Should I have a long distance relationship or MOA? I’m 29 and I’ve been with my boyfriend for about eight months, and he is absolutely amazing. Not only are we a perfect fit for each other, but he always encourages me to do what’s best for me, even if it’s at an inconvenience for him – such a rare quality that not sure I’d easily find again! I can see myself marrying him at some point in the future, and I have no doubts that he would be a very considerate husband and awesome father.
Even though he’s such a great guy and I do want to be with him, I am having doubts about the actual logistics of this relationship working out long term. I am moving away to a small town in a different state to continue my education and he is moving away for work to a small town in a different state. So, considering that I won’t have the funds needed to fly from my small town to his small town, I will have to travel for three hours to a large nearby airport, fly for three hours, and then travel another two hours from the airport to his place — that’s around eight hours travel time each way for me!
Furthermore, once he’s finished with work, he’s free to do whatever he pleases; however, once I am finished with class I have books to read, problem sets to solve and papers to write – all of which I can do while traveling of course, but still highly inconvenient. Also, since I’m a student, I’ll already have to be cutting costs in all other areas of my life, giving up some student activities and opportunities so that I can get more work done during the week and we can spend time together, in addition to spending the last of my late 20’s and early 30’s traveling for a long-distance relationship.
We will have to do this for 2-3 years, and I’m not sure if a relationship can survive this type of hassle. What I am afraid of most however, is that after I invest all of these things in him, eventually he’ll break up with me because of the “distance” or because he’ll at some point meet someone who is available to him all the time. My program is largely male dominated – I’ll easily be able to meet other guys, although I doubt I will like or respect anyone as much as the current boyfriend.
I am so torn over this; should maintaining a relationship really be this difficult? Are we better off finding more accessible significant others? Or am I just being selfish because I feel like I will be investing the most in making this relationship work, without any idea of what the future holds? We’ve only been dating eight months — too early to discuss marriage or life three years down the road. Ironically enough, he encouraged me to attend this program because it’s top in my field, I don’t want to turn around and punish him for being a good guy. — LDR Anxiety
It sounds like you already have your mind made up and you’re looking for someone to give you any reason to change it. But I’m not going to do that. The truth is that long distance relationships are very challenging, even in the best circumstances (the best circumstances being: ease of commute, enough funds to pay for the commute, plenty of time to make the commute as well as to talk on the phone and communicate regularly, an end-date not too far off in the future, a stable foundation prior to the distance, and, of course, a strong commitment), but you admittedly don’t have the best circumstances. Given the impracticality of the commute between the two small towns you and your boyfriend are moving to, respectively, you’d have to be hella committed to making it work. Your letter doesn’t indicate that to be the case.
And that’s a shame, isn’t it? After all, your boyfriend sounds like a great guy and you see qualities in him you admire and respect and know to be rare. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find them again in someone else. There are a lot of men out there. A lot. Just because this is the best match you’ve found for yourself so far doesn’t mean he’s the only one. You said yourself you’re going to be in a male-dominated program in school. Maybe you’ll meet a someone who has many of the wonderful qualities you love about your boyfriend and isn’t an 8-hour commute away.
But maybe you won’t … and that’s the thing about life: we can never truly predict what’s coming ’round the bend. If you’re looking for some sort of guarantee that the investments and decisions you’re making today are going to lead to happiness, success and personal fulfillment, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. There are no such guarantees in life. You could very well commit to your boyfriend and decide to make this distance work, traveling the 8 hours each way to see him, scrimping and saving for the plane tickets, sacrificing what little free time you have for him, and he could dump you. Or, you could do the dumping. You could find someone you like better. The game-change doesn’t necessarily have to be his doing for the outcome to be the same. But, does the end of a relationship make what came before it a waste of time? Does it make the return on your investment completely without value? I would hope that you would find meaning even in things that don’t result in the outcome you initially hoped for. Some of life’s best learning lessons come from our biggest disappointments.
