“I will never do a long-distance relationship” and other lies I’ve told

Here’s the recap you are welcome to press “skip” for if you’ve been binging my life Netflix-style:

Last year I moved to the South of France to be an Au Pair. One month in I met Arthur, who quickly filled the position of Love of my Life. We passed the next eleven months with seaside picnics and weekends in Spain. Tragedy struck. My visa ran out. He was summoned by the French Navy. So last September we shared a very tearful goodbye at Pearson International Airport, thus commencing our long-distance relationship. In the past five and a half months, we have spent exactly two weeks together, and the rest of the time has been filled with broken FaceTime calls and “goodnight” texts as the other person is about to wake up.

If that was exhausting to read, imagine what it’s like to live.

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, with pity in their eyes, “I don’t know how you do long distance!!” I’d have enough money to buy a flight to France (just kidding, I wouldn’t, because it’s like a billion dollars.) So I have surfaced from my blogging hiatus to answer the burning questions on everyone’s mind. Just kidding, I’m sure no one really cares that much. But I am sure most people have, like me, said they’d never do a long distance relationship at some point, and I am here to be a living example of what it’s like to eat your words.

***As a pretty obvious disclaimer I’d like to note that all relationships/experiences are different so I’m just sharing my personal one, with full knowledge that it won’t apply to everyone.

Here’s the mechanics of my relationship. Other than distance, the biggest factor in Arthur’s and my relationship is the time difference. France is six hours ahead of Canada, which really isn’t too bad, but it means that when I am waking up, he has just finished lunch, and when I wish him a good night, I haven’t even had dinner. So we have, on average, nine hours in a day when we are both awake and can communicate, and about seven hours each when one of us is awake and the other is asleep. And that is probably the most annoying and exhausting part of it all. I swear I do more mental math now than I did in all of high school, just calculating what time it is in France.

We text pretty consistently, and we talk on the phone every day, but often it’s just to say, “hey how are you what are you up to today okay we’ll talk later love you miss you bye.” Because here’s a truth about LDRs, or at least mine: you talk all the time to make up for the distance, so sometimes you have literally nothing to talk about and conversations are pretty boring. Which is totally okay, because a boring five minutes is better than no five minutes at all, which sometimes happens. We’re both living our own lives on different schedules, so from time to time we go a day, or even a few days, without really being able to communicate at all.

All of this is to say that Arthur’s and my relationship is unconventional, and not easy. Missing someone is exhausting. So way back at the beginning of all this, I tried googling ideas to keep up long distance relationships, and I scrolled through articles and pinterest boards with tips and tricks, thinking that someone else could give me the magic spell to make it all work. But surprise, they couldn’t. I think “cute note jars” and kinda dumb. Arthur and I are not getting matching love bracelets. And playing online games together isn’t exactly romantic. Maybe this is me being bitter, but there is no such thing as “The 10 Best Ways to Survive a Long-Distance Relationship,” and the more of these lists I read, the more annoyed I become.

And unfortunately, in some of my more bitter moments, I’ve found myself getting petty and qualifying the sucky-ness of different LDRs. In my falling down of the internet rabbit hole, I’ve come across youtube videos of attractive, young youtuber couples talking about how they make long-distance relationships work. I click on them hopefully, grasping for someone to relate to in my struggle, and then I literally yell at my computer screen because exCUSE ME WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S HARD YOU LIVE TWO STATES AWAY HOW DARE YOU.

*takes a deep breath to simmer the heck down*

And then I tell myself to stop being so judgy because everyone’s experiences are different. And to be honest, if I’m going to be doing long-distance, I think I prefer to be dating someone across an ocean than someone six hours away.

“Woah hold up what the heck do you mean Marryl??”

Hear me out. If I were dating someone who lives within a drivable distance, I think I’d lose my mind. We’d have to work hard to find ways and times to see one another. But with an ocean between us, I know exactly when I will and will not see Arthur so my expectations are super realistic and I won’t ever be disappointed if plans fall through. Because there are no plans. Don’t get me wrong, I would recommend my situation to literally no one. But if you’re going to do it, go big or go home. If anything, it makes for a more romantic/tragic story.

