LDR Advice from Michelle and Frank

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I canceled our first meeting, am I being selfish?

Hi, sorry if this is long but it’s a problem for me and I just need advice cause I don’t know what to do at this point, though my friends and family give me advice but since they haven’t experienced what I am now, they really don’t know so..

Ok, so I’ve been dating a guy long distance (I’m in Oregon he’s in California) I met him in a mobile chatroom on my cell phone on December of 2006 (this whole relationship hasn’t really been online, we’ve actually decided to leave our relationship outside of the chatroom and only communicate thru phone calls and txt msgs) We’ve been together since up until recently (in December it will be 2yrs) we didn’t break up but he is kind of giving me the cold shoulder and I’ll explain why (which bothers me ’cause we’ve always had a strong connection no matter what) this is what I need help with.

In 2007 we weren’t able to meet for financial reasons and some problems him and I were going through, so in January of this year we had made plans that by Christmas we would meet and spend the Christmas together. In October he brought it up again, ’cause I had lost my job and some problems that I was going through I didn’t think much of us meeting this year cause I didn’t feel like it was going to happen, but he brought it up and asked if I was still coming, and I said I couldn’t make any promises, so he said ok. He mentioned that a friend was going to live in his town and that he needed to come back this way in December to visit some family, so he told his friend if they could take a detour and come over where I live so he could see me and his friend said yes, but he wasn’t exactly sure if his friend was going but if he did it was planned, his friend was fine with it and willing to help him out.

I’ve been having some problems over here where I live and at the time I told him to cancel because I felt like it wasn’t the right time for me right now, that I loved him so much, but I didn’t feel right because of everything that was going on over here with me I asked for him to be patient, I waited for him once and I needed him to wait for me this time. So I told him to wait for me, that in April I would go and see him. At first he seemed fine, he was sad and I knew it, I understood, but then after a couple of days I guess it kind of sunk in into his head and he started behaving different with me. He was acting more cold, and mad, and I understood I would be sad to, but then his friend had already gotten there and was staying with him, he talked to both of us and was asking me if I loved him I said yes, and he asked then what was the reason I didn’t I want to see him, that a person who loves another person would give at least 5 minutes just to see the one they loved, and I was acting like I didn’t want to, if after 2 years anyone would be desperate to see a person they loved. And I said that’s true, but that the love I feel for him isn’t temporary, a love that’s real, doesn’t need to be rushed, unless you want to meet a person to see if she/he is hot or not than that’s not love after 2 years, I agree, I do want to hold him and see him but at the moment everything seemed so hard, anyhow the friend ended up making me feel bad so I told my boyfriend to come. So once again the plan was back on. But after a while I still felt the same like something wasn’t right, I didn’t feel it was the right time for me.

So once again I told him to cancel 🙁 That’s when he started acting like this 🙁 Since then the phone calls went from everyday to once or twice a week, he said he didn’t really feel like talking to me, I asked why (even though I knew why) he said because, I said, “I understand if you’re mad at me and if you feel hurt, I just need you to understand it’s nothing to do with you.” He said, “You don’t understand…don’t you understand you crushed my dreams of being with you and seeing you.” And I couldn’t say anything.

Well to my dilemma, he said he would wait for me, that he’s not giving up on us, but that he was going to wait for me his own way (I have no clue what he means by that) and that he wasn’t going to be the same (by that he meant the way I’m used to him being with me) he is really crushed and I understand, but is it wrong for me to get mad as well for him not trying to understand me? I mean if you really love a person, even if it’s hard, if they need you to understand should one try to?

I mean why is he behaving this way? These last couple of days I feel like he’s giving up and so am I. I don’t really feel like I used to. What’s going on? Did I mess up? If I did how can I fix this?

I’m just so sad and all the above that at this moment I don’t know how to take all this that I just feel like telling him, “You know what, don’t wait for me, let’s just break this off since you can’t be strong for me when I need you to!”

I don’t know tell me? What do I do? Did I really mess up? Am I being selfish?


Michelle says…

It’s hard for me to give you an answer without knowing the reason you did not want to see him. You were very vague about that, and if you want to include why so I can understand, by all means. But here’s my answer based on what you’ve said.

He was obviously let down. You’ve been together for 2 years and have not yet been able to meet in person. And the one chance you guys get to plan something, you canceled it, and then canceled it again. I do agree with the friend that said that if you love someone you’d do what it takes to see them, not much could hold you back. (again, I have no idea what it is that is keeping you from meeting him my answer could be really different if I only knew and was able to understand your point of view better). He may feel that this was your chance to meet, and when will you get that chance again? It has taken 2 YEARS to have this 1 chance, and it got canceled. It wasn’t like you canceled and had an alternative date to meet that was reasonably close in time to the canceled date, but you didn’t. So he has no real reassurance that there will be a next time. You told him April, but that is 4 months later than expected, and that is not guaranteed either by the sounds of it.