Finally, if you do decide to end your relationship instead of trying to maintain it across the distance, don’t think of it as “punishing” your boyfriend or anything silly like that. Yes, he’s made an investment of eight months in your relationship, but hopefully there’s been enough meaning and lessons in it that he’ll feel like his time as been well-spent, whether you end things in the immediate future or not. If you only look at life in black and white — as punishments versus rewards, right versus wrong, good versus bad — and fail to see the beauty that exists in the technicolor of unpredictability, you’re missing out on so much. There’s richness in life’s messes. Don’t be afraid to experience it.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
Skyblossom June 3, 2011, 7:57 am
I can’t tell you what to do or even suggest what you should do. I can tell you that I did a long distance relationship very similar to your situation and it did work.
We had known each other for a year when I moved away for grad school. When I was applying for grad school my bf at the time did ask me what I wanted for our relationship when I left. Would we be together or would we be through. I looked at him and told him I wanted to marry him. He smiled and it was settled. We knew we’d stay together and we’d get married (we did talk about it from time to time and more than that.) I think that you do need to talk about where you see this relationship going long term before you can make this decision. It’s okay to talk about where you would like your relationship to go and it doesn’t mean that you are then locked into an engagement or marriage if you talk about that being what you want for now. Even though we talked about marriage and decided we would get married we didn’t get engaged at that point. We waited until we were ready to be engaged to get engaged. It’s also okay to talk about your relationship and say you just don’t know at this point whether you want it to result in marriage.
We ended up having a long distance relationship for a year and it worked. This was before email and the internet was just in it’s very rudimentary stages. There was no texting and no IM. We did talk on the phone everyday. We saw each other only on holidays because the trip was too expensive and time consuming to make it any more frequently. In spite of all of that it worked and I think it worked because the commitment was there and the desire to end up together was there and sharing our lives every day by phone did keep us in touch. I can’t say our relationship grew during that year. It was more like being on hold, stable but not growing.
After being apart for a year we were married but even then the closest job my husband could find was a five hour drive away from my grad school and so we saw each other only on weekends for the first year of our marriage. That was much better than the previous year but it was a wonderful day when I got into the car and moved to live with my husband full time. I moved before writing my thesis and my advisor really pushed me to stay for one more semester but I went and I did finish my degree, it just took a little longer.
It can work but it takes commitment and you must connect in the ways that are possible even if you almost never see each other in person.
jottino June 3, 2011, 8:47 am
That’s amazing and inspiring 🙂
fast eddie June 3, 2011, 8:16 am
Wow, that’s the stuff of legend. Perhaps it was that back in the dark ages (pre-www) we had lower expectations about what a relationship “ought to be”. Back then a snail mail letter once to twice a week was considered a rapid response. (hugs)
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 9:43 am
I think you may be right about how in the dark ages people had more realistic expectations.
My parents met in college, then my mom transferred to another school 18 hours away. They stayed together the whole time, talked on the phone only once a week, sent letters, only saw each other a few times a year… and 4 years later, when my mom finally graduated, they got married.
I couldn’t even imagine doing that… my boyfriend is sitting at his desk, about 200 feet from mine and we still text each other throughout the day. Times sure have changed.
SpyGlassez June 3, 2011, 4:23 pm
My parents lived 17 hours apart during college (she in Alabama and he in Missouri, and then when she moved to Missouri, he was transferred to Massachusetts). They used to make tape recordings and mail them to one another so they could hear one anothers’ voices.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 4:53 pm
That is too cute! Old fashioned voice mail!
TMSC June 3, 2011, 9:52 am
back before the internet was big and I didn’t have a cell phone I dates a guy in the marines. we wrote each other letters once or twice a week. I have to say, there is NOTHING like looking in the mailbox and finding a hand-written letter from someone far away that you love. Nothing. Email doesn’t compare…
TMSC June 3, 2011, 9:53 am
I *dated* a guy, not I dates a guy
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 10:29 am
I agree with this. I still send letters. I mail letters across town, I mail letters to my family and friends back home. I keep a huge stockpile of blank notes in a drawer, in case I ever feel the urge to write something.
Most people my age think I’m weird, but it sure got me brownie points with my boyfriend’s mother.
Shanshantastic June 3, 2011, 11:00 am
I definitely don’t think you’re weird — I have one of those drawers in our office! My best friend from college and I exchange letters as well, despite having email and Facebook and texting, because there is literally no better feeling than knowing that you care for someone enough — and they care for you enough — to take the time to sit down and write out a real letter, no matter how long it takes.