To keep this optimism train chugging along, there are some other positive aspects of long-distance, if you can believe it. The biggest one is confidence in the relationship: if I didn’t think Arthur and I were in-it-to-win-it, I wouldn’t be putting myself through all of this. Plus, if we can make it through this, I think we can make it through really anything. We also argue less (yes surprise surprise my relationship seems like a fairytale from the outside, but we are normal so sometimes we have spats which is totally okay) because our time is so precious and we realize that whatever has lead to a quarrel is not all that important in the grand scheme of things. And the greatest part is we get to share this wild, adventurous, crazy love story that always keeps us on our toes, and when we do actually get to see each other, it’s a magical movie-worthy reunion, and our time together is worth so much more.

We survive by texting and calling and facetiming. We survive by always saying good morning and good night, even when it’s not applicable to the other’s time zone. We survive by describing our days in boring detail to paint a clearer picture. We survive by spending our savings on plane tickets. We survive by being in love. I’ve learned that there is no one way to be in any relationship, especially long distance; it’s just whatever works best for you.

I’ll admit I’ve cried a few times in the past 24 hours in respect to Valentine’s Day, because oh man you think you know bitter by being single on this day of love, but I’m experiencing a whole new level of bitter by finally having someone important enough to share this day with and he’s a million miles away like WOW OKAY THANKS A LOT UNIVERSE.

I cried when I saw the flowers Arthur asked my mom to buy for me. I cried when I booked my flight to France in April. I cried when we hung up on FaceTime. Long-distance is so hard and emotional and crappy and weird and fascinating and I would choose a long-distance relationship with Arthur over no relationship with Arthur all day every day.

Love, man. What a magical thing.


Falling in love with/in France


One of the, like, seven photos I’ve taken since I got here because I hate taking photos

My kids just finished two weeks of holidays from school (because apparently All Saints’ Day requires two weeks to reflect upon in France), and for one of those weeks they were shipped off to their grandparents’ house, so I took advantage of the freedom and spent nine days exploring Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Berlin. It was a super cool and super fun trip, but about half way through I found myself really homesick, but not for Canada, for France. And as my plane was landing in Nice on Sunday night, I literally almost cried from pure happiness of being back in the South of France. That was in part because I live in a city where November 1st can be a beach day, but it was mostly because France feels like home.

It’s really shocking how easily I’ve fallen in love with the South of France. Yes, it’s beautiful, the language is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and there’s always an endless supply of bread and rosé. But those are tangible things. It’s easy to love those (especially the bread and rosé). But the feeling I had in my heart when I walked out of the Toulon train station upon arriving last weekend is indescribable. I am so content, it’s rather unbelievable.

I had a hella stressful four years of university, between academics, work, and relationships, and on top of all that going through a rollercoaster of identity, doubting my abilities and self-worth, and discovering the corruptive power of my anxiety. But I am hardly ever anxious anymore. Sure, sometimes I get a little stressed out, but I no longer constantly feel worried about nothing or like I’m forgetting something important. I have finally let myself relax and enjoy what is right in front of me, and it’s incredible.

Keeping children alive and happy is no easy task, but I do realize that I don’t have a real job and I’m essentially living a vacation and that’s probably why I feel so chill. However, I would argue that most people I’ve met here act like they’re on vacation, too. They all enjoy life and everything it has to offer. Maybe it’s something in the salty water.

I had no goal coming into all this for what I’d do after this year is up, but slowly that goal is turning into “figure out how to stay in France by any means possible.” Seriously. I love Canada, I really do, but with every passing day my desire to stay forever grows and grows. So if you happen to receive an invite to a wedding next summer on the Mediterranean Sea just know that it is totally absolutely 100% legal and not at all like Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal nope not at all please RSVP and don’t call immigration.

As for the “in” part of this post’s title? Well, let’s just say France has pleasantly surprised me in all facets of my life. You know what they say about the French language…

The struggles of dating in the 21st century

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Buckle your seat belts, kiddos, because it’s time for another good old-fashioned Millennial rant.

