So, that’s where we are up to. I’m in love. Seriously in love. And every day I hope he feels the same way.

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Light – 12th April, 2020 (daily prompt)

‘You found the light in me that I couldn’t find’

I’ll always remember you this way, Lady Gaga

“I’ve never seen you like this before. You’re like a one woman [Wild Card] champion.” (friend)

“You look, really, really happy.” (sister)

“You know, I’ve noticed lately that you seem really happy. You’re smiling. It’s lovely to see.” (work colleague)

“You look so comfortable with each other, like you’ve been together for years.” (friend)

“You look so happy. I’m really pleased for you.” (mum)

“It’s good to see a smile on your face. Even if your phone is never out of your hand.” (Aunty)

Friend

“Mum, I’ve never heard you laugh so much. I mean, I can hear you laughing from my bedroom.” (daughter)

The second sex post

You read right. If you’re shy, look away now. Although, being honest, it’s probably a 12 rating at best.

My last, and ironically first, sex post charted unknown territory – phone sex. What a success that was! We have partook in that particular activity a few times now. Honestly, not as often as part of me would like.

The last time, we ended with our usual kisses and I love you’s and he said he would call later. Except later turned out to be about five minutes or so later. And I was still a little flushed. We laughed about it and he called me his bad girl. I suppose it is bad but it’s soooo good too.

But as I said, the problem is now that every time he calls me – rather than video chat – which he has taken to doing some mornings, my body kind of expects it to happen again. His voice does delicious things to me anyway but then the memory of past experiences… Well, you get the idea. So, I’m on the phone in eager anticipation. He’s half asleep and talking sporadically, and then the call ends. I’ve no idea if he’s waiting for me to start, if he isn’t interested or what. I don’t expect it every time but, you know, now and again would be very nice.

And this week it has got worse. I’m not sure if it is because I should have been with him this week but… He is just taking my breath away. Videochat camera opens and bang… Instant physical and uncontrolled reaction. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing. I’ve said it before, he often calls me as he is going about his every day chores. Like washing when he comes in from the outside, me propped up against the mirror. Or when he is on his laptop, listening to music. It doesn’t matter what he is doing. It just hits me: my breath catches, my heart bounds, my stomach flips. Sometimes he is oblivious to what’s going on in my head and he asks me why I am looking at him like that. I tell him I’m just loving him or I tell the truth sometimes and says he looks good (which he then denies). Other times he is well aware of the effect we are having on each other and he quickly snaps us both out of it (erm, phone sex???)

This week I can’t seem to get through a call without it happening. And the problem is, I’m having to avert my gaze to hide it. It’s the only way I can hide my amorous and uncontrolled reactions and not come across as completely sex crazed. (Which I’m beginning to think I am.) But then, he thinks something is wrong or I’m bored which means he either starts asking what’s bothering me or ends the call. Neither reaction the one I’m wanting. So whilst I’m happy that I’m starting to be able to hide my desire from my far too readable face, I’ve got to find a way of being able to do that whilst still looking at him. Sigh.

I suppose this is really normal in the context of a new relationship. If we lived closer and were having actual dates then I guess quite a few of them – OK, all of them – would end up in the bedroom.

My goodness, long distance relationships are hard.

Pairs – 9th April, 2020 (daily prompt)

Six months ago, I was single. I had been single for three years. I had been unhappily married for many years before that. Not to a bad man, just the wrong man.

When I split from my husband in 2016, I had no intention of finding someone else any time soon. I grieved the failure of my marriage even though I had wanted it to end for some time. And then, my Dad was sick so the focus was on him.

Occasionally I thought I might be ready. It never lasted long. I would dally with online dating or chatting but would quickly get bored or recognise signs in myself that I wasn’t ready.

At the end of October last year, I decided that I would try dating again. I was ready. But I decided that rather than focus on finding a long term commitment, I would just happily enjoy communicating, flirting and dating. No pressure, no rush.

I was surprised at the amount of attention I received. Sure, some I wasn’t interested in. Some were just after one thing. But I was enjoying myself, taking my time. A couple I really began to enjoy talking to.