Maracuya June 3, 2011, 12:08 pm
No way, Steph! I have a ziploc baggie filled with cards and blank notes. 🙂
sarita_f June 3, 2011, 10:20 pm
I totally have the same urges and sentiments, I just don’t have the follow-through… good on ya.
I should go make use of the entire DRAWER full of blank notes and cards now…
G June 3, 2011, 12:08 pm
I agree. How romantic 🙂
Skyblossom June 3, 2011, 5:43 pm
My expectation was that we would get married and neither of us would be seeing other people even though we were separated. I expected that we would talk every day and share our day. I expected it would work. I must say I am an optimist! My expectations had more to do with values and integrity than with how many minutes do I see you or talk to you. I also really wanted to marry him because we matched in a way I’ve never matched anyone. We still are a matched set. We are so alike it is incredible that two people from such different backgrounds could be so alike.
mcj2011 June 3, 2011, 9:39 am
What an amazing story! So glad it worked out for you.
PFG-SCR June 3, 2011, 12:29 pm
Thanks for sharing that, Skyblossom! I always love hearing people’s “love” stories, and yours is very touching.
If the LW seemed committed to doing a LDR, it’d be one thing. But, she doesn’t sound like she really is, and unless both are, it’s never going to work. You and your husband knew what the future held for you, and so you were spending your time apart knowing that it was temporary.
The LW isn’t sure if she feels that way, and I noticed that she never said she loves him (she said she likes and respects him, though). I think she found a really great guy that she really likes and has no obvious flaws, but something just seems to be lacking in her passion about the relationship which is probably part of the reason that she’s questioning the its viability over a 2-3 year period where it would be long-distance.
Skyblossom June 4, 2011, 9:39 am
I noticed the same thing. There doesn’t seem to be any chemistry or passion. He’s a great guy but maybe the attraction just isn’t there.
PFG-SCR June 3, 2011, 8:16 am
I agree with what Wendy has said, but I don’t think there are only two options – mutually, you could agree to see other people, as well (i.e. remove the exclusivity to the relationship). Making relationships work are as much about timing as the compatibility of the other person, and right now, the timing of this with him isn’t ideal. However, not being exclusive will be difficult to do this unless both of you are completely comfortable with this. If one, or both, of you will constantly be worried (or jealous) about what the other is doing (and with whom), then it’s not going to work. Ideally, you should cut back significantly on your contact with each other just so it doesn’t feel so exclusive, and then neither of you has the ability to know exactly what the other is doing.
There’s definitely a chance that one of you will find someone else during that time and want to end it, and you just need to be honest with each other if that does happen. But, there is also a chance that you will both date others, and then realize that no one is a better fit for you, and after a period of time (maybe the 2-3 years or maybe sooner), you decide that you want to be physically closer and exclusive again. My now-husband and I did this after we had been exclusively dating for four months because we were going to be physically separated for a minimum of a year, and we weren’t going to be able to see one another often. Once we were physically living in the same place, we became exclusive again, and even a few years later when we were separated again for a year, we remained exclusive, and we were married shortly thereafter.
ReginaRey June 3, 2011, 8:29 am
In my mind, it’s better to try and KNOW that it’s not going to work than just give up before you even have an answer. Because if you try, and I mean REALLY try, you could realize that giving up would have been a huge mistake. I think if you break it off before fully knowing that it wouldn’t have worked, you’ll always have a nagging “what if?” in the back of your head. So give it a try. It may not work at all. It may not work at all RIGHT NOW – you guys could end up together again in the future. Or, you may find that the LDR and all of the struggle is worth it to be with this person. Give yourself the opportunity to find out what the answer is…don’t try to make an educated guess.
BoomChakaLaka June 3, 2011, 9:03 pm
I definitely SECOND ReginaRey’s comment! I had an LDR with my ex and it only crumbled once we actually moved within 15 minutes of each other. But I’m glad that I had that experience, that I gave that kind of love a chance and not just quit just because it would have been tough.
jottino June 3, 2011, 8:44 am
I’m confused as to why you think you would be the one who has to do all the traveling. If “once he’s finished with work, he’s free to do whatever he pleases,” why doesn’t he start his weekend trip to come see you?
I think you should try it. Have you talked to him about it? I know it’s still early in the relationship, but if you both see the potential, maybe he would consider finding a job closer to your school? Have you considered other kinds of transportation? Will you have the summers and holidays off? Will he have vacation days?