If things at home aren’t great, could you meet them somewhere else? Even if they couldn’t stay the night at your place, could you at least meet in person and spend the day together? Or even part of the day? I mean, it seems that any type of meeting with you would put his mind at ease about this instead of not knowing when he’ll have a real chance to see you again. To him this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I would consider meeting him during the time he wanted to come, and sticking to it. I think he will only continue to distance himself if there are no promises of seeing each other in the near future. He’s waited this long for you and he probably feels that you are being selfish by asking him to wait longer. Visits between long distance couples are very important. They give us something to look forward to and help keep the relationship strong. They remind us why we’re sticking out the long distance and what the future holds in store for us when we finally get to be together. Quite frankly I’m surprised you’ve been able to sustain a long distance relationship for this long without meeting in person and only being able to text and talk on the phone.

Is there a part of you that is afraid to meet him in person? Is there some other underlying reason you might be avoiding meeting him? Have you become too comfortable with the distance? If he doesn’t understand your excuses for not meeting in December, I think there’s a good reason he feels that way. I know that times are not good and you lost your job, but it seems that there doesn’t have to be much effort on your part for this first meeting. He’s the one spending the money to come and is the one taking the detour to see you.

I want you to take a look at something you said:

“the love I feel for him isn’t temporary, a love that’s real, doesn’t need to be rushed, unless you want to meet a person to see if she/he is hot or not than that’s not love after 2 years”

This just sounds like another excuse to not see him. I don’t think he’s rushing this meeting at all. It’s been 2 YEARS! That is by no means rushing. He loves you and waited this long for you, and that is REAL love, and in your statement it sounds like you’re saying that YOUR love for him is real, but for some reason his love must not be real if he wants to “rush” this meeting. This statement is really belittling to his feelings, and I don’t think you’re respecting his feelings if you can say this with the implication that his love is not real because he doesn’t want to wait longer than 2 years.

I really feel you must have some underlying insecurities in meeting him in person and I think you need to think about what those might be. Everyone feels anxious when they first meet the other person. And that is completely normal. But don’t let that keep you from meeting him. I think you’ll only end up regretting it if you do.

Do you love him? If the answer is yes, then meet him. Do this for him if you love him. And do it for yourself. After the first meeting you won’t feel so anxious about the next time. Don’t blow this chance to meet him. Your relationship might not survive long enough to have another chance.

Of course, if he wants you to do things you’re not comfortable with on your first meeting, then I can understand why you might be uncomfortable. Again, you haven’t given me the full story, so I don’t know this. There could be valid reasons that you don’t want to meet him. And I think if you are uncomfortable with the way he interacts with you to the point where you don’t want to meet him, then I think you should take a look at your relationship and consider whether or not you want to remain in this relationship.

And if it’s just nerves, as I said, don’t let them stop you from meeting him.

If you want to better explain your reasons for not wanting to meet him in December, then by all means let me know and I’ll give you my advice based on that.

But I hope I was able to help.


Elizabeth’s reply…

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for answering my question a couple of days ago. You said I was a little vague about why I didn’t want my bf (Oscar) to come see me so- ill explain it more clearly, so you can tell me what it is that I can do to stop what I feel.

Sorry if this gets a little long bear with me, but in order for you to understand you will need to know this. Try not to doze of lol.

In 2001, a good friend of mine Kurt who I was absolutely in love with since I was 12, had came back in to town after leaving for 3yrs almost 4, last time I had seen him I was 15 then his family decided to leave to California. Like I said, he was a really good friend of mines and of the family’s. They saw him like part of the family, but of course I seen him different. Well the year he came I was 18 at the time and everything was different, I was more confident and more grown up then before, I used to be so shy with him cause of what I felt, anyhow to fast forward to the point, we finally had gotten together almost right away when he came back. So that year I made a decision to humm…how can I say it? For him to be my first? So it happened and everything was going good, until 1 month later he left back to California, you have no idea how I felt. I was so sad, you could only imagine how I felt.

Anyhow, I had to get over him cause I realized he probably wasn’t coming back for a long time, I felt bad yes cause I felt he had a choice and he decided to leave me with out even thinking of me.

So almost a year later when I was 19, I began chatting with a man online his name was Michael, and it soon became into a LDR (I had never believed in those but I gave it a shot) the bad part about that was that he had an ex-wife and 2 daughters. Michael was 2yrs older then me, I wasn’t too happy about the whole ex and all it was to much baggage for me but I gave him a chance. So we continued our relationship for 8 months until he decided to come to my town to meet me, I was so excited cause I was finally going to meet the man who I felt strongly for, When he came he stayed for one night, which was a Saturday and left Sunday early morning.

Everything seemed fine when he got back home we talked on the phone like usual, but he seemed so distant almost like he didn’t want to talk to me. So I let him be for 2 days then after those 2 days I texted him to see how he was doing, his ex wife answered, she asked what was it that I wanted and who was I? So I was in shock, I didn’t know how to feel honestly at the moment I was so shocked, so I answered and I told her exactly who I was, anyway this women called me and started cursing at me and saying so many things, it ended up that Michael and his wife where trying to get back together even before he came to see me. The sick part was that the wife knew about me, and knew about the trip, and let her husband come because he said he was going to bring gifts for her and her daughters from Oregon.