I’ll start of by clarifying that I don’t exactly have experience with dating in any other century but the 21st, unless of course you count that time I slow-danced with a boy in pre-school and we totally had a connection (whoever you are, if you’re reading this, message me?). Heck, I don’t even have that much experience with dating IN the 21st century. Introverts, amiright??? HAHA.. ha…

If Downton Abbey has taught me anything it is that dating has never been easy, so I’m not going to claim that navigating relationships in 2016 is any more difficult than it ever has been before. I will, however, hop up onto my tiny little pedestal and say that it’s pretty damn hard. Dating in the golden age of social media is complex, confusing, and just plain weird. There are so many unwritten internet rules and protocols to follow that seem totally irrational when you say them out loud, and I find myself doing things that are so dumb. But the main difference between feeling dumb now verses any other century is my regrettable choices are documented across multiple different technological platforms, constantly mocking me with read receipts and empty notification centres.

Let me explain.

I have a mathematical algorithm for how long to wait to text a guy back based on how long he waited to reply to me. I send Snapchat selfies of me looking cute to the guy I’m interested in, but I make sure to include my cat or something topical in the photo so it doesn’t like like I’m TRYING to look cute for him. I don’t like his Insta photo right after he posts it, even if I happen to be on Instagram at the time, so it doesn’t look like I’m stalking him (I am). And when he likes my photos I use the amount of time he waited to like it to analyze whether it’s because he thinks I’m pretty or because the caption is punny. I religiously check if he’s seen my Snapchat story. I worry that my cause of death will be a poorly-selected emoji. I have a PhD in lurking and can find out enough personal information to write a biography. I send screenshots of conversations to my groupchats with girlfriends to get their expert opinions on whether or not he’s flirting. And I have a paralyzing fear of making face-to-face, in person, real human being plans because I don’t want to be ghosted.

See what I mean? Dating in the 21st century has turned me into a completely irrational human being. And I even edited down that list of examples. I’ll admit, I’m a little ashamed of it. But I’m sure many people in the same boat as me would agree that trying to start a relationship in the social media sanctuary in which we live is like playing one big game of Chicken, where you win if you’re the most aloof and never, I repeat NEVER, double-text.

On the flip side, I do totally acknowledge the huge benefits of things like texting and Facebook when it comes to connecting with and getting to know a person. I have no idea how my parents communicated when they started dating. Morse code? Carrier pigeon? Calling one another on the telephone?? I don’t think a single person I know could recite my phone number from memory, and that includes my own mother. Technology is great, and my best friend is my Instagram account, so I’m definitely not knocking the 21st century altogether. But while its highs are high, its lows are low, and the dating world is hit hard by those lows.

I would say that the struggle is rooted a fear of seeming too eager or clingy, along with a desire to be wanted. I imagine these concerns have been a staple in dating across the decades, but I think that they are escalated in the 21st century because everything in our society is so instantaneous. Whenever I finally push down my social anxiety long enough to ask a guy to hang out, a million things run through my mind the second I hit “send.” Has he seen the message? We were just texting, he must have seen it. Maybe he’s busy. Does he have read receipts on? WHY DOESN’T HE HAVE READ RECEIPTS ON?? He JUST posted something on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat so he MUST be on his phone. Oh god, the three little dots of doom. Wait, why did he stop typing? WHAT WERE YOU TYPING?? Oh thank god he replied. Wait is that a yes? That’s a yes I think. Or was it a maybe? On a scale of 1-10 how eager is he? Oh god no he hates me I may as well just unfollow him now and move to Argentina.

