An International Affair

Photo by Lauren Lu

An interview with American junior Jordan “J” Galloway and Italian junior Alfonso Delerash about their long-distance relationship

Explain your relationship to your Italian boyfriend?

G: It’s kind of a little complicated because I don’t believe in long distance relationships because they’re; it’s unfair for both parties. Because in a relationship, it’s something between two people and normally you get something out of it which is having the company of another, talking emotional wise, and other things as well. When you’re in different countries you don’t really have, a lot of those needs aren’t really exactly met. And I’m not just talking about sexual needs I’m talking about different other stuff too. So it’s like, it’s unfair. So I told him, and we’ve come to an agreement, that if he still wants to date me when we’re in the same country, cause even when we’re in the same country he doesn’t have to, that’s okay with me, and it’s great with me too. So when we’re in the same country if we do want to date, we will and we’ll be okay with that. And when he leaves or when I leave to come here he’ll be okay and I’ll tell him he can date if he wants. Most of the time he doesn’t, I don’t know why. I have dated though, but I tell him though, I’m not just going to date and not tell him I think that’s unfair too. Especially when he wants to wait for me, which is very sweet of him and very nice, but kind of annoying because I kind of want him to date too, other people but, cause like if you have more than one person you normally go out with because he’s been out with other people but for me, I’ve been his longest relationship and same here because we dated, when I lived in Italy, for almost three years which is a long time. And that’s not including the time when we date when I go over there or he comes over here. It was a really long relationship and having, he need to under- to have another person or another two or three people to know he really wants, to know that if I really am ‘the one’, which I don’t really completely believe in that then I want him to be sure, I don’t want him to have any regrets or anything. This is getting serious okay.

How often do you two travel to see each other?

G: Oh jeez, all the time: winter break I went, I’m going over spring break. Let’s see about seven to eight times a year. The least would be five. But normally it’s like seven, eight times a year. Cause like in Italy they have like a weird, I think some other school has this weird schedule where they have like three weeks off for winter break, 3 weeks off for spring break and like over a week off for Thanksgiving but then you have a shorter summer, so he comes all the time. So that’s another reason he comes over a lot because he has the time to.

When you go over does he usually have school and when you go over there do you usually have school?

G: Yeah normally we do. But normally if I go over there and he has school then I just join his school. Cause like I don’t really care of course the teachers aren’t going to give grades, they’re a little more lenient about that over there like here you have to go through so much stuff and everything like normally you have to go through, like you have to talk to the principle you have to write down stuff and sign papers, over there of course you have to do that but like when you leave it’s not that big of a deal. Like they’re like okay goodbye. Like as long as you’re getting an education somewhere then you’re fine. Like, here it’s like ‘Oh no’.

How Fluent are you in Italian?

G: Completely.

How Fluent is he in English?

G: Not very much like he can say phrases and stuff, sort of what you learn when you’re in school but he can’t really speak, like you know what you learn in school you cannot speak like the whole language, no matter what.

Have you ever had a problem in communication?

G: No, I speak to him in Italian. This is so awkward. You should probably scratch that out.

What types of ways does he show he cares?

G: He’s really romantic and it drives me crazy because I’ll tell you why after what I tell he really does. But he’s a great guy he really is an amazing guy. He really likes flowers. I like, my favorite flowers are black roses. So he loves to give me those black roses all the time, they’re expensive though they’re like more expensive then regular roses but really, he’s really rich which drives me annoyed to and I’ll tell you that later too. But he really, he’s so great, he’s a really good cook and like for me that’s a big thing because I eat all the time it’s kind of bad like I could eat my weight in meat, like I’ve done it before it’s bad. Like I actually have entered an eating contest- anyway sorry that goes off track. So basically obviously like that, we go on picnics all the time so like he’ll get a picnic basket together, he’ll make stuff and he’ll do that, he’ll take me to the amusement parks for fun, I love going on the carousal. Anyway we do sometimes hang out with friends too. Like third wheeling over there isn’t that big of a deal as it is in America people are like ‘oh my god you went on a date with people that’s so weird’. But there it’s like ah whatever no one cares. And it’s fun. What else does he do, he does a lot. He loves going to the mall like he shops more than I do which is frightening because I go 2 or 3 times a week so that’s kind of not good because I shouldn’t be shopping that much, but I do…I don’t want to leave anything out to make him sound not like a good idea because he really is an amazing guy.

