Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Now That My Long Distance Boyfriend Is Moving Here, My Feelings Have Changed”

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I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend for almost four years. We have been happily making it work, and now he’s planning to move to where I live by February. However, lately I’ve had fits of depression. I don’t feel like doing anything and he’s not trying to make things better. In fact, the emotion and charm he had when we first met seems to be lacking to the point that he says the same old stuff to me, like he’s going through the motions. He’s mentioned he’s not much of an emotional guy, but the reason I fell in love with him was because his charm lifted me up from such a dark time with another guy.

Lately, I’ve been watching videos on Youtube with a certain guy I’m sort of fangirling over. And yet, I know I could never meet this guy, let alone start something with him. But the fact that I’m having such thoughts for him and constantly watching his videos in an attempt to feel any joy these days scares me. I’ve dropped subtle hints to my boyfriend and eventually admitted how cool I think this other guy is, but my boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind it. I don’t think it’s healthy at all.

I know my boyfriend’s moving to me and maybe things will change when he’s finally here. He recently asked me if he’s saving up for a move only for our relationship to be doomed and then he asked if I still love him, and I said that lately I’m not sure. I thought maybe that would help him realize I need a bit more attention. Am I not in love with him anymore or am I just freaking out because I’ve reached the point where the long distance has gotten to me? — Not Feeling As Charmed

You’re not feeling it anymore, and not because the long distance is “getting to you”; it’s because the long distance portion of this relationship is ending soon and now you’re faced with the reality of taking things to the next level and you don’t want to. You aren’t into your boyfriend anymore, you’re bored with your relationship, and you’re looking for escape and stimulation elsewhere. (And, not for nothing, if you’re looking to YouTube Vloggers for some joy because you aren’t finding it anywhere else, then it’s not just your relationship that’s in trouble).

Your initial spark and interest in your boyfriend began when he “lifted you from a dark time with another guy,” which sounds a lot like how your interest in this Vlogger has begun. You need to break this cycle and start taking responsibility for your own joy and fulfillment. Take the wheel of your life and stop putting it in the hands of other people. YOU are in the driver’s seat here. Or, at least, you should be. So start thinking about which direction you’re headed and where you want to go. And stop leading on your poor boyfriend and be direct with him. These “subtle” signs you’re giving him are bullshit. Woman up and be direct. Tell him: “We’ve been together for four years and I’ve been happy, but lately my feelings have changed and we need to pause our plan for you to move here. First, we need to figure out whether this relationship actually has a future, and in order for us to do that, I need to let you know what’s going on in my head and what I need from you in order to feel satisfied in this relationship. Maybe you can’t meet my needs anymore and maybe I can’t meet yours, but that doesn’t mean that the past four years have been in vain. It does mean, however, that our future together may not be the one we’ve been planning.” And then tell him what your needs are, give him a chance to tell you what his are, and then see if you both are committed to trying to meet them. If you aren’t or if you simply can’t, then it would seem that this relationship has run its course and it’s time for you to MOA. You need to figure this out before he moves though, and you need to stop playing games.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

11 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Moe P September 14, 2015, 1:45 pm

    It is also possible that you are depressed for a reason unrelated to your boyfriend. I agree with Wendy that it is not up to him to drag you out of your depression. First, figure out what is causing this depression. have you struggled with it before? He can not read your mind. I agree that it is crucial to first figure out what YOU want and need and then sit down with him and talk to him about it, directly and kindly, and ask him what HE wants. Also, how often did you see each other while it was long distance? If it was not very often, it might be that the relationship was over a long time ago.

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes September 14, 2015, 2:07 pm

    WWS x 1000
    *
    Sweetie, time for some therapy. You dont mention it in your letter, but if you are already in it, you need to be sure to address your relationship stuff with that person. Because it sounds like you are, for lack of a better phrase, living in a fantasy world that you have created online/in your head. Online friends, etc are fine- but you need a balance of stuff in real, face-to-face, life.