I’m kidding. Mostly. Not really. Point is, trying to understand the rules of social media dating feels stressful and unnecessary. It’s so frustrating that I have to decode a text to figure out if a guy likes me. But if we all recognize that our behaviour is irrational, why do we keep at it? How about we just, oh I donno, communicate? I’m not saying I’m a saint when it comes to dating; far from it. I give as much confusing nonsense as I get, and I will openly admit that I’ve ghosted guys before. I do feel bad about that, but these days it’s just so easy. I feel so silly playing these games and getting worked up over a text message, but, like most things, I’ve gotta work with what I’ve got. Commitment scares me as much as the next human being, so I want to make sure I get it right and don’t lose opportunities, because putting yourself out there and getting rejected is hard to come back from especially when it’s over such an impersonal platform. But what I think I need to realize is the guys I am interested in are probably just as scared and confused as I am. Or at least I think that’s the case based on the caption of his Snapchat story from two weeks ago, which I lowkey watched three times. Snapchat doesn’t tell someone when you watch their story multiple times, right? Right??

I wish I had a hard and fast solution to our problem, my dear Millennials, but seeing as I’m still very single I think it’s pretty clear that I don’t. So instead I turn to the poetic words of my close personal friend Drake: “You know you gotta stick by me; soon as you see the text reply me.”

Throw caution to the wind and answer that text right away, and maybe, just maybe, you will get that one dance.

I apologize that my height threatens your status as an alpha male

I am going to tell you a story.

Last Friday I went on a first date with a boy. This boy was very cool, very attractive, and somewhere around 5’11” tall, which is my height. All of these things were acceptable to me. It was a really good date, we both seemed to very much enjoy ourselves, and I left the evening assuming I would see him again.

Then today, while we were texting, he asked if I was free any time to hang out. But “maybe not as a date but as homies” because his “height game is way too weak for” mine, and his “alphaness is properly threatened to be dating” me. To summarize the direct quotes: he just wants to be friends as us being the same height means I am too tall for him, because I threaten his status as the alpha male.

Initial reaction: what the actual fuck.

Secondary reaction: no but seriously WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

*Takes a few seething deep breaths*

I have been 5’11” tall since I was fifteen. I started middle school at a gigantic 5’7″. I genuinely do not remember a time when I was shorter than 5′. I always towered over every one of my classmates in grade school, and in particular I towered over all the boys. Everyone, boys mostly, thought it was acceptable to comment on and ridicule my height. I was bullied incessantly. I hated being tall for a large part of my life, and I automatically assumed that no boy would ever have a crush on me because I was too tall for him, and boys don’t like tall girl. This all left me feeling really shitty about a fundamental part of myself as a human being, which sucked.

Then I grew up, realized that haters gunna hate hate hate, and accepted who I am. I came to understand that my height is not only part of what makes me a unique human being, but my height is beautiful, and should be celebrated. Now I strut around in cute heels all the time, which make both my calves and my personality much more attractive.

It took me about 20 years to fully accept who I am, and for some random asshole to come around and try to tear down everything I’ve worked so hard to build up is absolutely unacceptable.

First of all, I opened up to you on said first date about this history of feeling self-conscious about my height, and yet you think it’s okay to essentially tell me, “I am too good for you and your giantess status.” And yet you had the audacity to think I would still want to hang out with out as a friend. In what world do you think that is an acceptable thing to say to a fellow human being? How is it in any way appropriate to tell a girl that you have zero desire to date her, not because her personality is shit, but because of some physical aspect of herself that not only is she already conscious about, but that she cannot change? I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t appropriate.

Secondly, I am threatening your “alphaness”? Did you miss the memo that we are now in the year 2015? The patriarchal concept of the alpha-male as a) something to strive towards and b) something that women find attractive is laughable. It’s called gender equality, my friend. I am a confident, independent woman in the 21st century and if you think that your desire to be the “alpha” in a relationship is a desire that will be easily fulfilled, you are sorrily mistaken. Your concept of a relationship is outdated, so please take yourself out of the dating pool until you can properly educate yourself on feminism.

Currently I’m a little hurt and very angered by this whole ordeal. But I’m a positive person; I will bounce back. But you, sir, have faced the ultimate punishment because misogynistic bullies like yourself will suffer for the the rest of your lives. Perhaps it was your upbringing. Perhaps your height isn’t the only size you’re self-conscious about. But whatever it is, I wish you the best of luck in your future relationship endeavours. Luck you’ll need if you continue to be a sexist prick.