And then Wild Card came along. I’d joined Facebook a few weeks before as my friend had recommended it as a good way to chat to people, men and women, and to build my confidence. She felt it was a secure way to talk/flirt with men as they often lived too far away for them ever to be more than online flirtations. Boy, was she wrong.

I said I’d give it a try. I joined a few groups that I was interested in, and that was enough. And then Wild Card sent me a friend request.

When I looked at his profile, my immediate reaction was that he was very attractive. And he was single, so possibly a bit of flirting material? Why not, I thought, and accepted his friend request.

And then he messaged me. And we started to chat online. And then he wanted to videochat. I was reluctant at first, shy, but soon gave in. He was funny and attractive. I enjoyed talking to him. But I quickly decided that was all it would ever be. He was a distraction, a bit of fun away from some of the other men I was in contact with.

But, the more I talked to him, the more I liked him. Soon I liked him as much as an online date I was in regular contact with. And then, I liked him more.

And now, now we are a couple, a pair.

I have no doubts that I am in a relationship with him. I recently let go of my fears and jealousy and have felt all the better for it. It has helped me see all the ways that he shows me, every day, that he loves me. Maybe not the way I expect or even want. But he really does show me.

Except for today. Today, my 40th birthday, he has told me by creating a beautiful and heartfelt video of our pictures, videos and memes set to poignant music. He tells me he loves me, that he loves every moment. That he wants to be with me.

I am in a relationship. I’m one half of a pair. And six months ago, I would never have seen this coming.

Signs and coincidences

This week I ventured into the unknown and the downright dangerous. I cleaned my car.

This just shows the level of my boredom and need of distraction. My car was bad. Three kids. A total lack of interest in my car and the knowledge that I can barely cope with my house. The car is right at the bottom of my priority pile. So you can imagine… Toys, food wrappers, food, shoes, coats, carrier bags, receipts, books…..

The boot was particularly bad. I’d taken to piling things on top of what was already there. Embarrassing but true.

I found some truly interesting things in my car… Think, ‘oh! That’s where it was!’ Like my marriage certificate, which I had to pay £50 for a replacement when I applied for my divorce. Or my son’s lost PE kit. And some books that I bought from a second hand book shop when I went walking with my friend…in October.

I love reading. I’m an English teacher. But recently, I have really, really struggled to read. I’m not alone in this, fellow book lovers on Facebook have reported the same thing – the level of anxiety in our current world is affecting our ability to concentrate. I can’t read the books for book group. I can’t read my favourite books. I can’t read books I have bought recently that I really fancied. Nothing is grabbing me.

But, finding my little paper bag of books was a bit like finding lost treasure. My friend and I had been to visit the historic sight of the Pendle Witch Trials. Anyway, we both love books and second hand book shops. In one such second hand shop I bought an old leather copy of Jane Eyre and I also bought the following book, just because I liked the sound of it:

So, as you do when you buy a new book, I flicked through the first few pages and read a few lines… Then a few more… A day later and I have almost finished it.

This book is scary. No, it’s not a horror. It a memoir, a true account of a woman who reconnected with her long lost love 20 years later. No, what’s scary about it, is how much I can relate to it. I bought this book before I met Wild Card online.

The writer is 39 years old and the book starts off where she is in an unhappy marriage:

Just how I felt…
I had a conversation like this with my friends
Me and my ex had this conversation (apart from the having kids part as we already had three!)
I’ve had this response from many family and friends.

And then there’s the descriptions of how she feels about her foreign lover…

Er… Yep. Exactly.
Yep, we have both laughed at my stupid misunderstandings
I am 5ft 5 too. And Wild Card is only just taller than me and we had a conversation about shoes…

And then the description of arranging and first meeting him:

I had this conversation.
I may have had a few errant thoughts like this… I was certainly scared he wouldn’t pick me up.
Yep.
Baggage didn’t delay me, but passport control did. And he called, worried that I hadn’t come out yet. I wasn’t wearing a dress. Or a thong.

