Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend is Always Out of Town”

Seven months ago, I started dating a wonderful man. The only problem is, that he travels for work. A lot. As in sometimes I only see him two days out of the month, and even when he is home, it’s hard to get time to ourselves because everyone wants to see him while he’s here. Both of us want the other in our lives for the long run, and we get along really well, and have pretty good communication…except on this issue. I’ve said in the past that while I can deal with this arrangement for now, I don’t think it is something that is sustainable for more than about another year (at least for me).

It’s not that I sit around pining for him, though. I’m working on my masters, have a part-time job, see my friends often, have hobbies, and I think that I’m pretty independent. I just want to see my boyfriend for more than two days out of the month.

Am I being selfish for wanting him home more? Should I even mention this, or just wait and see if it gets better? Should I just wait a few months, and see if his schedule becomes less hectic? I don’t want to tell him what to do, or guilt him into staying here, because if this was where he wanted to be, wouldn’t he be here? I guess I just want to know that this won’t last forever, and that there’s some sort of end date. Having told him I don’t want to do this much more than another year, should I just have that as my “sell by” date, and MOA if nothing’s changed by then? I’m just afraid that I’ll end up waiting forever. What do you think? — Girl with the Part Time Boyfriend

Why would you not mention something to your boyfriend that’s bothering you so much about your relationship that you’re considering leaving him if it’s left unresolved? Doesn’t it make much more sense to take an active role in, you know, resolving the issue rather than passively hoping it simply “gets better” on its own? Come on, this is your life! Don’t just let it happen to you. Take some control, for God’s sake. If you’re unsatisfied, do something about it. Say something!

How do you say something? Like this: “Hey, Boyfriend, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that in order to feel satisfied and fulfilled in this relationship, I need to see you more often. You know I care about you and want a future with you, but given how much time your job takes you out of town and how committed you are to your job, I’m wondering if it’s realistic for me to expect anything to change in the near future. I don’t want you to make career sacrifices you aren’t ready to make, but I also don’t want to invest much more time in a relationship that ultimately may not be right for me if there are already signs that we aren’t well-matched.”

You have needs and if your boyfriend can’t meet them, it isn’t selfish for you to look for someone else who can. Make sure your boyfriend understands that these needs of yours are immediate. If he can’t tell you when and how his career situation will change and when you can expect to see much more of him, quit wasting time on this relationship and MOA.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

30 comments… add one
  • Budj

    Budj March 29, 2012, 9:07 am

    “Like +1”

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    ReginaRey March 29, 2012, 9:21 am

    I’m always a bit perplexed by people who think that they’re being unreasonable for having basic needs…like seeing your boyfriend more than twice per month. Honestly, what exactly has led us to expect so little out of a relationship that we end up questioning whether we need the basics from a relationship? — Like time spent together.

    LW, from what you’ve said, you started dating this guy 7 months ago, yet he’s constantly traveling and often you don’t even see him more than twice per month. While I don’t deny the legitimacy of long distance relationships, I think it’s really difficult to START a relationship with long distance. I think it’s pretty obvious that you two didn’t get to know each other well enough, and figure out how best to communicate with each other, before he jetted off for work…which means that you really had no solid foundation on which to express your concerns, because you haven’t evolved that far yet in your relationship.

    I’m not saying you can’t get to that point, but like Wendy said, you can’t passively wait for it to happen. Bring it up pointedly. And if it’s obvious that this situation is what he’s comfortable with for the forseeable future, then MOA. It’s obvious that YOU aren’t comfortable with it, so don’t sacrifice your desire for basic needs to be met just because it’s convenient and easy to stick around. You wouldn’t be doing your self-respect any favors if you did.