What is the single sweetest thing he has done?

G: Okay well when day last year, I had Mr. Mylin last year and I wanted to claw out my eyes in Honors Chemistry and so he’s really good at chemistry and I was struggling with it. Actually grade wise I wasn’t really struggling with it but I was struggling with like learning it because I felt like my class was learning it so much faster than I was and I learn stuff really easily but when it came to Mr. Mylin’s chemistry which is different from everyone else’s chemistry. So basically I called him – he’s really good at chemistry – and I was like I just can’t do this anymore I’m getting on a plane and not coming back because I can’t do it and this is, so I’ve only been speaking English for three years, three in a half, almost four years now. It’s kind of difficult for me sometimes AP classes and Chemistry classes, cause sometimes the words I have to look up and most people would probably know, but since I haven’t been fluent in English as long as a lot of people it’s harder for me, but I still do really well. I remember I called him and said I can’t do it anymore. So he ends up going on Skype and this is like 7 o clock and it’s really early in the morning for him, really early in the morning for him, so then I wake him up, he stays up for me, he then sends like a box of chocolates for me, which I get like a couple days later, but like that was so nice and then he did that for me and literally I was translating all my problems in Chemistry for him, cause he’s really good, his dad is a humongous big chemist and so when I told him I said oh those are easy and I was like I hate you so much because I don’t understand them and he would help me through them and he would not only help me through them, he helped me get through the emotional problem of them because sometimes I would look at a problem and like there’s absolutely no way there could be ten points from this one problem that has one sentence and he’d be like well there like five parts to it and I’m like how can be five parts there’s one sentence but it would drive me insane. It was nice because I needed someone like that because for me I’m pretty good at most of that stuff but sometimes stuff just hits me and I’m like I just need help so it was nice of him to do that and so for me the reason that I think that’s such a big thing for me because he’s done a lot of big things for me, the reason why that was so important is because, I’m not a girl that – I don’t want the stuff that a lot of people want I don’t need a guy from me all the time, that would drive me annoying. I’m pretty independent, and I don’t want guys who are always there for me I don’t want guys that pay for me and always do stuff like that for me because you can show your love through other ways and so like him doing that for me just showed me that I’m not like just, monetarily wise he can only just take good care of me that way but he can also take care of me emotionally which was really important for me. And getting back to why it’s so annoying for me to have a rich boyfriend because as I said I’m pretty independent and when we go on dates he all the time wants to pay for them, pay for the meal and stuff which drives me insane in certain situations like I can pay and so it drives him insane but like it’s just so annoying

Why do you hate it when he’s really romantic?

