Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I normally have a phenomenal relationship. He said I love you first, we have talked about moving in together for a long time, and although we are complete opposites, we have an amazing time together.
Recently, my boyfriend moved away to attend a training program for a very intense job for 2 months. It requires a lot of work and time, and we hardly get to text throughout the day, but we talk every night. Before he left, he was texting me all the time with sweet things, and now I’m lucky if I get a short sentence out of him. He always says he is tired and needs to focus. He is hardly ever sweet and doesn’t seem interested in my day. The other day I got upset and asked if he still wanted to move in with me (his new job after training requires us both to move), and he asked me why I would even ask that. We have been looking at apartments together and starting a life, but he is so emotionally distant it makes me wonder if he cares. To make matters worse, he is hanging out with friends on his down time and not texting me when he does have the chance after school work. One of his friends is a female, who he texts and has on Snapchat. It makes me very nervous, my last partner left me during his training to be a paramedic for a classmate. I am worried that he likes this girl more because of shared interests, and that he will leave me. I love him to death and he has said on more than one occasion I’m ‘The one’, yet I can’t shake this feeling.
Am I just insecure?
Dear Confused Girl,
He’s busy. He’s tired. And whilst I bet he misses you like nobody else, he probably misses his friends too. We all need our friends and our friends deserve to remain a priority just as our significant others do.
Just because his friend has a vagina doesn’t mean he is at all interested in spending his life with her. I bet he believes he is doing this intense training for you and the future you will build together. I bet he tells his classmates about how amazing and supportive his girlfriend is. Heck, I bet he brags to this other girl about you too.
I’m not a believer that men and women can’t be “just friends,” in fact one of the bridemaids at my wedding was a bloke – a bridesman. I’m not attracted to him and though we have plenty in common we could never make it work as a couple. There’s just no threat there. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t get upset at your boyfriend Snapchatting a guy friend, then it makes no sense to be upset about him snapping his friend who just happens to have a vagina. Remember, his friends are people, first and foremost.
It’s hard but we mustn’t judge or punish our current partners for the mistakes of our exes.
You’re still talking every night. He might be exhausted, but he hasn’t forgotten or replaced you.
Hang in there.
Dear Miss U,
I am studying abroad for 10 months in total. We’re now halfway. Before these 10 months started, we have been dating for 2 months. So we don’t know each other that well. My former relationship, we could do whatever we wanted. This made for trouble in the beginning, since I thought that a lot of things were allowed. Plus, I like to be honest so I told him everything. That made him really jealous in the beginning and we almost broke up because of that. So I stopped saying everything, and sometimes I told a white lie because otherwise he would panic for no reason. But he discovered this and now he feels like he can’t trust me (because of this, but also because we haven’t known each other for a long time). And because of this, he barely asks me things because he is afraid I will “lie” again. But I am honestly a really good person with her heart in the right place. And for the longest time I have thought: the distance is so hard, but we just have to get through it. Because when we can be together again for real, I think a lot of the jealousy and problems will go away because we get to know each other better. And because when we are together we have so much fun! Sometimes issues come up, which are mostly related to the distance. He has been really negative about the distance. While I have hope for when the distance is over.. But.. is it really the distance? Can the distance screw so much up and make so much difference? If so, how can I deal with this? I’m afraid it will break us.
I don’t think it’s the distance. I think the distance is a convenient scapegoat here. Judging solely by your letter there seems to be a miscommunication about the rules of your relationship which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. You need to call him up and discuss exactly what is allowed in this relationship and if you can’t come to an agreement you need to find yourself a less controlling partner, it’s that simple.
It isn’t okay to feel like you can’t be your true self in a relationship. It’s not cool to be scared how your partner will react to something you say or do, particularly when your heart is in the right place. It’s not normal to feel like you have to tell little lies (or big ones) and if you do so anyway –like you have discovered – you destroy the trust between yourself and your partner. Of course he isn’t going to ask you things! He has no way to verify if you are telling the truth or if you’re just saying what you think he wants to hear. This isn’t how healthy relationships roll and closing the distance won’t change that.
Don’t wait to get to know each other until you’re physically together (and getting distracted by the physicality of being together!) get to know each other now. Talk to each other! If you can’t be in situations you can at least discuss how you would react if you were. You can ask each other’s opinion, you can debate, and you can invite each other into the inner world of your mind and heart.
Some people who write to me wait years upon years to meet in person even once. Do you think these people still do not know each other? Would they do the distance with someone who might be fundamentally different in reality? Of course not!
Your boyfriend might just be insecure because of the distance, but chances are he is an inherently jealous person by nature and that is the kind of thing you need to know at the start as it could shape a lot of things in your relationship. I am jealous (and maybe a wee bit controlling,) so I’m not saying we’re bad or unlovable at all, but I am saying a jealous person’s needs are likely to be a bit different than those of someone more relaxed.
Talk to each other without lying to spare feelings and find out if this relationship is something you both want or if you’d be better off as friends. Closing the distance is not a band-aid; only communication can fix the problems in your relationship long-term.