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  • avatar

    TheGirl March 29, 2012, 9:26 am

    You started dating him knowing his schedule and if you never tell him, why would he ever think you have a problem with it? Help the guy out and tell him what’s on your mind.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark March 29, 2012, 2:22 pm

      Genius. So on point! 🙂

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  • FireStar

    FireStar March 29, 2012, 9:48 am

    When you told him you couldn’t do this for more than a year – what did he say? That things would change within a year or that he understood you would move on at that time? You need to have a conversation about your future together – what you both want for yourselves and to see if that matches up with the other person. I wish women would stop feeling like expressing their feelings somehow made them the dreaded “needy”. I understand it – but you need to rise above that. You are human – you are supposed to have needs. If he says he’ll make changes then fine you can ride it out – if it is worth it to you – to see if he actually makes room in his life for you before you MOA – but if his plan is to live like this for the foreseeable future then you have saved yourself a year – or in boyfriend terms 24 days.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW March 29, 2012, 10:01 am

      Right, that’s my question too. Clearly, she has brought this up and it has been discussed.

      My hunch is that she and/or he are grappling with asking/offering for such a big change until they’ve been together a reasonable amount of time –it’s not dissimilar to the dilemma that long distance couples face. How much time is enough time to justify making a big lifestyle change for another person?

      I think in cases like this, people wade in by speaking in hypotheticals and my guess is that this is how these conversations about the one year timeline have happened. I’m guessing too, by the tone of the letter, that maybe one year seemed reasonable at first but now as time is passing by, it seems intolerable to wait that long. It also sounds like LW sees it as a big gamble (not wanting to waste time waiting on someone).

      My advice is not to leave it at “wait and see in a year” –I think there is plenty of room for middle ground here. It’s not like a fortune cookie that you can’t open until 12 months have passed. They can TALK between now and then. LW needs to move past hypothetical and ask the question directly. “If things continue to go well with us over the next year, are you willing to change your job/schedule?”

      Perhaps she needs to change the timeline to 6 months to realistically address her needs. Perhaps she could also negotiate the time he DOES have so that she is included more into it. After 7 months, I don’t see a problem with her joining him for friend and family gatherings (not every time, of course, but certainly for many)

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      • avatar

        jessicaday March 29, 2012, 1:04 pm

        “Perhaps she needs to change the timeline to 6 months to realistically address her needs. Perhaps she could also negotiate the time he DOES have so that she is included more into it. After 7 months, I don’t see a problem with her joining him for friend and family gatherings (not every time, of course, but certainly for many)”

        THIS

        I think a big question too is how many days a month is he home and spending it with his family/friends without her. If he’s home for like 10 days but only wants to see her for 1-2 with no attempt to include her in any other activities, that’s pretty telling about how high she is on his list of prioritites. If he’s only home for 4, though, it’s a lot more likely that it’s only the job that’s the issue. The former situation requires a very different conversation between the two of them.

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    Nadine March 29, 2012, 9:52 am

    I can kind of relate, LW. My boyfriend is and always has been a bartender, which means working almost exclusively nights. To be honest, it can be really heard. we’ve been together for almost five years now, and unless someone is a very good friend, a lot of my acquaintances have simply never met him, because I did a large part of my socialising without him (or at his bar. which was an upside). The point is I got really sick of it a few years ago. I had finished uni, was working full time, nine to five, and I never saw him. sometimes he dropped in to say hi on his way to work, but it wasn’t enough. I felt like it wasn’t a real relationship, and I felt all my friends pitied me.
    Anyway, I kept getting shitty with him for no reason until he got all pissed off with me and we had a huge talk and I finally told him I hated the hours he worked.
    He agreed. They suck. And then he told me he never wanted to do it forever, it started out as a financial necessity but then he began to love it. But he’d seen people who climbed to the top of the game and he didnt want to be one. I told him, I would never have children with someone who worked nights exclusively. and he has reassured me continually that, when we are ready, he will continue his study, and pursue his alternate career.
    Because I know this, I am happy that he loves his current job. Its moved us both to London, somewhere I never thought I’d have the opportunity to live.
    My very long winded point is, its ok to let him know your boundaries and stick to them. As we get older, my boyfriends plans have begun to be more concrete (we are still young so plenty of time) and we are weaving together an image of our future that we both like. and I manage to be ok with having a bartender who works anti-social hours because I know it wont be what our lives are like forever.
    Try do that?

