As a veteran of several long distance relationships, I feel that I have experienced a very large range of situations and emotions that prepared me for the next affair. Like anyone, I played some circumstances the right way and fouled up some others. Here is the tale of one relationship in which my decisions lead to disastrous results:
In 2005, I spent three weekends with a woman in Minnesota. The woman, who I'll call "Therese," was coming off of a break-up and wanted no part of a love connection, but we had a good time anyway. I was coming off of a bad break-up as well, and didn't intend to fall for Therese, but the heart doesn't always go along with your plans to protect it. I started to want to see her and talk to her more and more. She tried as gently as she could to let me know several times that she wasn't ready for anything serious, especially considering the miles between us. But I was needy and not thinking about her desires, only mine. At the end of our third rendezvous, I decided to tell her "I love you," but it was at the end of a speech where I explained to her that I didn't want to pressure her but that I would be there for anything she needed and that I loved her as a person. Still, she reacted nervously to my declaration and didn't return the love.
This resulted in me turning on Therese mentally, deciding that she had somehow done me wrong and that I should move on and pursue other options. This was my first bad decision, because the truth was, she had I had a great time on each of my trips north and I had no reason to want to move on. But the next bad decision would really come back to haunt me. I decided to say some not-so-nice things about her in my blog. I wasn't using her real name, but she knew who I was talking about. This didn't immediately result in an angry call or e-mail from her, however, because she wasn't reading my blog at the time. However, a few months later, we reconnected, and I set up reservations to make a fourth trip to see her. We were chatting and e-mailing just like we were before...until about a week before my scheduled trip back to Minnesota, when she stopped communicating with me cold turkey for three days. I had no idea what was going on. Finally, a few days before I was supposed to come see her, Therese sent me a very livid e-mail saying that she had come across a link to my blog while cleaning her hard drive and that she was so mad that she didn't know what to say. She did manage to tell me that I could forget about coming to see her ever again.
I couldn't have felt lower than I did that day. My silly pride made me denigrate Therese in a public blog, and it cost me a good friend and a fun partner. Oh, and because I booked the hotel room with a discount web service, I couldn't cancel, so it also cost me a weekend paying for space that I couldn't use, and it cost me a hefty fee to cancel the flight. I had to learn a valuable lesson about burning bridges. But unlike most relationships that go sour, my lesson, because of the distance between Therese and me, made a large dent in my heart and my wallet.