And then, when we had met…

Yes to the love, yes to being scared and even yes to the ‘wife’ part.

Even ignoring how I can relate to this book, it is a lovely read… Romantic and heart warming and well written. I strongly recommend it.

And once again, ‘coincidences’ have shown me the way. Today I should have been flying out to be with Wild Card. I’m heart broken. But this book is giving me hope. You can have a happily ever after.

Here and there

I’m sat in the front porch of my house: the door is open and I have my feet outside. I have a cup of (interesting) ginger green tea (because I am drinking too much coffee) and am enjoying the spring sunshine.

I’ve been gardening today. The front garden was a bit of a mess so each day I have gone out to do a bit of weeding. I’ve come to the last part where a great big evil nest of nettles await. Hence my green tea break.

Bizarrely, it’s sensation overload, sat in this cosy little porch. Across the road from me a farmer is ploughing the stubble field. Behind me I can hear the jaunty tune of a computer game my son is playing. If I listen really hard, I can hear the breeze in the trees, the same breeze that occasionally enters my little shelter to caress my face with coolness.

My arms are stinging from the nettles and I managed to pick up a few punctures from hawthorn twigs also. Despite this, with the sun on my skin and music playing, I’ve actually enjoyed gardening.

It was a necessary distraction. By rights, I should be on a train now heading to London. There, I would have stayed overnight in a hotel before catching an early morning flight to see Wild Card.

He surprised me yesterday by pointing this out. I didn’t think he would remember, but he did. That’s almost made it worse.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, this is not important. People living in the world right now are experiencing untold horror and heartache because of Coronavirus and I certainly am not trying to forget that. My little problem is exactly that, little.

But, its not making it hurt any less. He has never looked as good as he did today . He comforted me, reminded me that it is our destiny and that we will be together soon. He told me that one day, years from now I will wish he was far away from him and will forget about missing him in this moment. (I told him that it was impossible.) I take comfort in his long projection of our future together. I wish I could focus more positively on something a bit sooner though.

How would I have felt this time, traveling down? What would I have written about? Would this trip have confirmed and consolidated all we say we feel? I will never know now.

So, I’m gardening. Masking the pain of my heart with stinging arms and hands. But like he said, he still there. I need to remember that.

The sharing, the look, the love.

The share… A mixture of feelings. Intrepidation as I walk through the garden because I try to see it with fresh eyes, their eyes. I want them to love it which is bizarre in itself as they may never get to see it in person. A sobering thought.

After, I hastily show them as it was: pictures of long ago, of a time when my father would be seen daily with his hoe or his wheelbarrow. His mother smiles and compliments and I am happy.

What are they thinking? Why does it matter so much? Why did he want me to show them?

The call ends, for now.

The look… Later, we are laughing again. He pauses in his mimicry and mischievousness to look at me, eyes crinkled in a smile. I know that look, love that look, as I know it mirrors mine. He disappears for a moment and then when he returns I watch him. I’m always watching him.

He’s preparing some food and whilst he does, a look of such intensity passes his face. In the hours and hours of my study of his face this look is new. At first it excites: it shows off his deep dark eyes well, his full lips pursed invitingly. But, within moments, my attraction is forgotten. I sense that this face is not as it should be.

I ask if he is OK, and he says yes but I know better.

We walk to his room and he lies down, his head resting on his hand, on his pillow. There is sadness on his face.

And so the dance begins… The to and fro, the questions and answers, the hiding and seeking. Eventually he tells me.

As he was talking with me, he had remembered something he had watched on the news earlier that day. It had come to him and replayed in his mind and had made him sad. He asked if I wanted to see and I agreed because I wanted to understand this transformation in him.

I watch. The boy, small and slight, frightened and alone, is led out of the house. The picture is fuzzy but you can see the little mask on his face. The paramedics are gentle, caring, as he is lifted into the ambulance. Another follows with his bags. Despite this care, there is the knowledge that this little boy is now alone, at 4 years, carrying a virus that he may not survive.

My heart aches for the boy. As a mother…as a human being, you cannot help be touched by that video and all its implications.