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  • avatar

    TECH March 29, 2012, 10:10 am

    I guess it would helpful to know what kind of career your boyfriend has and what the prospects are for him having to travel a lot in the future. Is it just a short term project he’s working on, so he’ll back at his home base permanently within the year? Or does he have career that demands he travel extensively for as long as he’s in the career (ex. a pilot, a traveling salesman, etc.) Probably the most important thing left out of the letter was: after you told him you didn’t want this to last more than a year, what did HE say? His reaction to that will tell you volumes and is important for any type of advice we can give.
    I would say that you should have a more in depth talk with him about where he sees the future going and if he is willing to be home more in the next year (even if that means he would consider getting a different job). If he’s not willing to commit to making a change in a year, I would say MOA. It’s not too much to ask for him to make this decision.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 29, 2012, 10:32 am

    There’s no need to wonder if you’re being “selfish” in wanting to spend more than 2 days a month with your boyfriend. You also don’t need to explain to us that you’re independent, busy, not “pining” for him (although I understand why you did, since if you didn’t, the advice could have veered into “why don’t you take some classes, join a book club, or run a marathon?” territory, which would not have been applicable to your situation)

    Anyway, a relationship requires time spent together…so if he thinks there’s nothing wrong with this arrangment, then definitely move on. However, if he tells you that he’s not satisifed the way things are & he’s working to re-arrange his schedule (or whatever? like TECH said above, it’d be helpful to know what kind of career he has/is looking for) then your relationship has a chance.

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  • avatar

    GertietheDino March 29, 2012, 11:13 am

    Honey – Grow some lady balls and talk to the man. If you are feeling slighted or excluded or just not prioritized, you need to voice your concerns.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl March 29, 2012, 11:17 am

    LW, it is understandable that you are dissatisfied with this situation. Talk to him now so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to continue with the relationship. Be realistic about him and with yourself about what you really need from a mate. Sure this guy is great but there are a lot of great guys out there who are more readily available than this one.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger March 29, 2012, 11:23 am

    I am choosing to believe that the reason that she was so iffy about talking to him/feeling demanding was that its his “career.”I think this is supported by the amount of “head-on-straight” that she demonstrated from the rest of her letter that she doesn’t generally feel that she doesn’t get to voice her opinion, but rather that when it is something like “his career”, she isn’t sure what’s appropriate. I know that in my world right now — the job comes first. Dinners can be interupted, all plans are tentative, even while you’re doing them, etc. It sucks but it’s life right now. It sounds like he might be a consultant, who travel for their jobs and the younger years are the building years. So he could love her and be very committed to her — and i disagree with LW that “if he wanted to be home, he would.” That’s not fair, if his job is that demanding and his careers have that aspirations, to just attribute that attitude to him without discussing his priorities first.

    If he is a consultant and has high minded aspirations, then I think she is going to have to work with him to make the relationship work and have patience in terms of immediate gratification. Perhaps he can start looking to switch to a consulting company that doesn’t have a travel model. Perhaps he can work on getting staffed on shorter projects, or ones that allow coming home every weekend (which is actually perfectly normal). Perhaps he gives it his all for one year and then gets a different type of job entirely, but now he has his resume firmly established.

    It is beyond reasonable to want to see him more than 2 days a month, but it is unreasonable to stay quiet and then stick him with an immediate ultimatum. And his response to you will be the most telling point. After he has time to digest your concerns, how does he act? Is he willing to make accomidations to try to please you (like asking his boss for different projects closer to home)? Does he make you feel incredibly loved while explaining to you how he is preparing for your (both of your) futures by paying his dues now and beg you to bear with him a little longer? Or does he just say “Tough, sorry, its work” after you’ve voiced your concerns and he’s had time to understand their legitimacy. (I really wouldn’t judge his absolute first reaction to voicing them as his “true” feelings. He may feel defensive or guilty or confused or worried that if he voices any requests at work, he’ll be looked down on as “not committed” and those insecurities may come out the first time you tell him your concerns. But I’m a big believe that in real, adult relationships, it isn’t black and white and you can’t just take his first response at face value. So I’d say judge his “real” response, the one he has time to structure and verbalize the way he wants to.)

