Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I have been long distance for more than a year now. He’s truly loving and amazing when he’s in person with me. He is super affectionate and sweet and plans nice things for us to do! We only see each other one weekend a month which is really really hard for me and it’s amazing when we’re together. But why am I always the one to cry when he leaves? All he says is the distance will be over soon. I think I get so emotional because I know how it is when we’re apart. When he leaves he can go days without calling and minimal texting. I go along with it but on the inside I’m a little sad and hurt. I mention it but he always has an excuse (he has work, but he could always call me on his drive home from work, right?). It almost feels like the weekend was enough until the next month. He does text me lovey things but he’s just not the same as he is in person. Is this normal? What should I do? Do you think that it’ll be alright once we move in together in some months like he keeps telling me?
One year distance
Dear One Year Distance,
I have the sense that he doesn’t realize just how much this bothers you, possibly because you “go along with it”. If you’re losing sleep over this, if you need more from the long distance portion of your relationship, you need to speak up and advocate for yourself!
Be firm and tell him, “I’m not looking for excuses, I’m asking that we work together and find a solution.” Clearly tell him that you feel lonely and neglected, and either present him with a list of possible remedies or brainstorm together to reach a compromise.
With that said, some people do express themselves quite differently in person than they do online. Some people are uncomfortable with that buffer of technology between themselves and their partners. Some people hate being tied to their devices all the time. There are countless reasons! But I think his willingness to help you feel more fulfilled in the relationship is the thing that will be telling of whether or not everything will be fine when you live together.
If he dismisses your concerns or says he will make changes and doesn’t, that’s a red flag. That tells you that when you have rough patches down the road he will be unlikely to work with you on a solution and expects you to carry the weight of the relationship. If however, he listens and makes you feel heard; if you feel genuinely cared for, even if he doesn’t reach the level of contact you might desire (because that might not actually be possible or sustainable), I would advise you to stick it out.
Lastly, my general minimum-standard guide I give people on frequency of communication is 3-5 text messages (that’s total texts, not text conversations!) and one hour of real-time voice communication (phone, Facetime, Skype, etc) per day. It’s very hard to keep a healthy relationship if you’re not communicating at least this much.
Best of luck to you.
Dear Miss U,
I have been in a relationship for more than a year now, and recently I have been kinda feeling down and not like myself. I feel like he has changed, or we have changed. I don’t know I feel so confused. I love him very much and he loves me more. But sometimes I can’t LDR just becomes too overwhelming.
I don’t know what to do, and I feel like am taking it all out on him. Even when he doesn’t message me for few minutes, I get mad, but for him it’s okay when I don’t message on time. He is the best actually; he really cares and he really loves me. I just don’t want to feel like this on my part. Do you think its normal Miss U? I just miss him so much and I get angry at him for being away even though both of us can’t do anything about it. I really hope you can help Miss U.
The first step into getting better is realizing you have a problem, and you have taken that step. You realize you are taking your frustration out on him. You realize that you are overwhelmed and need help. That’s a wonderful thing, even if you can’t yet appreciate how great it truly is.
Are you feeling not yourself only within the context of your relationship, or would you say that you are feeling a little off within yourself and it is affecting other areas of your life too?
It’s ok, normal even, to get overwhelmed sometimes and it’s good that you’re turning to your boyfriend, but you need to be honest with him even if your feelings are irrational, and you need to apologize if you get snarky with him and you know you’re actually just angry at the situation, not him. A heartfelt apology goes a long way!
Beyond that the best I can suggest is doing things that aid your mental health so that you can quickly find your way back to yourself, such as exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, going outside for at least ten minutes a day, eating whole foods, especially plants, and aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Invest time into your passions, the things that make you who you are and make your soul sing, and do your best to curb your negative thoughts as they happen. Count your blessings too; it sounds corny, but when we practice gratitude it helps us re-focus our minds on what is important and we pave the way to happiness.
If you find these feelings continue, or they are impeding you from living your day to day life, your doctor is the best person to talk to.