But my heart aches for my man too. For his grief. For the way the memory of that video could transform him, so quickly. My heart fills with love for this affectionate and compassionate man and I wish, more than anything, that I could be with him so that my love could pour into him and soothe his pain.

Another day, another ending.

The share… He is lying on his bed again and we are talking. His mother enters and sits with him. He begins to translate. I watch his face as he turns to her, listens, concentrating, and I can hear the lilt and tumble of those words and sounds that I can not understand but love so much. He turns to me then and translates and I write down his instructions.

This carries on for a little while. Occasionally I ask questions, sometimes he mimes to clarify. I’m filled with pride for him as he explains in a language he claims he is not good at but I know better. Hours of us talking every day have helped him and I am proud of that too. Equally though, I can see the concentration on his face and the occasional frustration too.

“You know I get nervous when I have to talk like that and I am trying to listen to my mother and then find the words to tell you. It’s exhausting.” He sees my smile, my laugh and says “but you like it though, don’t you? You like seeing me like that?” He laughs himself but the chance to reply or explain is taken from me as the call has to end abruptly.

The look… Later. Another call. Laughter, laughter, laughter. My sides ache, tears run down my face… And yet, I still see that moment. The moment when he is laughing too, uncontrollably, so much so that he pauses his performance and we just laugh together.

And although he is laughing too, I know this is all for me. I see it in the way he watches me, his smiles at my laughter. He continues until I can barely breathe.

But then he tires and so do I. The joking slows. His head rests on his hand, on his pillow. And at that moment I am overwhelmed. He looks at me with such intensity and love. My heart fills with love and it aches to be near him, my body to touch him, my love to pour into him. I’ve never wanted him so much in all our time together… Our bodies and souls to connect physically as they have just done mentally in our shared laughter.

“What’s this face? I’ve not seen this face before. Tell me what’s on your mind..” and the dance begins, the to and the fro, the questions and answers. I don’t tell him but the explanation is not needed anyway. Within seconds he tells me: knowing me and reading me with ease, as he always does.

As the day before, the call ends with love.

“I love you, so much baby” His voice is soft and a little gruff and the sound and sight of his kisses threaten to overwhelm me.

He watches and waits for mine and I send them, my heart and soul willing for the magic to transport the gesture over time and place so he may feel just a little of what I feel for him.

Confirmations

It’s been a whirlwind few days.

Saturday night I reeped the reward of my scheming, and karma came to bite my on the ass. I was going out with my sisters and because of the way I was dressed etc, Wild Card was convinced I was meeting someone else. This prompted me, in frustration, to ask him to clarify what we were to each other. I got my answer, he got his reassurance. When we discussed it all the next day, he said it was normal for us both to feel some jealousy at this stage. I feel jealous too so I can’t disagree with him.

Sunday was met with multiple calls again, including some with his parents who looked genuinely pleased to see me. We both had plans with our family but I received a message late on asking if I missed him. I told him that ‘my mind, my body, my heart and my soul’ missed him to which he replied ‘I’m happy’. He called when he got home and, I kid you not, he had me laughing for the full one hour 40 minute conversation. I could see it in his face – he was happy because I was happy.

Monday’s conversations took a more serious turn.

I’m not sure how it happened but we ended up discussing our future together.

He reacted to my concerns with passion and reassurance, telling me how much he loved and wanted me and that we would be together. It wasn’t just his words but the way he said it, his determination to prove it to me, that finally reassured me.

He admitted some of his own concerns about our situation though. Strangely, it made me feel better in some ways because it felt more real. It is natural for him to be thinking these things.

It was a difficult conversation but it needed to be had. We are both committed to trying this and so that is what we will do. We hope to confirm my next visit at the end of this week and then I will book my flights.

Whilst more reassured, my anxieties are ever present. I’ve come to accept them too.

Last night’s (second) call of an hour and a half was beautiful. He danced to the music I was playing, looked at me the way I loved. We talked about our first kiss. He told me that he knew things about me that I didn’t know about myself, but wouldn’t elaborate on it.