    I’m currently esconced in a world where “but its for work” is a reasonable excuse for just about any crappy behavior (as long as it is verifiably for work and not being used as an excuse); qualitiy time with my BF was the hour before we’d go to bed, when I’d bring home dinner and we’d eat at 11. So I get being scared to voice any concern about how you feel about that, because it isn’t his choice. But you need to and you need to see how he reacts.

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    • avatar

      cporoski March 29, 2012, 11:36 am

      You are so right!!! 1.) I think it is not fair to say he doesn’t care enough if he is travelling for his job. He has a career that requires that. My father has travelled all my life and it was because he loved us and wanted to provide a good life the best way he knew how.

      2.) It is unfair to say I am going to keep quiet then punish him for not speaking my mind.

      LW, if you like this guy, then act like it and treat him with respect. Respect him enough to talk to him.

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    • Emily

      Emily April 2, 2012, 1:31 am

      I agree completely with 6napkinburger but I also believe that there are ways to build intimacy in spite of travel and distance e.g. dates via Skype or Gchat. There are all sort of creative ways to build intimacy from a distance. Perhaps you could set up a regular “date night” or send him away with something only you two know about.

      The rule to having a functioning relationship is to communicate. Believe it or not, your boyfriend cannot read your mind anymore than you can read his. Before I have an emotional talk with someone I care about I will write out bullet points to talk about sort of like making note cards before giving a speech. Writing out the basic points I want to make in black and white helps me clarify what I want to say, rethink what message I really want to communicate to him, and leave behind some of the emotions that can come from rolling a situation around in my head.

      Dating is more about the journey than the destination. There are so many dating “fails” that teach us lessons. Whatever happens as a result of this talk, you will learn something about him and yourself. Communicating our concerns, owning our emotions, needs, and fears helps us become stronger in ourselves and become better partners in the long run. I hope your talk goes well!

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  • avatar

    Anna March 29, 2012, 11:37 am

    You are definitely not being too needy. Of course you want to see your boyfriend more than twice a month, who wouldn’t? But you don’t want to come across as the nagging girlfriend saying “You’re not home enough!” (even though it’s true.) Yep, I get it. So how to put a positive spin on this? How about…

    “Honey, I miss you so much when you’re traveling on business. I really admire your dedication to your job. With all your experience in the field and your excellent credentials, you should be able to get a promotion that allows you to travel less while making more money. Have you heard of any openings like that?”

    My boyfriend’s dad used to travel a LOT for his job but then he climbed the corporate ladder and now only has to travel a handful of times a year…and makes six figures.

    I think if you come across like this it won’t be as confrontational and threatening to his career. Instead, you are encouraging him to improve his career while also improving your relationship simultaneously.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh March 29, 2012, 11:58 am

    i think like wendy said you just have to talk about this with him. unfortunately, it might be a case of even though you two genuinely care about each other, you may just not be a good match. if you want a partner who is home more and he values putting his career with a demanding travel schedule first i’m not sure that there is a compromise. unless he is willing to change the amount he travels or you can learn to be happy with the amount of time he has at home. in both cases you would each be compromising a lot for the other person. and you have to decide for yourself if it is worth it. and maybe you’ll talk to him and he will have an end date in mind of when the travel will be less and you can focus on that. and i’m curious as to what his response was when you did bring it the issue of not being able to handle this situation long term. no issue goes away by ignoring it, and the longer you wait the harder it will be for both of you to let go, if that is what you decide is the best thing.

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  • avatar

    Jiggs March 29, 2012, 11:58 am

    MAYBE HE’S A DENNIS!

    Haha, no, just messing with you, you should just talk to that man. 😀

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  • avatar

    Muffy March 29, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Please see Dennis Hong’s post before on what guys do when they’re not that interested in you. If he can barely make time during the only two days you guys have per month, I think you know that this isn’t really a relationship. It’s someone he has on hold to have sex with.

