Dear Miss U,
I met this guy on the internet because we had things in common and I wanted to send him a message. The first thing I did was trying to know if he was a f***** psycho or not. He isn’t. So… We’ve been talking for a few weeks, and we have so much in common. We think the same way and we both go really fast if there’s feeling. I like him and he likes me.
I want to take the next step, but he doesn’t because maybe we won’t see each other until next year due to exams and family problems. He lives in another city, so it’s difficult to see each other. I think we can work this out if we try, but he thinks we will get hurt. What can I do to “survive” this year? Is there something that I can do for us to not REALLY miss each other? I want to have a relationship with him and make him being secure of it, but I don’t know how to do it.
Let’s open with this thing about psychos. I’ve known them. I’ve dated them. And in my darkest periods I’ve been them. Some psychos are good people with poor mental health. Some psychos are getting help. Some are not. Some are just arseholes. But something I feel is true for all people, particularly “psychos,” is that we all learn how to get around in society. We learn how to look like we fit in, even if we know we truly don’t. If you were to meet a real psycho, online or in real life, the chances that you’ll pick up on it after a few weeks of talking are very slim. That’s how people end up in toxic or even abusive relationships because people who are out to harm and manipulate don’t show all their crazy at once. They do it slowly and they do it in such a way that YOU believe you are the problem.
This guy is probably just a regular Joe. A good honest person. Don’t think I’m implying he isn’t. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t assume that he’s safe or that you’ve got this all figured out after a few weeks or even a couple of years of talking. Random true story: My Dad was the sweetest most romantic guy. Sure there were one or two red flags, but he was certainly not a psycho. Ma dated him several years, near-proximity before they married. He managed to hide his alcohol problem all those years, and he didn’t start beating the shit out of her until they were securely married with a baby on the way. Just like the wife he had before her. Thus I’m a huge fan of caution (and even that has not saved me.)
On to your actual question… Yes, there is one thing I know works if you don’t want to miss each other a whole lot: Don’t meet in person. Once that first visit is done you know on a whole new level exactly who and what you are missing and the whole long distance thing gets approximately a hundred times harder. Sadly, the more you know each other and the deeper in love you fall the harder it will get. The longer you stay long distance, even though you get better at it through experience, the harder it is to tolerate. Love, near or far, is not for the faint of heart so my best advice is to take it slowly and savor every little step. Those steps of progress are the things that restore your sanity through the long months or years. They are the shining beacons of light that keep you going so don’t burn through them all at once!
To survive the best things to do are: keep busy, focusing on your goals and projects; keep the relationship enjoyable, making an effort to have fun together; and stay positive. Focus on the “relationship” part of being in an LDR not the “distance” part.
The feeling of security comes with time and familiarity, and yes, it’s totally worth it!
Dear Miss U,
I’ve been dating my girlfriend in NJ for a year now. It’s been great, I love her, and we have great plans together. Eventually, I want to move up there with her so we can start our future. Recently, there’s been something bothering me.
I have a neighbor who has a boyfriend and a child. She may be around my age. But for some reason, I can’t stop thinking of her. The thoughts aren’t romantic, sexual, or with me and her, it’s just her. I don’t feel any attraction or feelings to her whatsoever. I just think of her. Sometimes I’ll even look out my window to see if she may be out there just to be nosey. And to clarify, I don’t have any intention of speaking to her or getting to know her. But I just think of her.
She kind of does remind me of my girlfriend in some ways, but my girlfriend is so much better than her, so I don’t know why I waste my thoughts on this girl I don’t even know.
Is this normal for an LDR due to lack of closeness with my partner? Not being able to see my girlfriend every day in person?
I don’t have feelings for this random girl, but I just think of her.
Please help. I want the thoughts to go away, and I feel lost, and depressed from it.
At the risk of sounding like a crazy hippie (which incidentally I am,) do you think maybe you’re picking up something from your neighbor on a sub-vocal level? Perhaps she really needs a friend right now or is struggling in some way and you’re on the right wavelength to pick up on that?
Judging from your age and your guess that she’s in your peer group, I’m going to assume her child is quite young. Young motherhood can be very alienating and stressful. Boyfriend or not, I would not be surprised if on some level she was lonely. I feel it’s entirely credible that you might subconsciously be reaching out to her in a response to her personal vibe.
Secondly, it’s perfectly fine to have friends who have vulvas. Especially when both you and said human with a vulva are in happy committed relationships of your own. You’re not attracted to her, you’re happy with your girlfriend and have a future with her. There’s nothing wrong with you reaching out to your neighbor, having the odd chat or even a cup of coffee. Perhaps if you interact with her and satisfy your curiosity this nagging feeling will go away. I know you said you have no intention of doing this, but I feel like it would be the fastest way to get your mind off her. For example, I always think I want crisps, but then I put one in my mouth and I remember they are salty, oily, and disgusting and I stop thinking about them.
Once you know her better and pick up on a few of her undesirable traits (we all have them!) I’m sure this niggle in the back of your mind will be resolved.