the Mr. & Mrs.

city girl {dating my island boy}

“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough” -Anonymous

So what happens when two people from the opposite side of the continent meet, fall in love, and then after sharing an incredible week together, get on two different planes headed in opposite directions? The start of a romantic comedy movie? Pretty close. It’s what I call the beginning of a long-distance relationship.


Even a hopeless romantic like me smartens up after a couple of heartbreaks.
I had my rules.

#1:Friends first. I didn’t believe in dating someone unless you first spent a good amount of time as friends. Premature relationships = perfect recipe for heartaches + weight gain + acne. NOT WORTH IT!
#2: Long-distance? Eh…don’t know. MAYBE if it didn’t start that way and we were friends first.
I admit I was quite a skeptic when it came to long-distance relationships. I have seen them work for a select few, but fail for most.

Brendon made me break both of these (sort of).Β  A better way of explaining it is that once I met him, none of it really mattered. Unbeknowst to me, he was the man I had looked for in all the others. You see, the rules were no longer valid because the reasons behind them weren’t there when it came to Brendon. Precaution is null and void when danger is no longer present.

I sought a friend first so I could bypass the pretenses…on both ends. That way we could get to know each other when we were just being ourselves, among friends, in different situations, step by step. A more natural environment…and if that attraction grew through the test of time, then perhaps that spark wasn’t superficial. They say that happiness is marrying your best friend. And I was looking for a potential husband in a relationship, not just someone to pass the time with and then go our separate ways when things got boring.

Brendon, thanks to his past (time in the seminary), temperament, and upbringing, really didn’t know how to play “the game.” I was sick and tired of the game and honestly, not really good at it. So we skipped the pretenses, thank God! During the three weeks before meeting for the first time in Chicago, we chatted daily for at least an hour. It was easy to talk to him and our conversations spanned from the philosophical to culinary arts, to the spiritual to hobbies, to movie critiquing, to funny stories, to sharing our dreams and past experiences. Given our similar Catholic upbringing, teenage experience (discerning our vocations), me being friends with Christina, and having met his wonderful family, our friendship grew quickly. Nevertheless, it was missing an important aspect. Most friendships start off with it: actually meeting and spending time in person. This is why I said he sort of made me break the rules. I never imagined this kind of scenario nor anticipated a friendship born this way. So when we finally met in Chicago that fateful Thursday afternoon, our friendship was made whole…and I went on a date with my friend.

Visiting Brendon in PEI for a family wedding!

Issue #2. Long-distance.
Finally meeting Brendon was wonderful and we were definitely good friends by the end of our time in Chicago. But what now? I don’t think we gave that question much thought. It was a given that we would keep dating each other and make plans for the next time we’d see each other…but it wasn’t until I was back home and starting law school, that it hit me. What the heck was I doing? How is this going to work? The more we chatted (we finally upgraded to video chat…we saved that until we actually met in person so that our first experience of seeing each other would be as “normal” as possible), the more we missed each other. My concerns regarding long-distance relationship were trust-issues, the initial fire dying down, and the practicality of it all. Trust issues really weren’t an issue for us. The initial fire? That seemed like it was happily crackling away since we still chatted everyday. Practicality? That’s where we were stumped. We were 4 timezones, over 3000 miles, and a $1,000 flight apart. He had work, I had school…intense schoolwork. I was stressed out most of time and emotional because I felt divided. I still had 2 more years of school plus internships and crazy work hours to look forward to. But many love e-notes later, we were still moving forward and praying together every night for God’s will to be done in our relationship…to keep it safe, pure, and holy.

Now that we’re about a month away from ending the “long-distance” part, I can see that as hard of a cross it was to carry, it really has been, like all crosses, a blessing in disguise. It’s been purifying because other than our bimonthly visits, we don’t have the satisfaction or comfort of our beloved’s physical presence. We’ve had a few frustrating moments turn hilarious when we really didn’t feel like carrying on a conversation and would have preferred to just cuddle and watch a movie, so we just kinda stared at each other with silly grins…then cracked up laughing. Being long-distance, we’ve learned to really communicate with each other, stretch our creativity, and get into the habit of praying together daily…in addition to becoming more tech-savvy after hours and hours online! It’s wonderful to have started several meaningful traditions together and now have a collection of scrapbook-able documentation of our relationship starting from Day 1!

Spending time “together” on Brendon’s birthday. He’s reading the card I sent him with his gift.

{Coming up…our hot-air balloon crash story+pictures
& the proposal+pictures!}

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  • Reply Brendon

    Thanks for the kind comments everyone. Maria’s big move is coming up soon! So excited!!!

    February 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Madeline Penn

    Yay! I could see the blog today…for some unbenownst reason? You two remind me sooo much of Terry and I when we were moving on fast forward from becoming friends to dating to then, 5 months later, engaged πŸ™‚

    February 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm
  • Reply Christina Yep

    I looooove your blog so so much! But love you both more!!!

    February 11, 2011 at 4:20 am
  • Reply Brendon Brown

    You are a wonderful woman… and way too kind.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply Colleen Brock

    Love it!

    February 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm
  • Reply Marcio Graf Welter

    I totally agree with your point of view Maria.

    February 10, 2011 at 9:58 am
  • Leave a Reply