It’s a big deal that he supports you in this. I had a similar experience, but it didn’t end well. I met my ex-boyfriend in college, and after supporting him through his degree, qualifying exams, finding a job, & moving, he left me because he didn’t want to wait for me to finish my schooling. I also did all the traveling, even though I had classes and no car (he thought that driving two hours was too far). He was completely unsupportive, and destroyed my drive as well as my heart.
From what you describe, your boyfriend sounds nothing like my ex. He sounds more like my current boyfriend. I do want to go to graduate school, and I asked him one day, very early on, if he would stay with me through it all: the studying, classes, exams, and endless hours of research. He didn’t hesitate to say that I should pursue my dreams, and that he would be right there supporting me the entire way. He even laughed that I would have to ask.
If that’s the kind of man you think you have, you owe it to him – and yourself – to give it a shot. But TALK TO HIM. You need a gameplan if you’re going to pursue this. Good luck 🙂
TMSC June 3, 2011, 9:44 am
I thought that too…have you talked about him visiting you? It seems like it would be much easier on you that way. In the letter, it seemed as if you would be the only one traveling and making that sacrifice. If he is the type of person you say he is, I wouldn’t think he’d have a problem making the extra effort and time to come see you. I think you need to have a sit down with him…
MsBorgia June 3, 2011, 10:53 am
I thought this too. Not only does he have more free time, but I assume he has more of an income as well. (For us students a Chipotle run is an extravagance!)
I am in a similar situation with my boyfriend. He is working, I am a student, and we live on opposite coasts, so that is an 8 hour plane trip. We see each other every few months. It sucks, but I would rather try and fail than always wonder if it could have worked.
Maracuya June 3, 2011, 12:10 pm
I thought this too. If he refuses to see you, then I understand your stance. But you think he won’t?
The_Yellow_Dart June 3, 2011, 8:59 am
I have a couple friends who met while in a master’s program in NJ. They became a couple (and only went out for a year while living in the same place), but the woman had to go to Singapore and work for a number of years for the company who paid her education. The man went to England to get his doctorate. The distance was so vast that they could only visit each other 1-2 times a year. Fast forward three years later, the woman had paid off her agreement, and she and the man moved in together and got married. I’ve seen them recently, and they are incredibly happy together.
So…it can work if you both are really dedicated! But I think that’s the real question, isn’t it? You and your boyfriend will have to do a lot of soul-searching before you can make this decision. It will be hard work, but if you both really care for each other and are committed to staying together it _can_ work.
Bekah June 3, 2011, 9:08 am
I don’t see why you have to “stay together.” Remain friends and see what happens? Exclusivity can be smothering, but giving someone freedom with the possibility of reconnecting when timing is better could be just what you both need. Honestly, it might sound trite but if you are meant to be together nothing, not even distance will hold you back. Even if you break up, you could get back together and even if you stay together, it doesn’t meant you won’t break up eventually. Honestly follow your heart and you won’t have as many regrets, than if you listen to what everyone else thinks is right.
Sara June 4, 2011, 10:51 am
I totally agree with Bekah. My now husband and I “kind of” liked each other at the end of college, but we were going to different grad school 9 hours away from each other and decided not to start anything right before the new phase in our lives. We had previously been friends, and we kept sending emails and calling each other, and we even met up (with and without other college friends) during that time. 3 years later, we decided to date long-distance, since we both agreed we liked each other better than anyone we’d met since college. Long story short, now we’re married. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen… and if not, then don’t beat yourself up about it. But this third option might be worth pursuing.
MissDre June 3, 2011, 9:15 am
Why doesn’t HE travel while you study for the 8 hours he’s in motion.
I was in an LDR, we weren’t as far apart as you guys, only about 5 hours, and we were both students. We made it a routine to see each other every three weeks and we’d take turns. So I only had to get on a bus every 6 weeks.
You guys may not be able to see each other as often since flying is more expensive than the bus, but take turns. Switch back and forth.
Spend holidays together! Send each other packages in the mail! (even just a box of his favourite candies with a love note!)
And talk on the phone every night. When I was away, each night I would call my bf as soon as I crawled into bed. Sometimes we talked for an hour. Sometimes it was only 10 minutes, but his voice was the last thing I heard every night before falling asleep.