    Don’t feel bad about wanting to see your “boyfriend” more than 1-2 times per month.

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  • avatar

    AndreaMarie March 29, 2012, 12:38 pm

    First, I think its unfair to say that if he wanted to be home with you he would. He has to travel for work. Im sure if he went to his boss and said “I can’t fly to whatever city this week to meet with the client or work this deal/job/whatever because I want to spend time with my girlfriend”, Im sure the boss’s response would be something along the lines of “Great, now you’ll have all the time in the world to hang out with her, you’re fired.” Most careers that require travel are heavy travel in the beginning, but once you work your way up in the company you can get into a position (maybe a regional manager etc) where your travel time is shortened.

    You need to have a real conversation with him. You are not wrong for wanted more than a twice a month boyfriend. Decide on a timeframe thats right for you, that you are willing to continue in this pattern. Is it 6 months more of traveling? 1 year? If he is unable to give you a timeframe when the traveling will ease up, or one that you are comfortable with, than MOA.

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  • avatar

    Francine March 29, 2012, 12:55 pm

    ” I don’t want to tell him what to do, or guilt him into staying here, because if this was where he wanted to be, wouldn’t he be here?”

    Telling him what to do isn’t your only option. You can simplly tell him how you feel.

    You’ve already told him that this isn’t going to work for you for more than a year. Did you two actually talk about this or did you just make that comment? You asked if you should just wait a few months and see if his schedule gets less hectic. What’s the reason you aren’t asking him now if he thinks his schedule might change a few months from now?

    It sounds like you aren’t happy now so why continue for a few more months or a year? If you two really do communicate well, you know what’s happening with each other’s jobs. If there isn’t any talk of changes with his what are you waiting for. What you have now is most likely what you’ll have a year from now.

    And finally, you’re working on your masters degree so you’re clearly old enough to know that adults don’t always get to do whatever they want. We have obligations and responsibilities so please, when you talk to him don’t mention that you think if he really wanted to be there he would be. That will sound like you’re trying to make him feel guilty.

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  • avatar

    LW March 29, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Hey guys!

    First off here’s a paragraph that got edited out for brevity’s sake: (6napkinburger got it right, I don’t want to interfere in his career, though he’s not a consultant!)

    “I don’t really know how to talk about this with him, as I don’t want to stop him from working on his career in a way that he enjoys. He likes traveling, and is starting to travel outside of the country since he is bilingual. He’s really excited about this, and I’m happy he’s doing something he loves; however, I can’t help but wonder if this will only mean that he’ll be away even more than he is now, which would be really hard for me to handle. I don’t want to make him stay at home all of the time, but I do wish he could come home every other weekend. I know that he can come home that often if he wants, but sometimes he’ll stay out longer so that he can have more time off later (which is understandable since traveling kind of sucks). I know he’s also trying to save money to build a foundation and career for the future, and he wants that future with me, but sometimes spending so much time apart wears a little thin. ”

    When i said “if he wanted to be home more, he would” I meant it in reference to the ability to be home 2 weekends out of the month if he chooses! Not his career in general, just the two weekends a month rule.

    Another thing to clarify, I have told him before that his being out of town more than two weeks is hard on me, and when we’ve talked about his career in the past, he’s said that he doesn’t want to travel forever either.
    I just haven’t really said/shown how upset and frustrated it makes me when he’s gone for so long, because I don’t want to make him feel bad for going out and pursuing his career, which he enjoys. (Though I do need to “grow a lady pair” and just tell him how I feel 🙂 )

    Okay, and finally! Sometimes he gets to be home 2 or 3 weekends a month instead of 1, and more time for holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, just lately works been really really hectic. (I don’t think he’s pulling a Dennis! He still calls every night, and sends flowers!) We were also been friends for 4 or 5 years before dating.

    Thanks everyone for all of your input!

