Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I met in basic training for the military. We were on the same platoon, which means we lived with each other for 3 months prior to actually dating. We began seeing each other on our last weekend of our 12 week course, and stayed in constant communication afterwards. Making our relationship “official” shortly after graduating. We are 5,000 km apart right now for our training and there is no guarantee that we will end up posted to the same base. Currently, we’re just hoping for the best.
In the beginning, he used to say really cute things to me, and he wanted to FaceTime almost every night and call. He still texts me every morning, but he seems more interested in making sure he gets to Skype his buddies at night than me. I’m always the one calling or sending FaceTime/Skype invites. I get insecure very easily, and I don’t want that to affect our relationship, but I can’t help it. I fell head over heels in love with him. Could it be his age that is causing him to act this way? Do I say something to him?
That Military Life.
If something is important to you, you should always talk about it. Often a person won’t even realize they have been acting in a certain way until it is pointed out to them.
It is perfectly normal for him to want to spend time (both on and offline) with other important people in his life and I firmly believe that not only should we be ok with this, we should encourage it. Personally, I want to see my partner looking after his family, keeping up with his (now our) friends, encouraging his peers, offering guidance to younger/less experienced people in his circle, etc. His involvement tells me that he is genuinely a caring person, that it’s not just a face he shows to me, and gives me hope because I know in our hard times he will have people to support him, particularly if for some reason I am unable to do so.
Basically, I want you to realize that nurturing relationships other than the one he has with you is normal, healthy and will benefit you in the long term as long as he manages to balance his time commitments.
Tell him you struggle with insecurity and that it gives you a real boost if he initiates contact first. Let him know you respect his friends and their importance to his life but that you too are his friend (and more) and need to feel like a priority. Just be honest about how you feel and provide him with the safety to be honest too so that you can both see the situation from the other’s perspective.
Dear Miss U,
I have been in a very serious relationship with my boyfriend for two, almost three, years. We have never really let the distance affect us but that’s easier said than done. For us the distance isn’t even the issue, it’s my parents. My parents dislike my boyfriend and the thought of me ever dating him. They only let him visit once and it was for three and a half days. During which time we weren’t allowed to touch, hug, sit next to each other, MUCH LESS kiss. Everything we did was in secret in the small time we had alone (at most 3 minutes if even). It’s really really hard for me and I would give anything just to have my parents support our relationship. They say that they don’t like him because he has anxiety. I see that as no problem and he is now taking therapy and has gotten a lot better. We mail each other presents and such but it just can’t replace being with each other. My parents tried to make us stop talking for six months, and it isn’t the first time they tried to control my life. They have made some of my friends completely stop talking to me and in other cases have tried to force me to be friends with people I really don’t enjoy being with. My mother has many health issues and they often guilt me into things knowing that I have a very heavy conscience. Also, my boyfriend’s parents totally support us and have offered to buy me plane tickets and they paid for the whole trip last time except the hotel room which I paid over half. I just hoped maybe you could give advice <3
Dear Forbidden Love,
I’m all for living in the moment generally but in cases like this you need to focus on the future to make it through. Don’t look down at the muck that’s sucking your boots and slowing every step – look to the sun rising on the horizon.
Less poetically, what you need to do is start saving all your money. Work your arse off at your job to compile cash to fall back on, and study furiously to get good grades to secure your future. Focus on survival and getting the hell out of there the moment you legally can, without having to rely on anyone to save you.
He likely knows already how they have cut people out of your life, but it’s time to make a plan together for if they do it to him. Is there a family member of friend’s place he could send you mail? Have you memorized or hidden a physical copy of his details somewhere so you can still contact him if they format your hard drive or confiscate your phone? Will he promise to wait for you if you disappear for a couple of months?
Waiting is hard, but I promise you it is worth it. I too had to wait a long time. I too had periods where others controlled my friendships and internet access. But now I’m out the other side I want you to know something, two years isn’t forever. The days might feel long but the years truly are short, particularly if you are focused and working hard. One day soon you will be an adult with your own money and no bastard will be able to tell you who to love, where to sit, or that you can’t eat cake for breakfast. It will be glorious.
Life gets awesome once you move away from home; there is a reason people fight and die for freedom. For now, just endure. You can and will make up for all those lost kisses in time, but for now, take what joy you can from your romantic secret affair and play the long game. Perhaps once they see you both as adults happy together they will come to accept and support the relationship, I do hope so, but don’t let their issues weaken your resolve. You need to live your life for you.
It won’t suck forever, I promise.