How did I manage to get myself involved with this one?
There I was, a single mum of two school aged children, mindfully swiping on Tinder.
Why mindfully? Because I had decided to be extremely fussy and particular. I wasn’t going to swipe on just any profile that I “liked the look of”. After a year of online dating, I would now stop to analyse the photos and words of any profile that caught my attention.
So I matched with Ian. Amongst other things, his profile declared “Scottish Highlander, lived In Denmark for 20 years. Fluent in English and Danish!”
“So What?” I thought, imagining that he had settled back in the UK after a 20 year trip away. After all, I had spent over 20 years in London before returning to settle back in my hometown on the South Coast. “Who cares if his time away was in a different country? Why else would he show up on my Tinder radar?”
A couple of days after we matched, Ian sent me a message. He was over from Denmark on holiday in the UK with his children, visiting old haunts and friends. He noticed we had the same taste in music. He mentioned Father John Misty, I mentioned John Grant and thats when we fell in love!
We decided to start video messaging and pretty quickly made a plan that after my pre booked holiday trips and his commitments back in Denmark he would come to visit me in six weeks time. During those six weeks we videoed every day. We agreed that he was going to come and stay at my house. There were no expectations we just felt we got on so well that we had to see each other. I do not recommend this to anyone! It was an exhilarating yet nerve wracking six weeks. What the hell was I doing finding a guy on Tinder who lived in a different country and inviting him to stay in my house before physically meeting him? He could be psychopathic axe murderer for all I knew!! During those weeks of videoing we laughed, cried had Friday night virtual dates where we both got a quite merry on wine. We told stories about our lives, marriage, divorce, kids and our own childhoods. We discussed everything we were both looking for in a relationship. We talked about sex but neither of us stepped over the mark and expected anything from each other. We realised how similar we are to each other. Ian is very much a proud Scottish Highlander who had spent a few years living in London, not far from where I spent my London days. I have Welsh heritage and my time in London was five years after Ian had left for Denmark. We could talk with familiarity about London and the music we loved. We also both love being out doors. Ian is a runner. I love to walk and we both love swimming in the sea!
Finally the day came where Ian flew into London and drove down to the South Coast to see me. I had sent the children to my mums. Initially during our six week chats, we had talked about our first date meeting by the Pier or Bandstand and having a romantic walk along the seafront because the sea means so much to the both of us.
By the end of our video conversations we threw caution to the wind and he came straight to my house!
The minutes dragged like hours until at 3pm Ian knocked on my door. I went to open it and there he was beaming and making some cheeky comment to break the ice. When he came in, we embraced each other tightly and kissed. It was like an old friend coming home. We felt like we had known each other forever!
Ian is a brave man. Within the first 12 hours of his visit he got to meet my mum, children, ex husband and neighbours. I had told everyone about Ian and his visit. Needless to say my mum was going crazy about it but I followed my gut instinct and I’m so glad I did. Before he arrived I also told him that if I was going to be murdered at any point of the weekend they would be looking for him! You have to be open and honest about these things.
What has happened since that first meeting? We had the most wonderful romantic weekend together. Now he is back in Denmark, we continue to video and message most days. He came to see me for my birthday weekend. I have been to Denmark to visit him and his children. What about the future? This year I am taking my children over to stay with Ian. We will go to Legoland and visit other places of interest.
Ian is bringing his three children to stay with us for a couple weeks during the summer holidays.
It’s easier for Ian to come to the UK more regularly than I go to see him as my children live with me more than his live with him.
We are both freelance which means we can choose when we work and can choose (within reason) when to fly off for a few days.
What is the downside to our relationship?
The first downside is obvious, we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like to. Although, it means we get to know each other very well. We can read each others reactions when we video message and talk about absolutely everything, because thats all we can do while we are apart. We never seem to run out of things to chat about.
We have to trust and be honest with each other. There is no other way to be in a Long Distance Relationship.
The second downside is other peoples opinions. I have friends and family who are genuinely delighted that I have met someone who is a perfect match for me. However, there is always the lingering question…..what will happen in a year or two? How can our relationship progress? We both have school aged children, it would not be easy for either of us to relocate to another country. Most of all, its not a conventional relationship and people find it hard to understand why we are doing it. I have now learned not to take these opinions to heart. What matters is that Ian and I are happy with what we have now.
We have both said, that we have to give our relationship a go, to find out what WILL happen in the future and so much can happen in two years.
Perhaps it’s not such an impossible romance after all…..?