I'm still waiting to hear whether or not Alexei gets his visa to go to Panama. If so, that would be very exciting for the both of us. Finally I could get what I want--spend time in a neutral, third party country! Time to be away from the pressures of Communist Cuba, and time to fortify us as a couple with more means than my own cash vacation allowance. Time to live together in a society where it doesn't matter if we are locals or foreigners. It's so refreshing. Not to be cheesy, but it would be such a dream come true to be able to do normal things with him, and stay in normal hotels, get normal service, use fast internet... shop! And then I can only imagine what it would be like if my parents could come there and interact with him and see what a great guy he is. Anyway, that said, as soon as I have filed the paperwork for him to go to Panama, now I feel even more strongly that I would like him to be here with me in San Francisco. I can imagine us living in an apartment in the City, maybe in the Presidio, maybe in Bernal Heights or Dolores Heights. And we could walk around the streets of SF, hand-in-hand, just like in Havana, but here in my city, and I know we would both be happier. So it's funny how this feeling rose up just when we made steps toward being in Panama. And maybe it's just that distance makes the heart grow fonder, so I should remember how strongly I felt when I was in Panama that I wasn't ready to make that great leap of faith. And it's true that it would make it easier on me if he met my parents before I made serious decisions about my future. I mean, history is full of stories of star-crossed lovers who defied their parents and ran away together, often ending tragically like Romeo and Juliet. The best solution is to "get to yes," to negotiate on principles instead of positions, all the while preserving my relationships with everyone involved. I don't want to piss off my family and I don't want to lose Alexei. So I maintain that I'm doing the right thing.
On that note, I will simply say that we have all learned from experience that it is better to hold your ground than to consistently make sacrifices for your partner because in the end, you will not be happy. And if you are not happy, then how could your partner be happy? So in the end, you're left with an unhappy situation. The only way to create continued happiness in a relationship is to allow you to be you and me to be me and support (INSTEAD OF SACRIFICE) each other's individualities, growing independently, together.