G: So the reason I go insane with the romantic part, because one time, it was our first year anniversary and I walk into his house and he – I walk in and there were rose petals like going up the stupid stairs and I was like what is this and a sign right there that says ‘follow the rose petals’ well yeah I got that far but stupid and so I follow the rose petals and there is another stupid sign that says ‘continue to follow the rose petals’ like I’m not stupid and so I do and then there’s another sign that says pretty much the same thing and I was thinking I swear to god if you do not be there in the next ten minutes I’m going to kill you. He ended up winding me around the whole house it was so annoying because I went from one side of the house to the other and then zigzagged back and there was no point at all in doing that, no point. I eventually find him in the kitchen, like I said cooking is a big thing for me guys have to cook, it’s important another thing is that later on for life, for me, I don’t like the stereotype roles of what women have been in in the past I do not think that women are only capable of cooking and cleaning of course the people that do that, there’s nothing wrong with that, my mom does that, like it is a hard job to be a stay at home mom but that’s not something I want to do and so it’s nice to know if I’m at work and stuff he is able to cook too and I can come home to a dinner which would be nice because I don’t want to be coming home from me nine to like 10 o’clock and night and him being like where’s food. I’ve been at work all day what do you mean where’s the food. It drives me nuts when I hear people say why don’t you want to do that, I’m not saying I don’t want to do that but that’s not my life I want to have a job, that’s the reason why I’m going to college, that’s the reason why I take these classes to get a job to get into college otherwise I would just give up on myself, I would just want a man to take care of me at least that’s how I feel. Okay so I end up getting into the kitchen and of course there’s rose petals everywhere, and I’m sitting there and he’s lie sitting me down and so like he made me little table things and it was so nice he set the table, he had the wine glasses there and we had like, it was so good and so we were eating and um I remember the best part was that when we were sitting down and we were eating and I look outside and I’m like I could get used to this, not the whole rose petal thing which just kind of drove me nuts and not everything else. Just having somewhere there for me was nice. And having someone there that is capable of working because that, its going to sound like he is a stay at home dad, which he’s not he’s really smart. And he’s very good at math and chemistry, science is his thing so I know that he has an array of different aspects of himself and parts of what he can do that’s important for a guy to have. And I hate Valentine’s Day

She has done a lot of things that are bigger but this impacted me the most. She figured out what I needed the most at that time. She realized I just needed someone there and her doing that showed me she not only cares for me physically but emotionally, which is the biggest thing for me. I will always love her for that.

Italian Junior Alfonso Delerash

Why do you hate Valentine’s Day?

G: Valentines Day, I feel like here is like a day where guys go all out, you know and it’s so annoying because guys show their affection and girls as well definitely, it should not only be guys it sounds very sexist I think that everyone should be able to do it all year round. I think that only having a day where guys and girls only show your affection that day, and other days of course you get little bitty stuff, but like why not go all out randomly in March or April? Why not? It gives people and excuse to wait to show it you know and I think waiting is not a good idea because stuff can happen. A lot of stuff can happen in a year so only showing it that one day and then going on dates the rest of the year, you can do something else. Both of you not just guys as well. So that’s really selfish.

You said he likes that he waits for you but that it’s bad?

G: I have mixed feelings about that, I love that he’ll wait for me -that’s so sweet of him to do that – but at the same time I feel like its selfish of me to let him wait so at one point I feel as though maybe I should just tell him to cut it off, even though I would love to go be with him, I have never found a guy better than him and I doubt I ever will but I just feel like he’s so amazing, he deserves just as an amazing girl for him. And I feel like me being in another country doesn’t give him that chance and I want him to have the best chance in life no matter what, whether it’s with me or someone else. So yes it hurts to think that way and I’m not saying that because I think we’re growing apart, I think us being farther apart has showed us that we can still like each other and care for each other just as much when we’re apart as well as together, but I want him to have a good life. I don’t think that if he does date someone and he says to me ‘is it okay if I continue to date her’ I hope that I’d think that’s good. I feel like a lot of the time American girls don’t understand that just because he’s not with you and doesn’t love you it just means that he found someone that fits him. He’s found someone that fits him specifically it doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough, it doesn’t mean you can’t find anyone good enough it just means everyone has their person that they think they need and that they should be with. I feel as though relationships should be taken casually yet serious. In high school there’s nothing wrong with saying I feel like we’re too young to know what love is, I hate when people say ‘I love you’ to their boyfriends in high school, it drive me nuts. Because the word love has such a big emotional backing for me at least, when you say that word you have to really mean it. For romantic relationships it means so much to me that when people throw it around frivolously it bothers me because that word should mean so much and sometimes people just use it as a way to say like, it’s not actual love, I feel like romantically wise you can only love a few people in your lifetime so using that word for everyone and so easily even when you’re young is unfair to people too and yourself.

