When I tell people I’m in a long-distance relationship with a guy who smells like rotting meat, they always say stuff like, “That must be so hard!” or, “I could never do that!” It surprises them to hear that I actually prefer it. No one ever thinks about the little good things about living apart: I get to sleep in the middle of the bed, choose what I want for dinner, and not be around the smell of decaying flesh left out in the sun.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my boyfriend. Geoff makes me laugh harder than anyone, and he always tells me I’m beautiful. But we like having our space. Particularly the space that allows me to be free of the smell of decomposing flesh. I want to let him have that space.
I guess I’m just not as possessive as some girlfriends!
We talk on the phone and FaceTime all the time. I still get to see his cute face and hear his great laugh and pretend he smells like Marc Jacobs Bang. (Or even Old Spice—I’m not that picky anymore.) It really builds up the tension: As soon as we see each other in real life, we get frisky—usually in the shower—and spend the weekend cooking highly fragrant dinners together that we eat in separate rooms. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! Geoff and I get to appreciate every little moment we have together, and when the weekend’s done, I’m back to my own life, free to do what I want, and free of the smell of dead animals.
My roommate Jenna always complained about her last roomie’s boyfriend, who ate her food and took up the whole couch. She never has that problem with Geoff! Mostly because I usually schedule his visits for when she’s traveling for work or seeing her parents. I want to give the time I spend with Geoff the attention it deserves. Also, that way Jenna and I have never have to have the big no-he-doesn’t-have-a-serious-medical-condition, yes-I’ve-tried-talking-to-him-about-it, no-he-didn’t-seem-to-understand-when-I-brought-it-up, and-yes-I’m-still-dating-him-at-least-until-he-finishes-grad-school-and-moves-back convo.
I’ve told all my friends that when he’s here, we want alone time, so I never have to force Geoff to hang out with friends of mine he might not like or hear anyone asking me, “Are you sure there isn’t a dead mouse in the wall?”
Geoff loves me and respects me, and our relationship works for us—that’s what’s most important. And I am totally, definitely fine with us having boundaries. We’re happy this way! I get to live my own life while having a great boyfriend, and I get to breathe through my nose.