Pete & Mer: Modern Love

Pete & Mer: Modern Love

Every time I tell someone I'm in a long distance relationship, I receive looks of shock and utter bewilderment. If you truly love the person, long distance is worth every second spent apart. 

As many of you know, Pete, my lovely boyfriend, and I are currently in a long distance relationship. He's in London, studying classical percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and I am between school in New York and home in Toronto. Long distance is not easy, but with a steady rhythm of FaceTime dates, messaging, phone calls, Snapchat, old-fashioned letters, and visits to see one another, we really are making it work - and rather well, if I do say so myself. Every time I tell someone I'm in a long distance relationship, I receive looks of shock and utter bewilderment. It's not for everyone, but if you truly love the person long distance is worth every second spent apart. Take it from me, distance really does make the heart grow fonder.

Pete and I briefly first met through our friends Amber and Ollie in January of last year at a 90s night at his and Ollie's university. However, we didn't realise we were actually incredibly fond of one another until just one week before I moved back home to Canada in late April of 2016 - what timing! Pete was, mind you, dressed up as one of the Gallagher brothers in a massive parka and shades. So, I moved back to North America to pursue my degree for the next three (at the time, four) years. It's actually quite a fascinating story, how this all came to be, and I'm excited to share it with you today. Today marks our first anniversary as a couple, and I am so looking forward to sharing so many more together.

So, back to that story. It was late in April, and Amber, our friend Emily, and I were having a fun girl's night out in London. It got quite late, and Amber offered to have me over at her boyfriend Ollie's flat (where Pete also lived) for the night. She said we could blow up an air mattress and have a nice breakfast the next morning. This sounded great to me, and I was all in. 

At first, I felt incredibly awkward sharing a room with a man (Pete) I did not know. I was in his bed, and he on the air mattress. Much to my surprise, conversation effortlessly started flowing, and gosh did it flow. We ended up talking all night, and found that we had a lot in common. A spark was definitely ignited between us through laughter and conversation, and it has continued burning since that moment. Pete is funny, kind, personable, and always remembers so many details from our conversations. He is such a genuine person, and I really admire that about him.

A couple of nights later, Amber and I were out again at a Kikki K event. We went out for a couple of drinks after, and decided to text Pete and Ollie to see if they wanted to join us at the pub on their road. After a such a wonderful evening of laughing and chatting, we walked back to the flat to hang out for a while. Eventually, after a hilarious conversation with everyone, midnight had turned into 3am and I had to be getting back home. Amber, as well as Pete this time, absolutely insisted I stay over again, and with a bit of persuading I did. We swapped places and I slept on the air mattress that night. To this day, he still won't forgive himself for not insisting I take the bed and he sleep on the air mattress - but I was perfectly happy on it. That evening we chatted all night long. I think we both knew that something very wonderful was happening between us. I had a feeling he would kiss me and sure enough the next morning, he did (queue the "awwww's"). It was all very sweet and I said goodbye to him that morning feeling bittersweet, not knowing if I was ever going to see him again. Me, being the awkward human that I am, gave him a hug and said "it's been so nice getting to know you" - SO romantic, right?

Flash-forward a couple days later, and we are texting each other non-stop. Pete eventually offered to meet up the day before I moved back home. My practical side nearly declined his very sweet offer for fear that I would grow too attached before heading home. But I simply couldn't. I can now tell you that logic was quickly tossed out the window, and for once in my life I decided to do something crazy and follow my heart, despite the tricky circumstances.

We decided to have a drink at a quaint pub in Notting Hill. I was in the middle of a packing emergency (I'm ashamed to admit that it took 6 suitcases to get me home), and I had no nice clothes to wear. I met him at the Tube station in a very bland sweater and jeans, and he (of course) showed up in a beautiful trench coat, patent leather loafers, and stylish shades. The epitome of British style. I felt like a sweaty and nervous potato, though he thinks otherwise. He just looked so good!!!

We ended up having a lovely chat about music and films and art; continuing to get to know each other. I remember feeling so emotional while saying goodbye to him at the Tube stop, and that's when it really sunk in that I had feelings for him. We said goodbye with no obligations to one another. However, we now both agree that although exclusivity was unofficial, it was something that was inherently understood between us at the time. We chatted like crazy all summer, and eventually started to FaceTime one another. We did this for three months until I organised a trip over to London in late July. I admire Pete's commitment to me over those three months. It was so hard having only met a couple of times, but those conversations really created such a strong foundation for our relationship today.

I vividly remember touching down in London that summer. Amber and Ollie came and picked me up at the airport, and I went to stay with Amber and her family for an evening - which was so lovely. I remember not being able to eat or sleep; I was so flipping nervous. Pete was doing some recording, and we would meet him back down in London the next day. Waiting at their flat for Pete to arrive was honestly one of the most insane hours of my life. I honestly thought I was going to be sick; I was so restless. He arrived, and everything started to take shape. Within two days, it felt like I had known him for years. Over those two weeks we became so comfortable with one another, and on the morning of July 31st, one year ago today, we decided to make it all official. It was a beautiful two weeks, and I will always cherish that time together. It was such an exiting time for both of us; we fell in love.

No one has ever sparked my interest in the way that Pete has and continues to do. I was never a girl who had boyfriends, and truthfully, I always really enjoyed the single life. Pete is my first serious partner, and I hope he is my last. Being in love with someone from so far away has its challenges, especially when it's time to say goodbye after a lovely visit, but Pete is more than worth it. I think I will always get emotional at the Heathrow departures gate, even when I one day come to live in the UK. I've cried in security lines, airport terminals, on planes, in taxis - you name it. It gets harder every time we have to say goodbye, but I always leave with the anticipation of returning again. I honestly would not do any of this for anyone else but you, Pete.

I wholeheartedly think every couple should spend a chunk of time apart. Pete and I, while apart, must forgo the physical aspects of our relationship and rely on only the emotional and mental aspects. We only see each other through a screen. We cannot hold hands or kiss. All we have are words and laughter. Our communication skills between one another are so strong, and we are so receptive of one another. I feel like so many couples hide behind the physical parts of their relationships. Although these are wonderful and supremely vital parts of being with someone, it ultimately all has to be well-rounded. You must communicate. Being apart and not being attached at the hip has taught us that we are responsible for our own individual happiness and that we are, first and foremost, independent people with both separate and united goals.

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Since that trip in the summer, I have visited London six times for various lengths of time, each trip being better than the last. We have so many fond memories, inside jokes, and nicknames for one another. Reuniting is one of the greatest feelings in the world; nothing can match the excitement. Pete will be visiting Canada for the very first time this summer. He arrives in one week, and I am so incredibly excited to introduce him to my family to and to show him my home. It is another huge milestone for both of us.

This is the entirety of our story for now; but it, much to our delight, continues. There will never be another you, Pete.


This post is dedicated to Pete and my parents. Pete, for being the love of my life and having the greatest hair of all time. You are so patient and you are filled to the brim with kindness. My parents, for always supporting me and for being the sole reason I can visit Pete so often.

-Meredith

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