Have you and your boyfriend said ‘I love you’?

G: This is so mean, he said it to me and I didn’t say it back, so I talked to him about it. Of course he was mad, like I’m not going to say he wasn’t – he was pissed off – but when I explained it to him he was like okay I understand. I feel like I’m too young to understand it I want to give it a few years. The first time he said it we were at a restaurant and we were sitting and we were eating dinner and his parents were all the way on the other side because they were going on a date and we were too and they didn’t want to crowd us. We went to the same movie and the same restaurant but we were on the other side, I forgot they were even there. I remember we were holding hands and we were talking and eating and the waiter comes over and asked ‘Do you need anything else’ and I was like ‘No’ because at that time I knew he was going to say something and I was like ‘Oh crap’ I should have said ‘Yes, I need something’ and start listing off random things which I don’t really need. Because I felt like he was going to say it, and he did. This is going to sound bad; I started sort of laughing in a very mean way. I felt so bad. But then I explained to him why and we had like an hour conversation about that but that was interesting. He was still made through the rest of the date. But the next day we were okay and then we got better. But then again though now this may not be true I felt like If I do ever say it to him, if, it will be real. It won’t be me just saying it it will be how I actually feel. Cause when I talk most of the time I mean what I say.

Q: What is your opinion on long-distance relationships?

D: I believe that they are very hard to maintain but are not impossible to maintain. J does not exactly like long distance relationships, she wants me to let her go and find another person. I refuse to not because I think I can’t find someone else but because I think I found the one. I know if you work hard on them, then you can always maintain it.

Q: What is love?

D: I think love is the complete affection and understanding of another person. It’s not always physical, or sexual or even emotional, it’s the feeling or need for another person. For J, I feel as though there is no one else in the world that can complete me. Even though that sounds weird. I mean that seriously I will wait no matter what.

Q: How did you feel when you told Galloway you love her and she didn’t say it back?

D: Wow, thanks for bringing that up. But it really hurt and sort of destroyed me. But when she explained to me why she did not say it back, I understood. It’s not that I liked it or that I was happy. It’s that I know if she does even grace me with that beautiful word, then I know she truly means it. There will be no question about it and that at least for me makes me willing to wait.

Q: Why do you choose to wait for Galloway, instead of dating other people?

D: I know that she is the one for me. She’s crazy and weird, smart, funny, but she definitely is for me. I know that I cannot live without her. Now I sound like a weird emotional freak; I promise I’m not.

Q: Do you agree with her opinion that the both of you should date other people?

D: I don’t agree on it but understand the reason for it. I know that she cares but wants the best for me. In her opinion, it’s meeting other people so as not to regret choosing her. Ugh. (It) makes me feel so annoyed, but that’s what makes her amazing, her always wanting the best for others.

Q: What was your favorite surprise or gesture you did for her?

D: I know that she loves the smaller things I do for her, but my favorite things are the biggest things I did for her and will do for her in the future. I remember about a year ago on her birthday I bought her a snake and dressed it up and let it loose in my house. I gave her a magnifying glass (like that actually was going to do anything – hehehe. I’m so mean.) and told her to look for my present . You should have seen the look on her face; she was so surprised and happy, but confused about it. Hehehe my, diabolical plan.

Q: What was the sweetest thing Galloway has ever done for you?

D: There are actually a lot of things that she has done for me, but the sweetest thing I remember was one time, when I was really sad about something, I’m not even sure what it was, but she came over my house and we laid down together on the couch. Now you’re probably thinking, ‘Wow, that’s it?’ She has done a lot of things that are bigger but this impacted me the most. She figured out what I needed the most at that time. She realized I just needed someone there and her doing that showed me she not only cares for me physically but emotionally, which is the biggest thing for me. I will always love her for that.

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Annika Wolff


"Darling, I'm fabulous."