Dear Wayne and Wanda,
Earlier this summer, I was a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding here in Alaska. The wedding party spent several days together spanning the wedding itself — we had a joint bachelor and bachelorette party a couple days before, and there was a dinner the day after the wedding too. Thanks to this, I was able to meet and spend several days with “Jeff.”
Jeff is a friend of the groom. I’d heard all about him and I felt an instant connection to him. We hung out together that first night and things got romantic. We were pretty much inseparable the rest of the wedding festivities. The last day we stayed the night together. Then he headed back to the Lower 48. We’ve texted every day since the wedding festivities ended. I’ll admit it, I’m crushing hard. I had a blast with him and I want to see him again. He’s super responsive to my texts and I think he wants to see me too.
But I know I romanticize things, and I’m worried I’m reading more into this than there actually is; and my friend the bride is not super excited about this whole thing. She is worried we will get involved and things will go bad and it will “ruin” (her words) the group dynamic down the road.
Should I drop this? Or keep pursuing what could be something amazing?
Essentially, you’re wading your way through a vacation romance, only instead of a vacation in, say, a tropical location, your love affair likely unfolded in Girdwood, or at a converted barn in the Valley. But I’m sure the matrimonial setting felt magical nonetheless! There is nothing like connecting intimately and spiritually with a fascinating and attractive stranger amid an atmosphere charged with romance and possibility.
Now what? The problem with these magical romances that unfold in encapsulated safe gauzy romantic spaces is they rarely do translate to the real world. You enjoyed days perfect vibes, and no annoying distractions like work, finances, or responsibilities. You were basically in a greenhouse environment when it comes to nurturing and growing a budding connection. The reality: you don’t live in the same state. You haven’t been around each other to experience an everyday dynamic. There are basic things you don’t know about each other that are kind of essential to grasp before deciding whether to pursue a real-world, full-time relationship.
If you’re really into this guy, and you really think there’s potential, by all means, set something up. But don’t make it an all-inclusive Mexico vacation or a week in Waikiki. Get to know each other for reals. Share a week in one of your permanent locales — where there’s a morning hustle, laundry, meal prep, bill-paying, actual everyday friends and more. Try reality on for size and that will help inform you on whether you want to keep pursuing a romance that feels for now like a fantasy.
Hold up! The words “I do” are still echoing from the bride’s lips and she’s already saying “I don’t” on approval of a bestie swooning over her hubby’s bestie. I guess the honeymoon is officially over.
Wanda is totally correct about wedding settings and how they get everyone a little loose and loving, from the romance in the air, to the best-dressed friends and strangers mingling and flirting, to the stiff drinks poured at the open bar. But after you’ve shaken off a little love-and-liquor hangover, and the reality of going back to your respective lives in your respective parts of the world sets in, if your heart is still going pitter-pat for your wedding weekend fling, then no one should tell you what you can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do next. Well, except Wanda and I.
And I say that you should take Wanda up on her out-of-state secret rendezvous travel advice with your new friend. The bride doesn’t need to know. No one needs to know. This will be a chance for just you two to spend quality time together without any wedding commitments, distractions or craziness. Not that sun-and-fun vacation adventures don’t come with their own mystic, and potentially blinding, romance mojo. But after a day or three, you’ll know pretty clearly if you two truly click or not, and whether you both are on the same page about what happens next.
Clearly, I’m a sucker for an epic crush chronicle. So have fun and good luck!