Don’t settle, my friends. Don’t conform. Don’t accept the awful standards people set for you. Be yourself, and be confident in yourself. And if anyone give you shit for who you are, call me up and I will gladly kick their ass with my 4-inch pumps.

3 pro-tips from 3rd year

Apparently I’m done third year. Well that’s pretty dope. That also means I really have no excuse for skipping out on blog posts. And what better thing to do than to sum up my year? This year was… a lot of things, and I learned a lot of things from it. So I could not possibly talk about everything, but I’ll talk about at least some things. I’m no certified life coach, but I like to talk about myself on the internet, and I also like the number 3. So here are 3 (perhaps unconventional) things I have learned in 3rd year.


1. Friendships change and you just kind of have to go with it

This year I had a falling out with very close friend. This year I grew so close with preexisting friends. This year I made brand new friends. They always say that you leave high school with very few of the friends you started out with, which is true, but experiencing dramatic changes in your friendships doesn’t stop after high school. Nothing is ever for certain, friendships especially, and I learned that the hard way this year. It sucked and it hurt and I still don’t really understand it. But sometimes you have to accept that other people are going to make choices that affect you but that you can’t do anything about.

Meanwhile, this year I built up friendships I already had but didn’t see the amazing potential of before. I’ve offered all my love and support to those who matter to me, and I’ve also been shown incredible amounts of love in return. This year I was so amazed to be told how much I mean to the people around me. I don’t need to be complimented in order to do nice things, but it is wonderful to be told how much you are appreciated by the people you yourself appreciate uninhibitedly.

All I can say is keep your heart and your mind open to everyone around you, because the world is full of loving people who want to offer their heart in return, and who could very well change your life for the better. Love and you will be loved. Let yourself be loved and you’ll find your strength within to love. Don’t stress or dwell. People will come into and leave your life for no more complicated of a reason than they just do.

2. Never assume that someone likes you without definitive proof.

God, that sounds so high school. It also sounds kind of mean. I swear I have a point. I often think my life is a made-for-tv-Disney-channel-rom-com. This year seemed to be my year of dealing with boys thinking I had feeling for them when I didn’t. General rule of thumb: if you think I’m flirting with you, I’m probably not. It’s just my personality. And while this is all fairly harmless, I was put into some rather compromising and stressful situations and subject to a lot of gossip that just didn’t need to happen. On the reverse end, I was also in a situation where I thought someone was on the same level with me when evidently he was not. You know what they say when you assume. But really, you or someone else gets hurt, or things get weird. I’ve hurt people, but not on purpose. I’ve been hurt, which I hope wasn’t on purpose. I bet a lot of that could have been avoided with a hella lot more communication. Be a loving person, but remember that there are two sides to every coin. TALK about it. Respect people and understand the fragility of human emotions. Don’t draw unjustified conclusions. Look at facts objectively. Communicate communicate communicate.

3. It DOES matter what other people think

Woah woah woah Marryl, what are you saying? You just contradicted every Dove campaign video I’ve ever seen! Calm down; I promise this is some solid advice. At multiple points throughout this year, particularly the last week, I’ve let the voice in my head drown out the voices of those around me. And let me tell you, that voice wasn’t very nice. I was hypercritical of everything I did, and at times really tore myself down. I wasn’t talented, I wasn’t successful, I wasn’t beautiful, I wasn’t a good person, I wasn’t worth it. Meanwhile the wonderful group of people I’ve surrounded myself with were telling me the exact opposite. But even though those voices were against mine at a ratio of fifty to one, mine still always took home the trophy. Until I realized over the past couple days that these people love me and care about me and also wouldn’t lie to me. Be your own person, do your thing, don’t let others tell you how to live your life. But DO let others tell you you’re doing a great job at living your life. Listen to other people when they tell you what you can’t tell yourself, because odds are they are very right.


School is great, but life on its own is a prestigious institution that you can learn so much from without going into financial debt. Take time once in a while to reflect on your life and the lessons you’ve learned from it. It’s far too easy to take it all for granted and miss out on important things that could shape you as a person.

