Diaries Magazine

Your Reputation Precedes You

Posted on the 16 March 2013 by Missliabilities
A side effect of long distance relationships that I wasn't aware of until I'd stopped being in one is that people develop a strong idea of you in their minds. These people have never met you, but they know their friend who is dating you is gone one weekend a month to visit his girlfriend or unavailable another weekend because his girlfriend is in town. It's understandable that they begin to picture you in their minds from bits and pieces they've picked up in conversations.
Since M and I were long distance for the entire first year of medical school, many of his med friends had never met me. I was working 60+ hours 6 months of the year, the summer months were filled with trips to the south, and the times I did visit him we never hung out with other people. It's hard to be in a long distance relationship and share the short time you have with others. Like, to them this is just another weekend get together, but to me it will be another three weeks before I get to see his face again.
Finally, when I moved to Pennsylvania I got to meet his medical friends. I think many of them were confused by my presence. The first month that we were living together, we went to a bar and I gave M a kiss. Some girl tapped me on the shoulder and was like "Who are you?" in an accusatory tone. Turns out that she believed M was cheating on his girlfriend (ME!) with some random bar chick (ME!). Crisis was averted.
Last night, we went to a party with a couple of MS4s. I was sitting with one guy drinking and he struck up a conversation:
MS4: "Wow Elle, I can't believe you're drinking!"
Me: "Why wouldn't I be drinking?"
MS4: "I just thought you'd be like really uptight and not want to party."
Me: "Really???"  The guy had just met me 20 minutes before.
MS4: "Well, whenever M would be at our house, he'd always leave the room to go to talk to his girlfriend. I always thought it was because he didn't want you to know that he was drinking or you'd get mad."
What the MS4 didn't know is that M and I spoke to each other every night before bed. It would usually be a 15 minute call filled with 'I miss yous' and 'I love yous'. I didn't care if he was drinking or out all hours of the night, I just get SO annoyed with background noise that M knows to find a quiet place to speak to me.
Isn't it so funny that someone's perception of you, who they've never met, can be so skewed?
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