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark March 29, 2012, 2:11 pm

    This is who he is. You knew this going in and if you don’t like him being gone so much, fine. Break up with him. It probably would have been helpful for you to be more honest about your feelings up front… Maybe he likes his job. Maybe he likes to travel. Maybe — no, probably — he made THAT very clear going in. But now she’s lonely and wah, wah, wah. Frankly, if she’s serious about school she should be glad he’s not some clingy-mingy and always distracting her from accomplishing her own goals, but whatever.

    Meanwhile, it astounds me how many of you posters here seem to think he should just up and quit his job or magically pull some new travel-free position out of his ass or something. Really? In this fucked up economy where over half the people I know are woefully underemployed, and a startling (ever increasing) number are so frustrated and/or out of work that we all now joke how suicide is an increasingly viable option… Yet an unexpectedly high number of you just seem to think that it’s all about her and her feelings. I dunno, maybe you’re all (luckily) still in the ivory towers that is school or something, but there is simply not very much real world thinking behind many of these posts…

    I mean it just seems so very obvious to me — look, if you truly want somebody who isn’t gone all the time, don’t go out and start dating a guy who has to travel 27-29 days a month. Seriously, it’s kind of like falling for somebody who is fat, then suddenly announcing that their weight was fine for a while, but now you need REALLY them to lose weight or else. Only in this wonderful economy it’d actually be far easier to simply shed one hundred extra pounds than it would be to find another job…

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW March 29, 2012, 2:31 pm

      If you can get past the bristle, Mark has a very valid point and I’d probably have said something very similar (though in the more subtle style that my personality dictates) were it not for the fact that a large part of the letter was about this “one year” bargain. Since she references discussions about it between them, I ASSUME that the possibility of him changing his job (or the nature of it) exists. That is the only reason I would entertain the thought –because

      1. YES, everything Mark said about the economy is true. I speak as a person well outside the ivory tower of school.

      and

      2. I had a traveling job for many years and was NEVER home. I had guys break things off because I wasn’t available enough. Of course back in those days I took advantage by doing a lot of “destination dating” but those are stories for another day… My point is that I worked for YEARS to land that job, to have a job that would have me wake up in Stockholm one morning and fly off to Prague the next. I had a burning wanderlust and couldn’t imagine giving it up for someone. Even if I had done so, resentment would have formed.

      Final point: I doubt I would have given up my job for anyone BUT I would have made accommodations or the right person. And those would include –better communication while I was gone, souvenirs and gifts when I came back, bringing my partner along on trips where possible, using my frequent flier miles to take us on exciting getaways during my free time, including my partner in as many activities as I could when I was home (not all but some family/friend events, etc)

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  • avatar

    LW March 29, 2012, 2:50 pm

    BGM, he actually told me from the get-go that he doesn’t want to travel forever, and that being gone so much is the downside to his job. He enjoys some travel, but not to this extent. Otherwise, he enjoys it.

    I am glad I get to focus on school! My original letter says things like

    “Seven months ago, I started dating a wonderful man. The only problem is, that he travels for work. A lot. As in sometimes I only see him two days out of the month, though (very) occasionally he’ll be home about 10 days out of the month. ”

    and

    “Ultimately, I would be OK with him being home 2 weeks out of the month, and gone the rest of the time, since I enjoy and need my own time and space.”

    When we first started dating, his schedule wasn’t this hectic, and he did not tell me that it would become this hectic (it was still a relatively new job at the time)! I saw him at least 2 weekends a month. I am OK with that, as I enjoy having time to myself, and having time to pursue my own goals. So I started this relationship without knowing that it would be this way (seeing him 2 days a month)

    In the long run, I’d be OK with him being gone two weeks out of the month! I don’t mind if he travels some forever, because I like time to myself. I need who I’m with to give my booty room to breathe, and the times when he’s home 2-3 weekends out of the month are pretty much ideal for me; however, when it’s one weekend out of the month it’s a little frustrating. It’s the sort of job where he can work his way to a position where he doesn’t travel so much, but in the mean time, I would like to see him 4 days a month. He’s allowed that! That is what I thought I was getting into when we got together.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark March 29, 2012, 3:16 pm