At one point the talking stopped but when I said I would go he didn’t want me to. So, we ‘lay together’, looking at each other, until both of our eyes fell for sleep.

If I hadn’t been lying downstairs I probably would have continued to ‘sleep’ with him but in the end I was forced to say goodnight.

I’m happy, content. I feel loved and feel love in return. I know I am a big part of his life now – his actions show this.

So why am I waking at 3am in the morning?

Day five

Do you remember me telling you about the YouTube video I had watched about ‘How you know he likes you in an LDR?’ At the time, I had four out of the five. I now have all five – him taking you to places that are important to him, ie places from his past.

Day five was another fantastic day. We visited another city, about an hour away from Wild Card’s home, where he grew up and his parents lived for 30 years until they moved in recently with Wild Card.

Wow, it was a beautiful city. Whilst his parents ran errands, Wild Card showed me round, pointing out his school and college, where they used to live and places that he used to go to study.

We then drove up the mountain to see the city from up high, parking at a viewpoint balcony where we took lots of pictures.

It was here that one of the many little things happened, that just make my heart swell for him.

We had been stood with his parents, taking in the view, and Wild Card was taking our photo. It was time to go so I picked up my bag and we started to walk away. There was a shout and I turned to see a young girl, probably around eleven, speaking to me (which Wild Card translated) and pointing at my sunglasses that I had left behind on the balcony wall . As I picked them up, he walked over to her and they spoke. His body language was so… caring, I can’t think of another word for it, as he bent down to listen to her. We walked to the car and Wild Card spoke to his mother as he got in. He then rummaged in his car before calling the girl over and giving her money – a few coins, I don’t know what. As she walked away, Wild Card’s mother also called her over and gave her more. It was then that I noticed her clothing – it was clear that she was impoverished although that hadn’t been so evident on first sight. I don’t know how much they gave her, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the fact they did, it’s the fact he did.

We then drove to the major city in the area, a tourist hot-spot and where the majority of his extended family live.

As we got out the car he warned me to stay close as the area was very busy and it would be easy for me to get lost. He then proceeded to tell me what to do if we were separated which, whilst a little scary, just again showed his care and attention for me.

As did the fact that he wouldn’t let me spend any money. We had gone to the market so that I could buy presents for my children. As this was the kind of place where you barter, I wasn’t surprised when he took control to speak to the merchants but was so when he wouldn’t let me get my money out to pay, ‘later, later’. Later never came. I kept asking him how much I owed him and he kept saying, ‘I don’t know’ and then ‘It doesn’t matter’.

It does matter though. I’ve paid for nothing. He has fed me, including buying special and probably expensive foods because of my gluten allergy. The amount of driving he has done to take me to places and the fuel he must have used… The presents he and his family have now bought for me and my children… And he won’t let me pay for anything. I have told him that I want to buy his family gifts to thank them for looking after me, particularly his mother who has gone out of her way to accommodate my gluten intolerance, and he just won’t engage. In fact, he actually seems uncomfortable when I ask him what I could buy, does he have any ideas.

And then there’s meal times, Day five a prime example of his care for me. Every day he attends to my needs first, cutting the special bread his mother has baked for me, spooning food on to my plate regularly, pouring more tea as soon as my cup is empty. On this occasion though, he went a step further. His mother had made beautiful fried fish, small – perhaps sardine side. As he put some on my plate he asked if I liked them and I said yes – I enjoy fish although admittedly I don’t eat that much at home.

To my horror though, I then watched as he and his brother began to debone the fish before eating, something of which I have never done, and he told me to be careful of the bones. As soon as I started to try to do this with my own portion, it was evident to him I hadn’t done this before. He took over, pulling small mouthful of fish off the bones and putting them on to my plate. I attempted a number of times to tell him to eat himself, that I could do it now I knew how, but he wouldn’t listen and insisted on preparing my fish for me throughout the meal.

Today, day six, is my last day.

I started writing this post at 5am as once again I had woken up, this time thinking about my departure.

I don’t want to leave him.