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  • avatar

    Anon September 14, 2015, 2:21 pm

    I’ve been in your shoes and I know how much this sucks and stresses you out. The pattern you have been on , to me , is straight up co-dependency. I’m still dealing with some of my co dependency habits, and they are hard to break. Please follow others advice and seek therapy. Good luck

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  • Diablo

    Diablo September 14, 2015, 2:59 pm

    I’m not trying to put you out of a job, Wendy, but how often (like, twice today that I can think of) does your advice end up boiling down to “So talk to each other already.” Taking nothing away from your advice, and you always give helpful tips on HOW to talk about things. But how many times do we find that the people involved in these letters just haven’t talked it over properly? Am I from the wrong generation? Should I be thinking more “TEXT it over already”? or is this the era where we just post all our private shit on FB without thinking and then complain about how nobody respects anyone’s privacy anymore? Ok, I guess that rant led away from the topic. But can you tell I’m pissed? Modern life better not get in my face today….

    LW, tell your bf what’s on your mind. Maybe even make it a habit.

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    • Stonegypsy

      Stonegypsy September 14, 2015, 4:23 pm

      I think it’s because so many people learn their relationship skills from rom-coms.
      Shiny happy relationship > problem in shiny happy relationship > wacky hijinks > romantic gesture > happily ever after
      Rather than the much more realistic
      Happy shiny relationship > honeymoon phase wears off > problems happen > talk it out > keep doing that for the rest of your life or break up.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo September 14, 2015, 5:07 pm

        See, my life is SO different. My wife used to be a hooker, but I was in town on business, so i hired her as my escort for the week, but then fell for her saucy demeanor and low-rent charm. No! Wait! My bad. That’s the plot of Pretty Woman. But the 80s really were like that movie. No, they weren’t.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 September 15, 2015, 8:22 am

      I think people are afraid to talk to each other because they know it could end things, so they just leave this subtle hints and almost fade each other out, or have big blow up about it.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros September 14, 2015, 4:53 pm

    It’s not a boyfriend’s role to make you happy. They can add joy to your life, but you have to be happy on your own first. It sounds like he was somewhat of a distraction from your problems in the beginning, and now that your problems are resurfacing, you feel like he’s not fulfilling his purpose anymore. You mention that something “isn’t healthy.” I’m not sure what you’re referring to, but one thing that I know isn’t healthy is your relationship to relationships. A good counselor can help you figure out what steps you can take on your own to feel better and what a healthy relationship looks like. I’d put the move on hold for now so that your boyfriend isn’t uprooting himself when it may very well not work out.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 September 15, 2015, 8:24 am

    Man why are you counting on other people to make you happy or sad? You should be happy with your life and then find somebody who fits in and helps you keep it that way.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros September 15, 2015, 10:02 am

    If you haven’t resolved the issue, then say no. Though for you to get to the point of the proposal and not have tried to resolve the issue is a problem to me, because typically a couple talks about where they are headed and when before a proposal. And that’s the time when you tell that person that there’s something wrong, especially when it may prevent you from staying with them.
    I think the financial support could go either way. If their divorce contributed to her financial state (even though the meth probably did more damage), then I can see why he might feel the need to help. Otherwise, it’s all going to be on the kids, and they’re probably under enough stress with her lifestyle to begin with.
    As for the I love you, I think you need to talk to him and gauge what he means by it. Is it the kind of I love you that you tell your sibling or is it that he still is in love with her, but can’t be with her? Does he do other things that imply that he wants to be with her? A telling question might be whether if she got her life together (or whatever resulted in their breakup), would he take her back? Maybe the combo of what he’s saying AND the support is what’s making you most suspicious, or is it just one part?
    At some point, you might have to move on, just because you can’t have a relationship based on distrust.

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  • avatar

    Pauline September 15, 2015, 11:33 am

    I wonder if the boyfriend isn’t as attentive or emotional because he’s scared? Uprooting and moving to be with someone is scary and could possibly be making him depressed or anxious. I’m moving for someone I’ve been in a LDR with for years and I went through albeit brief depression/anxiety stage because I was scared.

    They both need to talk and evaluate what they’re feeling and why.

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