How to deal with long-distance relationships

Mandhie asks: My boyfriend’s family relocated into another city, about an hour away. When he was leaving, he came to my house and broke out the news to me. I took it as ‘I am okay with it’ situation but I know he knows I was ‘acting’ and that I would really miss him. The night when his family left, words can’t express how much I cried, but I was able to put myself together after some weeks. Shirelle, I used to really seriously love and want this guy BUT now I feel I have given up on my love for him because I keep on having this mindset that he will meet someone else, perhaps a prettier girl than me. What confuses me is that I feel he is beginning to love me because he is always talking about how distant we are and how we won’t be able to see each other like we used to. I am very confident when we talk on the phone, which surprises him because he knows me to be a shy girl when I am around him. I still like him but why is that I am not feeling how I used to feel at first? Am I losing my love for him? Was it truly love that felt? Is my confusion because of how much I wept that night and the various mindsets I had about him getting another girl? This Friday is his birthday, so how should I talk with him then?

Hi Mandie –

As to your main question, about whether you’re losing your love for him, the fact is I have no idea – only you can know that.  But I do have a lot of thoughts about what might be going on.

First, those thoughts about him and other girls – those could come from a lot of sources.  Maybe you’re just imagining too strongly; maybe you’re thinking about cute boys and so your brain is avoiding guilt by picturing him with other girls; and maybe, just maybe, you’re picking up on some signals that he is actually looking elsewhere.  Any are possible.  Do any sound more right to you?  If so, that’s likely the correct one.

Second, about your feelings pulling back – those could be from a few reasons too.  Maybe you’re just getting a little tired of the relationship, after having spent time in it, and it not getting more fun; maybe you’re losing interest because of the distance you two are now apart; maybe you’re pulling back because he’s showing more love (this is very normal among people – and cats!); and maybe, just maybe, you’re protecting yourself from more devastating hurt, after how badly you took it when his family left.

Again, if one of those resonates with you, that’s most likely the right answer.

Okay, now about what to say to him – I would certainly not suggest you break up with him on his birthday (I’ve known cases where that’s happened, and it didn’t turn out well!).  I would just say to be the same you you’ve been.  Clearly he’s enjoying you!  And not to worry too much about it.

But there’s another issue here, that I think is really important.  And that’s the thing about you speaking up more on the phone with him, being more assertive than you were in person.  This is great!  And I wonder if a lot of what’s going on inside you is actually about this?  Maybe you’re liking this new you, and it’s changing how you deal with him, and perhaps with everyone else too!  And the crush you had on him was partly because you were shy and nervous and he was above you… and that’s just not the case anymore!

So my biggest advice to you is to keep enjoying this new you, and keep seeing if he’s enjoying it too.  And let time show what this does to your feelings.  This might be the most important change in your relationship, even more than his family’s move.  And what happens because of it might determine where everything goes in the future.

Best of Luck!


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