      Well, good, maybe there’s hope then. But that is certainly a big detail to simply leave out of your original letter… I definitely do agree with you though that your original letter was a bit over edited as these newly provided details do paint a much different picture…Especially the two weeks part which makes you much, much more reasonable…

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    • avatar

      AndreaMarie March 29, 2012, 3:38 pm

      Thanks for the additional info LW. I think you just need to lay it all out there, nothing wishy washy. You need real answers and time tables you can work with. Ask him when he thinks he’s going to be back to a traveling schedule you can deal with. For example, say you can give him 4 more months of this crazy schedule anything more than that is not going to work for you. Ask him if he can chose not to stay longer once each month. etc etc. Tell him the ‘Things will probably get better in a year” answer is just not cutting it. You need to know if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that you can plan for until then. If not, then you have to be able to walk away and do whats best for you.

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  • avatar

    Rachel March 29, 2012, 2:57 pm

    LW, I am in your shoes! My boyfriend is on the road Mon-Thurs (at least) and has been for the past 18 months. It’s weird, right? It’s like being in a long-distance relationship, but he lives in your town (or, in my case, with me!)

    In terms of your question, if he wanted to be here, wouldn’t he be? The answer is, maybe! Do you know what his motivation to travel is? You’ve only known him (it seems) as someone for travels for work, but do you know why he chose it? Is it in his long term plans, or is exhaustion going to outweigh his love of frequent flyer miles any day now? Is he traveling for a specific project, or is he in a different location all the time?

    Talk about what’s typical at his company, if you don’t already know – maybe he’ll get moved to a project that’s based from home for a 3-month spell. Maybe he’ll be back on the road after those 3 months for another 6 months. Will that work for you?

    I was going to give you some tips of things that have worked for me. I realized that a lot of the suggestions that I had are the same as any LDR and it would be silly to reiterate them. One thing that’s different is that when he’s on the road, he’s not in his normal life – no class, sports leagues, non-work buddies, etc. I bet he’s at work until late most days, because that’s what he’s in town for. It would be silly to go back to his hotel room at 5pm to watch tv and chill for the rest of the day.

    There are a few things that we do because of this:
    -if it’s late, I’ll email his work email instead of his personal email instead of sending a text, because I know he’s more likely to see it, but it won’t be popping up in the middle of a presentation
    -He almost always picks up the phone if I call when he’s at dinner. It’s rude generally, but I get the impression everyone does it when their girlfriends/families call. It shows me that he values talking to me, and that he’s out to dinner because he doesn’t have a kitchen on the road, not because he’s hanging out with his buddies.

    Also, if he’s not coming home every weekend, his company might pay to fly you to where he is. If not, certainly they’re at least paying for a hotel room for him, and you two could always split the cost of your one flight to go see him. The great thing about the trips out on the road are that you won’t be competing with everyone else for his time like at home.

    I probably have more thoughts about this. I might add on after reading more comments.

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    Francine March 29, 2012, 5:50 pm

    “I just haven’t really said/shown how upset and frustrated it makes me when he’s gone for so long, because I don’t want to make him feel bad for going out and pursuing his career, which he enjoys. Though I do need to “grow a lady pair” and just tell him how I feel.”

    You really do need to just tell him how you feel. It’s not fair for you to try to control how he feels. It’s understandable to not like seeing the people you love feel bad but it’s futile to try to shield them from any particular feeling. We all experience bad feelings once in awhile. He’ll survive it. You need to say how you feel and let him feel however he feels about it. After all, what kind of relationship do you have if it isn’t based on your honest feelings?

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    wednesday December 28, 2012, 3:26 am

    hello there,

    I am in a similar situation like you. one advice for you, I thought of ending a long distance relationship in the first few months. But I did not because the guy promised me he will be back in 2 to 3 years. so I waited. now it is 2.5 year, and he still does not have the plan to come back or quit his job. do not trust guys, or you will regret. I am feeling so helpless now cause I wasted 2.5 years on this guy when I could have just walked away to begin with and didn’t had to go through all this pain.

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