August 10, 2014

Sometimes L-O-V-E and S-P-A-C-E Are Spelled the Same Way

Ma bestie and moi in NYC last week

Having a best friend is, without any doubt, the absolute best feeling in the entire world. Think about it: you have someone who literally will laugh with/at you at 3 am when you're prank-calling your crushes and will scold you when you do something really dumb like walk out in front of a Budget truck because you weren't watching. Ahem. You have someone to make messes with, to make endless, spontaneous memories with, to chase after packed metro trains with!

Our relationship, Amrita and I's, is quite unique in the fact that literally I love her and I live on the other side of the world. It's quite challenging only being able to see her in the flesh four or five times a year (literally that's it!)

"But first, lemme take a salfieeee"--last summer, Waterside

It really, truly sucks not being able to see her the way normal besties see each other. It sucks not being able to go through High School with her the way we imagined in Middle School. It But, it's also quite a blessing in disguise-we have figured that out. ("I never understood why blessings wore disguises. If I were a blessing I'd run around butt-naked!"--Sofia Petrillo, the Golden Girls <33)

The blessing part is the same thing long-distance couples say: "the time apart makes whatever time we have together seem so much more special!" And it does! I mean, we don't go two minutes without laughing honestly. We both understand that if I had not moved away and we were together in Ashburn, we'd still be best friends because we're platonic soul mates, but our relationship would definitely be different than it is now. And I personally love the way we have it now--the sleepovers with pizza and horror movies and Omegle and I Love Lucy are like Christmas, treasures to be savored every time. 

The gorgeous best(we had the same idea at the same time)

We recently went to New York City for three nights, one of which included the One Direction concert! NYC is kind of a big deal to us, it's where we have planned on moving together after college since like 7th grade and the one place we haven't stopped talking about ever. I instantly fell in love with the city and have already left part of my heart there.

Anyway, besides suffering from Post Concert Depression after 1D (and 5sos) left the stage, we parted ways for another four month stretch. We've never been together at the time that I'm leaving for the airport so that was a new experience. Honestly, I felt like crying the entire way back to Manila for a cornucopia of reasons but mostly because I felt something "off", a feeling I have never experienced before about our relationship.

[*Disclaimer* If I start sounding like he-who-should-rot-in-hell, stop reading. Seriously.]

I finally gathered up the right amount of courage to talk to her about it after I felt a weird distance between us, weirder than the physical 8,000 miles. Of course, we talked about it and I realized I finally learned something I've always subconsciously known about her. She needs space, she doesn't like the clingyness. It may be one of our biggest differences.

I mean, no one likes too much clingyness or affection, that's just erg. But I realized something about myself: I was showering her with so much attention and neediness because I felt that she was pulling away and wasn't enjoying it as much. And that's completely her right, I was being really clingy and she needed a little sp a ce.

For some reason, this terrified me and I smothered her even more. It was a vicious cycle really. (this blog post probably isn't going to help the space matter either....) But I realized this and after I talked to her, understood it completely. No matter who you're in a relationship with, you both need your own space and if one person infringes on that and doesn't get that then it creates a real problem. I didn't get it then. I'd like to think I do now.

"If you hold a bird in your hand gently, it will stay. But if you squeeze the bird, its eyes will bug out and the pet store owner won't let you touch the birds anymore!"--Rose Nylund, the Golden Girls. 
Just because someone asks for space, or tells you that they need space, or doesn't reciprocate your lovey-dovieness all the time, doesn't mean they don't care about you just as much as you care about them. I mean, it certainly could and you should have a discussion with them about it, but in this case specifically it didn't.

I find this is a big problem with a lot of people in relationships (any kinds, best friends, lovers, parents etc.): they don't realize that giving the other person space and room to breathe isn't going to be the end of the relationship. In fact, it's helping it to grow.

The message that is always found at the end of my rambling? It's this: don't be worried if the person you love/are in a relationship with needs space. Space is natural, it's all around us! If you care about the relationship, and about the person, you'll let them have their space all the while understanding they still love you [insert your own emotion here if love doesn't apply]

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