Is it good to start a long-distance relationship?

Wolfy asks: Ever heard the phrase, “If you love something set it free; if it comes back it’s yours; if not it never was”? There is a guy who was in my fifth grade class, who now is in my middle school. We never really got to know each other in 5th grade and I did not “like” him. Now in middle school it is the same story… or at least it was at the beginning. Every week he has a new girlfriend; he is now your classic modern teenage boy with the cute hair and every thing. I found though that he is very smart and is very much like me and my other friends. I found that he is acting – covering up who he really is. I am a weird person and so is he – I can just tell. Back to the phrase, would that phrase count in this problem? He will be going to a different high school than me. I figure that if me and my friends an hour away from me can stay in touch, that maybe me and him can. It would be even better than the situation with my friends because it would be easier to go out on dates. The thing I am most afraid of is Life. Life has messed up every situation with someone I love. My dad, and my friends. There is little left but it is growing back. I like this boy but I am not so sure about it. “It” as in actually dating. “It” as in hurting again. My dad and my friends leaving me within the same month was hard and it has not been even a year. What do you think?

Hi Wolfy –

To my mind, you’re really asking two questions, or at least you’re bringing up two things.  One is about whether this boy going to high school far away will bring you closer.  The other is about your fear of what Life does.

That famous line about letting something go probably was originally written about a dog – don’t you think?  We’re so loyal to those we love, but we’re always pulling to get away and sniff the world out.  So it’s a great test with a dog to let it go and see if or when it comes back.  And if it doesn’t, yeah, it probably wants to be with someone else.  (Of course, in a city, there are a lot of very good reasons not to try this experiment – cars, police, dog-nappers… keep that pup HOME!)

But it also does apply to people, especially with romance.  If you’re dating someone and they say they need space, it’s very normal to suddenly cling all the tighter to them.  Which is likely to make them feel suffocated.  Whereas if you say “okay, go ahead,” you might well find that they come back to you, happy and refreshed.

But this boy, at least if I’m understanding your letter right, doesn’t currently have a relationship with you, right?  So what you’re asking is whether or not to become friends with him, as you two move apart, in hope that more happens?  Well, that’s a hard question to answer.  It’s possible that it could work out, of course.  But it’s also possible that he could enjoy being popular at that other school, and not see any reason to date someone an hour away.

So if that was all there was to your question, I’d say “Sure, why not!  You’ve got nothing to lose!”

But in a way, you do.  You’ve been so hurt by your dad and your friends leaving, that I’m not sure it’s a great idea to do something as risky as getting involved with someone far away.  Wouldn’t you rather befriend, or date, someone who’s around more?

Wolfy, I’m not telling you what to do.  You have a far bigger brain than I, and you know how you and this boy relate (which I have no idea of).  But I will just say, treat yourself well.  I just hate seeing you complain about how Life has treated you. Life is glorious, and the way we get to experience love and fun and joy and pizza.  So what I really want for you is for Life to become something you embrace, instead of something you fear.

And if that can happen through a long-distance relationship with a cute boy, then I’m all for it.  And if not, I sure want you to find it in some other ways.

Because you completely deserve it.

Good Luck, my friend!


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