>A lot of blogs that I read have participated in Fned’s group blogging post about bilingual couples. The topic was really interesting and I read most of the entries (that Clare so conveniently posted on her blog…thanks!).
At first I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and write about that today, but then I realized I wouldn’t for one main reason: F. and I are not a couple. This probably suprises a lot of you because I think I sometimes blog about him as if he were my boyfriend. So I decided now is a good time to try to describe our relationship, although I fully realize that many people won’t understand what we “are,” but that’s okay.
F. and I met soon after I arrived in Chile for the first time in January 2007. I was not looking for a relationship. In fact when I first met him, I was dating a Salvadoran guy that I met while doing an internship in El Salvador the summer before. But that relationship was on it’s way out, and soon F. and I started dating. With one brief three week pause, we dated the whole time I was there, but he didn’t want to continue a long distance relationship, and although that made me sad, I understood.
I pessimistically expected that we would eventually drift apart after I came back to the States, but the opposite happened. If this is even possible, we became closer and learned way more about each other during the first few months that I was back. For one, it was summer for me so I wasn’t busy, and we had time to spend six hours daily talking on the webcam (no I’m not exaggerating). Then we both started getting busier and I started to freak out that we were going to drift apart because of that. Our webcam chats have diminished from almost every day to once-twice a week (sometimes less if we’re busy) but I have adjusted and realized that it wasn’t exactly healthy to have such a close relationship with my computer and Skype.
I went back to Chile in January to conduct research for my thesis and we picked up things right where we had left off. I hope that’s what will happen when I go back in January semi-permanently. If not, I’ll be sad, but I am sure that we will continue to be friends. And I’m not going back to Chile because of him. In fact, I planned on returning with my friend J. before I even knew what was going to happen with F., when we were in the very early stages of our relationship. Although J. is now doing Teach for America and won’t be coming with me, I want to go back because I actually like Chile (and even Santiago!) and I love working with people, so teaching is a natural fit. So even though I’m not returning because of him, I may end up staying longer because of him, who knows?
Although in the back of my mind I always thought I wanted a long distance relationship with F., I am now beginning to believe that it has worked out for the best this way. It has allowed me to fully live my life here in the US instead of worrying that I need to get back to my room to talk to him every night (even though sometimes I have to admit that I would rather do that than some things!) This is not to say that I never get jealous if he chooses to hang out with friends instead of me (you mean you want to talk to real people instead of a computer screen? are you crazy?). But I think overall it has been less stressful for me during a period of my life that has been pretty stress-filled (well up until I graduated).
So that’s my story. If anyone is wondering, we speak Spanish, except for now I’m getting lazy and talk about complex things in English because I’ve been un-immersed for more than 8 months now and my Spanish is seriously suffering. He does speak good English and when my Mom came to Santiago to visit he communicated with her perfectly.