It was horrible, it was as if I got played by 2 people, bad part that I did sleep with him and I felt so trashy, I felt used, and like I was that story to tell the friends about an out of town girl that you slept with of all people I had to trust this guy. The worse part was that he didn’t come alone, his friend came along with him, so he knew about the whole thing as well. You have no idea how I felt. To make things worse it was around that time when I heard from my cousin who was also friends with Kurt that he was engaged to be married a couple of months from then. He left me the women who has know him since child hood for a girl who only knew him for months and on top of that she was going to have his child. Gosh!

Then 3 years ago I started dating again for the first time in a long time after Kurt and Michael, I dated this guy whose name was John for 4 months and suddenly on our 5 month he dropped a bomb on me, he said he had to go back to his country and he didn’t know when he was coming back. He asked me to wait for him; I said no, he came back a month after that he looked for me but still.

Now that I told you all that, now can you understand why I didn’t want him to come? I got confused for a while I felt scared and at the same time, like you said maybe I got to comfortable with the distance, like that I knew he couldn’t hurt me so bad like he could in person. Honestly, this whole time, ill give you in example of exactly how I felt when I realized that he was serious.

When you’re asleep and having the best dream you could possibly have, like if you won 1 million dollars. In you dream everything seems so perfect. You can’t believe you won and suddenly the alarm wakes you up to go to work. What happened to your dream? It was all in your sleep- in your head, that feeling that you had dreaming is all gone, you woke up to reality. That’s exactly how I felt when he said he was coming, it’s like I woke up from a dream.

The distance in way kept me safe, it’s so hard for me to get over what happened to me in the past. The first thing that came to my head was, no, this is not going to happen to me again. I rather lose him this way then get played like I did by Michael, Kurt, and John.

So now, all this that’s happened has made me insecure of myself, sometimes I wonder why these things happen to me, I’m beginning to think that it’s me. There’s gotta be something wrong with me that these guys had to play me this way. It’s not a coincidence that all these guys would do almost the same thing in different ways and left. And I cannot take that happening again from Oscar, I rather not go through it again. If something is wrong with me, I rather lose Oscar then him knowing.

I told him I would go in April to see him, he was unsure of me he didn’t really trust me cause of the canceling and all that so I bought round trip tickets for April 2009 to re assure him. But I still feel this way, and I need to stop feeling this way before I feel the same thing when it comes time for me to go see him.

In a way, I feel like I need to work through my issues before having a relationship with him. I don’t want to lose him. But then again I rather lose him then him doing the same thing to me as the others.

I don’t know, sorry for such a long email. I hope you can sit through it all. Well if you have some advice for me, please advise me. Cause at this point I really don’t know what to do.

Thanks for your help.

Michelle says…

Thank you so much for explaining everything. It seems in the past you had rushed things with Michael. Sleeping with a person is big step in relationship, and you probably did it too soon with Michael, since you had slept together the first time you met. I can totally understand how incredible a first meeting can be and how much temptation there is, and how frequently this would happen in LDRs when they meet for the first time. But for you it was probably too much. Because in the end you ended up getting hurt more after your break up. If you had met and had kept it casual, you would have still been hurt to find out he was with his ex-wife but you wouldn’t have been hurt nearly as much.

So obviously because you’re scared of being hurt by Oscar, you can learn from your mistake the first time, and this time set boundaries for yourself, and let Oscar know those boundaries before you meet him. You can tell him you’re not comfortable becoming sexually intimate on your first meeting and that you just want to get to know him in person a bit better and feel more secure about your relationship before you take that step. If he loves you he will undoubtedly understand and will probably do most anything to get to see you in person. So set your rules.

If Oscar doesn’t know about your past, explaining it to him as you did for me will definitely help. If you let him know, it will give him the chance to give you reassurance about his love for you.

So now that you bought the tickets does he feel any better? Or is he still distancing himself?

Obviously for him, the sooner he can see you the better and if you decide to let him come see you in December just make it on your own terms and set your boundaries. Decide if he’ll stay the night at your place, where he’ll sleep, and what you’re comfortable with physically. If he knows about your past, he should be able to understand why you want to take things slow when you first meet.

As you probably know, you can’t keep the distance cushion forever; things either have to end in a break up, or you meet the other person. You can’t drag him along and make him wait forever. And I think it’s great you bought the tickets. Just follow through! And if you can set your terms and he can agree to them, and you can feel comfortable about seeing him sooner, then by all means!

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. Love is about taking risks. And you took them, but you couldn’t help what the other men did to you. I think with Oscar, you obviously have something special if you’ve been able to make it last for 2 years. I don’t know why anyone would stay in a relationship that long with someone they didn’t love. So I do think he loves you. If you don’t take take the next step and meet him, and take those risks, then you’ll only lose him.

“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it…It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.”


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