A Bro/Babe Double-Team: Long-Distance Relationships
That's What She Said:
A. O.K.. first, you need some new friends because I think only my 80-something-year-old grandmother uses expressions like “be the one that got away.” But more to the point… I’m going to endeavor to keep this simple, so as to not let my personal experience with a coast-to-coast relationship — which ate 5-plus years of my youth and would otherwise cast a bitter shadow over my answer — because you do sound quite excited about this one.
The short answers are: Yes, you can go ahead and break the silence without seeming like a freakish stalker who is trying to lock him up in a hurry. Yes, you should absolutely wish him happy birthday next month. In fact, this is a perfect excuse to get in touch with him. A good rule of thumb for this type of situation is be sure to text/call/telecommunicate/FB message him only when there is a clear point or reason. If you spot something funny that directly relates to a conversation you guys had, certainly send him the link with a reference to the joke. At the concert of his favorite band? Definitely send him a shot of the stage (though not all in the same day or probably week).
Things not to do include the “just checkin’ in/saying hi/walking home from the grocery store/wanted to see what you were up to” phone calls. Avoid, as much as possible, any late-night drunk texting, as that will seem desperate, and like you are trying to keep tabs on him and not doing your own thing.
As great as he sounds, though, try to keep some perspective; there are only so many paths this can take. A) You guys talk a lot and although you get none of the real benefits of having a boyfriend (sex, hanging out with him), you’re probably, even without meaning to, taking yourself off the market (most other dudes won’t seem as appealing) and you miss out on people that are in your city and could be pretty great. B) You guys talk a lot and then he gets scared and disappears or stops responding and you end up hurt. C) You try the long-distance thing, and unless you have the super powers to teleport that will not end well. D) You guys talk and one of you moves to the other’s city and live happily ever after.
Now in only one of those four potential scenarios do you have an ending that is anything other than unpleasant. So unless you like those odds, I’d say keep things very casual between you two. Enjoy him as a friend when you can, and don’t make it any more complicated than that.
A. Is there actually a question here? Is it inappropriate to wish him happy birthday next month? The mere fact that you had to even ask that now makes it inappropriate. Way to go, a**hole. You know what, allow me to say I'm deeply sorry about that a**hole comment — I let my emotions for how stupid that question was get the best of me.
My point is, this isn't the 8th grade. Break the silence and go ahead and take that “happy birthday” risk next month. Just don't go flying to New York and shoot yourself out of a cake to surprise him because you're right, your long-distance lover boy definitely has been slaying other ladies that don't live 3,000 miles away. In fact, I guarantee he is since there has been this extended bout of silence. If there was no one else, and he was really into you, you probably would have heard something, anything, from him by now.
As for your friend, she is sort of right; being an annoying nag isn't going to do you any good, so if you need to consider yourself the “one that got away” to move on then do that. At the end of the day, you save face from him constantly referring to you as “that psycho chick I used to f*ck from L.A.” and you save him the grief of having to dodge your calls and texts. I see no reason why you two can't stay cordial and f*ck when either one of you are in town, but eventually he'll move on and you'll be as out of mind as you are out of sight. It's the reason why long-distance relationships are worthless, especially those that start at a distance and then say there. People need to f*ck other people. It's the only reason why some men wake up in the morning.