I Haven’t Spoken to My Camp Boyfriend in 15 Years but It Works for Us

I get a lot of judgment whenever I tell my family and friends that yes, I’m still dating my camp boyfriend, Jared, and no, we still haven’t spoke in 15 years. While yes, our relationship is a little different, this arrangement works for us—and I’m done apologizing for my own happiness.


Having a boyfriend that I haven’t seen or talked to in over 15 years allows me to live a life of independence and keeps that spark of mystery going between Jared and me. The best thing about not checking in with each other or even being Facebook friends is how fresh and exciting it is. I never know if I’ll run into him at the supermarket or the Camp Dogwood reunion that I organize every year. And I don’t need to check in with him if I want to go out with friends or spend a night googling his last known address.


I guess my closest loved ones don’t understand, what with their typical, cookie cutter, often-see-each-other relationships. But maybe that mold doesn’t fit us—and maybe that’s okay.


After 15 years of this relationship freedom, I’ve created many long-lasting friendships and have really come out of my shell. Sure, the first few years without speaking to my boyfriend was no picnic. I wanted someone to ask about my day, or maybe call me at some point to check in, or show any inkling of interest that might verify we were still an item. We hadn’t broken up before he went home early due to a major asthma attack, but we also hadn’t decided how we’d deal with the 40-mile distance between our houses. It used to bother me a lot, but these days I’m comfortable with our arrangement. I can sleep soundly in my king sized bed without any sweet nothings being whispered in my ear at all hours of the night or late-night giggle fests about the time Weird Seth dropped a bug on me down at the lake and I almost capsized my kayak.



Some say that my relationship with Jared lacks passion because we never argue, but I disagree. It’s more that we’re just so in sync. We’ve been on the same page ever since he felt my left boob (under the shirt!!!) behind the canoe rack. We never bicker about what to watch on Netflix (it wasn’t invented yet), whose family to celebrate Thanksgiving with (I think he lives in Vermont now?), or what we’ll name our eventual three children (Jared, Weird Seth, and Kayak). When you’re deeply in love, you don’t need to talk—you just know that you will both keep doing your own thing, 100 percent of the time, for decades on end.


You might be wondering but how can anyone last 15 years without sex. Well, you’d be surprised what you can sacrifice when you love someone and have a furious masturbation routine! Jared and I never sealed the deal the last summer we saw each other but I am patiently awaiting the day he sings “Wonderwall” outside my bedroom window and we go to third base. Am I horny? Sure. Am I happy? Blissfully. Do I know what a penis looks like? Sort of. IS that okay with me? Yes it is.


Our relationship isn’t typical and may seem a little strange to some, but it works for us. I’m in a loving relationship with a guy who’s willing to stay with me, despite not knowing what I’m up to, what I look like, or who I’ve become. That means more to me than any “normal” relationship. This kayak for two is right for us.