So I haven’t met Veronica face to face, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, she and I have talked every night since we first instant messaged one another roughly four days ago.  We have even had an hour and a half conversation through Skype so I got to hear her voice, which was incredibly pleasing.  We discussed our love for a good coffee and soon I found myself with a date for Saturday afternoon at Starbucks.  This has all happened very suddenly and I am a little beside myself as to what course of action I should take.  I know before I get ahead of myself, I need to get through an afternoon coffee with her, but then this afternoon, she suggested we take a road trip to Toledo on Sunday, a city about an hour south of Madrid.  Obviously, I would be an idiot not to go.  It’s a chance to see more of the country and not get lost, as I will have a guide with me.  At the same time, an hour in the car is a long time to get to know someone, which would be great.  Well, great if I wasn’t leaving Madrid for the United States in less than a week.

I specifically told myself when I arranged this trip that while I wanted to meet a variety of different people, I absolutely was not coming to Madrid with any romantic intentions.  Sure, everyone I know, including my mom, suggested I might meet the woman of my dreams while in Madrid and who knows what could happen next?  I suppose if this were a Hollywood movie, it might make for a good plot, although I am quite sure it’s all been done before, but the fact is, my life is far from a Hollywood movie and anytime something like this happens to me, it often ends badly.  In fact, I am not sure how this can end well.  Let me start from the beginning.

Long before I ever set foot in Spain, I had discovered SharedTalk, a website created by the makers of Rosetta Stone which allowed people from all over the world to search for language partners to practice their respective languages.  In recent months, I had specifically searched for only people from Spain to talk with in the hopes I would develop a better grasp on the lingo used in Spain.  In my boredom of sitting in my room here in Madrid, I went to the site a few times in the hopes of talking to someone, often after spending a day in Madrid mostly in silence.  I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I messaged her first or she messaged me, but knowing me, I probably initiated the contact.  In any case, she is 36 years old and her profile said she was looking to learn English better than she already knew it.  Once we started chatting, she told me she had been learning English for years but hadn’t gotten terribly far with it.  Like many people I have come across on this site, she felt she needed English in order to be more effective in her job.  It turns out she works for a travel agency, so I could see English being important for her job.

In any case, normally the conversations I have with people on this site only last a short while, as we often run out of things to talk about.  Once we discuss our families, our jobs, and why we are learning our respective language, the conversation often stalls and we part ways.  Veronica and I however, spoke for several hours that night.  She added me to her Skype account so we could chat there, which is slightly more intimate than some random web site mostly inhabited by typical horny teenagers looking to meet a foreign lover.  The conversation continued and we learned a lot about one another.  She is single, recently out of a long term relationship, lives alone, and loves to travel. She is absolutely enamored with the United States and would truly love to come here.  She has seen almost all of Europe and parts of Asia, but never the United States.

I told her why I was in Madrid and that I was leaving in a week and she was the one who suggested we go for a coffee.  One of her American passions is Starbucks, and obviously I spend an inappropriate amount of time there so a trip there together could be seen as nothing more than two friends meeting for a coffee, or perhaps something more.  I tried to keep my adrenaline down as I got more and more eager to meet her face to face, but now we have reached a point where we are sending one another Good Morning messages on WhatsApp and chatting briefly through out the day.  I have seen several pictures of her and I can certainly see myself standing besides her, posing for pictures together someday.  As ridiculous as it is, or maybe isn’t, we both have gotten crazy ideas in our heads about a future beyond my last week here.  This is where the troubles arise.

Look, we live in a world where people meet one another on the internet all the time.  People use online dating sites for that specific reason.  I have tried and failed in that regard, and I had sworn to myself I would not go out of my way to search for my soulmate.  After my failures about a year and a half ago, I decided it was more important to focus on my happiness as a single guy versus continually getting my hopes up only to be shot down again and again.  I told myself I would not look for anyone here in Madrid, but I came across Veronica on a website I could have just as easily been using back home in the states.  I suppose that might have discouraged me from pursuing her in the way that I have, but that’s irrelevant, as here we are.

I like her, there’s no doubt of that, and praise be, it seems she likes me too.  So what happens now?  Yes, I still have to get through Saturday.  Perhaps things will go terribly on Saturday and I will run home with my tail between my legs once again.  Maybe she won’t like me, maybe I won’t like her, or maybe we’ll both see that to have a future together it would require an intense amount of effort.  My fear is that things will go well, and then comes Sunday.  An hour in a car with her to visit a city far away is a much more intimate than sitting at a Starbucks.  She’ll probably want to have dinner.  That’s a date.

So we go to Toledo and come back to Madrid.  Then what?  She works during the week and I leave Thursday morning.  It is very unlikely regardless of what happens that I will see her again after Sunday.  I suppose I could say, well, let’s keep in touch and see how things go, but that will never work.  In all honesty, we have two choices at that point.  We either decide to go our separate ways and never speak again, or we jump in head first and say, yes, we’re going to figure out a way to be together.

Don’t get me wrong, I have already started researching the ways of bringing a foreign citizen to the United States in, say, under a decade.  OK, sure, I know some people at my job who might be able to offer me some advice in this regard, but that’s not how I want to do things.  In any case, it’s not quite as complicated as you might think, especially since she is coming from Spain and not, oh, Colombia or Venezuela.  There are some definite steps that need to be taken, and there are fees on both my end and hers, and basically, without beating around the bush, it would require us to be married within 90 days of her arriving here.  Right.  Well, it’s actually a tad more complicated than that, but that’s the jist.

Is that how I want this to go?  Well, I am certainly not about to ask someone to move across the ocean for me so I can think about it.  If she and I decide to pursue this, it’s all or nothing, so yes, I guess that’s how I want this to go.  I am 34 years old and if I pass on this, I may not get another shot.  She wants a family but isn’t about to jump into anything with just anyone.  As much fun as it is to flirt, we are both conscious of the possible repercussions of all of this.  I can’t imagine going home after this and simply forgetting all about her.  I would truly have to be heartless for that to happen.  At the same time, I am not about to ask her to uproot her entire life for me.  It would have to be her decision.

I am expecting to talk more with her tonight, hopefully with Skype.  If nothing else, I am proud to say I held down a conversation in Spanish for an hour and a half the other night.  If she and I end up together, I have the perfect language partner!  I know very well that relationships are not easy, and certainly trying to have one with someone who lives 3,500 miles away is not going to go smoothly, but I always hear people say how, in the end, it was all worth it, even if it means we would have to wait to be together.

Clearly this is going to be a turning point in my life, and I need to embrace it and not be afraid.  One way or the other, it will define me.  I truly don’t want to continue being the person who would run home this week and pretend I had never met her.  I can’t possibly go home after four weeks in a foreign country and tell everyone, well, I met a great woman and I’ll never talk to her again.  I just have to figure out how we are going to make this work if it is going to work.

I have a few ideas up my sleeve, but for now, I will leave it as it is.  Perhaps it would be better to continue after Saturday.  We’ll talk soon.


~ by James on May 21, 2015.

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