Dear Miss U,
We broke up 6 years ago. I needed more and he said no, so with my first job offer on the other side of the world I left. After a year on my leave, we had short visits as “just friends.”
Today I live a $600+ flight away. A year ago I wrote explaining that I miss him and if there was a chance for us. He said yes, but was seeing someone. So, I met someone else.
My new relationship grew until a few months ago he started to talk marriage. I had a panic attack suddenly when I realized that meant no future with my ex. I told my ex how I felt on our next visit and asked his thoughts. He’s usually closed emotionally but did tell me: he put up a wall when we ended and I’m the only one that’s ever been able to pass it. And, when we split 6 years ago he was failing out of school. That’s why he couldn’t give more.
So.. After lots of confusion and painful deliberation, I’ve broken it off with the marriage guy. I updated my ex that I was doing it, and we also had a casual short convo this week.
My ex is awkward, silent on feelings, thoughts, wants, and rarely the initiator. This can leave me feeling unsure to push or call. I’m willing to move his way, but it has to be either in 6 months or 1 year due to winter and driving. I’d like to get this going, to find out if there’s a chance for us, and if my future includes a big move. But, right now there’s a weird awkwardness as we’re not used to regular communication, and I don’t want to put too much pressure on him too quick. How do I go about it all?
Out of everything the one thing that is clear is that a future without this guy isn’t a future you are interested in, so I’d encourage you to plan for a six-month move rather than a year. Because he isn’t very forthcoming, I would err on the side of doing what you need to do to further the relationship without pushing him to catch up. Take steps toward your own happiness, do what feels right and trust that he will tell you if you reach a point he isn’t yet willing to go beyond.
You can’t make him talk to you, but you can foster an environment in which he feels safe to talk by sharing your own feelings and not flying off the handle if he shares a feeling that you find upsetting (such as “I don’t feel ready to live together” or “I feel a little overwhelmed, I think I’d rather stay home alone Friday and play Mass Effect.”) Keep talking until you understand each other. You don’t have to agree, but you do have to understand. Ask each other “Why?”
Beyond that: keep it fun, ease into regular communication, and find out what you each expect short term as well as sharing long term goals.
I’m happy you’re doing this. Yours is going to be a great love story one day!
Dear Miss U
I’ve been dating this girl who has unbelievable chemistry and feelings for me as I do for her. But, the thing that is bothering both of us is the fact that I’m probably gonna leave the college that we both currently go to, and will probably be going to a school that’s about 17 hours away. This is because of my pursuit of baseball. The thing is that even though it’s just been two months, we really have strong feelings for each other. It’s gonna be very hard to find a way for things to work because of the distance and because of our emotions that we have. What can we do? Or should we do? PLEASE HELP!
Can you delay changing schools until you’ve had a bit more time together to solidify things?
Before you do make the move talk about how you will make this relationship a priority once it becomes a LDR. Discuss how visits might work, and what fun things you can do together at a distance so that you’re still nourishing the bond between you. Try your best to put a positive spin on it – not all aspects of long distance are hard, after all.
For a relationship to be successful (near or far!) it needs to be a priority and you need to communicate honestly. Oftentimes that’s going to mean saying no to your new mate’s party on a Saturday night so you can go home and Skype. It means not being too embarrassed to Facetime in public if that’s the only time you both have available that day. It means keeping track of the things she’s told you about so you know when to say “good luck with that exam today” or “I know you’re at recital, I’m thinking of you and I know you’ll blow them all away!” And of course, it’s being strong enough to say “I have a girlfriend back home” without getting all weird about it.
If you both want each other and this relationship enough you will find a way to make your long distance relationship every bit as fulfilling as your near proximity relationship is. Love is about people not about distance; focus on each other and what you do have rather than the distance.
You’re a blessing on each other’s lives, no matter where in the world you are.