A guide to being single forever

Relationships? Ew, the worst. Having someone whom your trust completely, can go to for anything, and will think the world of you no matter what? No thank you, sir. I may as well date a dementor, what with how soul-sucking the convention of dating is. If you’ve seen the light and understand that pairing yourself up with someone who sees the best in you and wants the best for you is just a horrible, horrible idea, follow this simple guide and you will blissfully remain single for all eternity.

Recoil/keep to yourself/hermit

Logic: no one can fall in love with you if they never come in contact with you. Don’t go out. Stay in bed forever. Don’t casually text that cute guy/girl. Don’t go out on the town with your bffs. Don’t look at or speak to members of the sex you’re attracted to. And definitely don’t open yourself emotionally. Just lock yourself in your room, take Buzzfeed quizes with titles like “Only Take This Quiz If You’re Totally Single,” and cackle-laugh by yourself when your results try to tell you that a relationship is coming your way. HA, good luck getting past your impenetrable burrito of blankets.

Assume that the absolute worst is true

They aren’t texting you back right away? They probably hate you. They probably lied when they said they had a great time on your date the other night. Heck they’re probably married. Or an axe murderer. Definitely an axe murderer. You’d just be better off assuming that they want to kill you, not kiss you. Or else they wants nothing to do with you. Don’t let their kindness and flirtatious ways fool you. Don’t be drawn in by the compliments and sweet gestures they direct your way. They want to murder you so you better just turn off your phone. Paranoia is the spice of life. The single life.

Take zero risks

Don’t make eye contact with the cute boy/girl behind you in the line for Starbucks, because that could potentially lead to a conversation, and even, god forbid, a coffee date. And that good friend of yours, the really cute and sweet one whom you probably could date but aren’t dating because you’re worried it could ruin your friendship and make things weird? Just keep thinking like that, because it totally isn’t worth the risk if it means you’ll lose your single status, even though they are an amazing person who cares about you and could probably make you very happy. Friendz and ONLY friendz 4 lyfe.

Don’t love yourself

If you don’t think highly of yourself, you won’t think you deserve the best, so you’ll associate yourself with potential baes who won’t put you before anyone else and won’t give you the value that you deserve, and will therefor never turn into a meaningful, committed relationship. People may tell you that you are an amazing, compassionate, beautiful person, and even though they’re definitely right, keep your self-worth hidden in a box under your bed and you’ll never have to fear losing grip of your lonely lack of relationship status.

I hope that if you weren’t convinced of the joys of the single life before, you’re definitely convinced now. What could be more fun than being alone, never opening up to anyone, and not loving yourself? I would place most emphasis on my last point: if you don’t love you, then you aren’t allowing anyone else to love you. Keep up the good work!

I am in love

And it’s about time I talk about it.

I don’t know what sparked this desire to openly talk about my love life. Maybe it’s because I’ve finally come to realize my true feelings. Not to say these feelings weren’t there before, because they have definitely been there for a long time now. Certain situations recently have just provoked me into seeing the truth.

Guys, I am deeply, deeply in love.

With food.

(I’ll allow a moment for all of the boys who have a crush on me and are currently lined up outside my door to breathe a sigh of relief and slow their heart rates. Not to worry, boys, I’m still single.)

I am just so in love with food. Food of all kinds. Dessert food. Savoury food. Junk food. Healthy food. Cold food. Hot food. Homemade food. Restaurant food. I just love food. I have a passion for eating, and I would do it all day, every day if I didn’t want to have to worry about buying a new pair of pants every other week.

But this is no easy love. No, sometimes my love for food is a star-crossed love. Sometimes I just don’t have as much time to commit to food as I would like. Or I don’t have the means to enjoy this delicious food. Or sometimes I have to make sacrifices because I just don’t have the dolla dolla bills. It is a tough relationship to keep up, and sometimes I just want to give up and go hungry. But then I remember the wonderful, wonderful feeling I get from a really good meal.

Like I said, food has been the love of my life for really my whole life. But this year I became entirely dependent on myself for the things I consume, so my connection to food has grown even deeper. Boys come and go, but food is forever.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the kitchen calls.