There are lots of ways to make an LDR work, as long as you are BOTH equally committed. My opinion is that you should at least try before you give up. Then, if it doesn’t work out, you won’t be wondering “what if”.
L June 3, 2011, 9:41 am
Oh LW, I feel your pain! I know how tough it is!
I am currently in a LDR and have been for the past 2 years, and it will be for at least another year. I see him roughly every 6 weeks. Granted, we live within comfortable driving distance (5 hours), but it’s hard not seeing him as much as I would like.
My advice: try it out. It sounds like you are afraid of living so far away from each other. Understandable. You’re not sure if the money spent on travel will be worth it if you eventually break up. Take a chance. He sounds like a great guy. What if it IS worth it? I’ve found that distance actually helps a relationship grow stronger. Not being around someone all the time makes you appreciate them so much more. With Skype and all that wonderful technology these days, it is easier to maintain that distance.
Costs for any travel today is scary money-wise, but have you considered asking him to chip in for some of your expenses to go see him? Seeing as he’s working and you’ll be in school it’s understandable if you can’t afford the full ticket. As I’m sure you know, it’ll be important to sit down and have a serious conversation with him about terms and conditions of the LDR if you both agree to maintain your relationship. The only way it will work is if you both are willing to make it work. You have to fight to make distance relationships work sometimes, but it’s so rewarding when it is successful. Seeing as he is the one who encouraged you to pursue your education at this place, I have a feeling he will be supportive of maintaining your relationship.
Good luck! 🙂
L June 3, 2011, 9:55 am
One more thing: make sure you take time for yourself to get to know the people at your school and create friendships with them. Spending too much time pining over how your boyfriend is so far away will make you pretty miserable.
WatersEdge June 3, 2011, 9:42 am
I was in an LDR with about an 8 hour commute. I was a grad student, too. I don’t have much to add to Wendy’s response because I think she’s spot-on. I also agree with commentors that you might as well try it out and see how it goes.
I’d just like to add the perspective that for me, as a grad student in an LDR, I actually found the LDR to be the best of both worlds. I had a lot of time to myself to devote to my studies. I was able to keep weird hours to meet my deadlines. I went to the gym at 11 pm if I felt like it. But I had a loving, supportive boyfriend to check in with who brightened my day. I didn’t really have the time to devote to an in-person boyfriend, but I got the love and affection of a great guy. So this situation might work out better for you than you’re imagining. I say give it a shot!
caitie_didn't June 3, 2011, 11:01 am
I did an LDR during a really demanding academic year and LOVED it for all the reasons you listed: I could keep weird hours, buckle down for a few days to meet a deadline, go to the gym whenever I felt like it, hang out with my friends and volunteer without feeling like I wasn’t giving him enough attention. But I still had someone to check in with, and we talked on the phone or skyped almost every night and got to visit each other frequently (which really helped). It truly was the best of both worlds at that point in my life, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t require some extra work.
TMSC June 3, 2011, 9:49 am
I have had three long-distance relationships. One was within driving distance, the other two were plane rides. None of them ended up working out long term, but ALL of them were well worth the time and effort while I was in them. Even if you try it, and it doesn’t work out, there are so many things you can learn and grow from, as Wendy said. I wouldn’t go back and change any of them…
Christina June 3, 2011, 10:11 am
Wendy’s last paragraph is brilliant.
It sounds like you guys had something great but the logistics will make it too hard to continue your relationship. I would say to have a conversation about how much you’ve both enjoyed your time together and then keep in touch if you want as your roads lead you to different places.
Don’t put yourself on hold for years. Enjoy life in each of it’s stages. Meet new friends and a new guy in your new town.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 10:17 am
I want to say, LW, as someone who was in a long distance relationship for almost 2 years that crashed and burned… I don’t regret having tried it.
There were some things I did regret- not spending as much time making friends here, to instead Skype with my bf is the major one…
But overall, I’m glad I did it, because (like ReginaRey said up there) I couldn’t take never knowing. When I graduated college we had been together 6 months and I thought I could marry him. If we had broken up then, I never would have known that he was totally the wrong guy for me; I might consider him ‘the one that got away,’ and think that the romance movie in my head would lead us to bump into each other 10 years down the line and fall madly in love again.
Ok in seriousness, I learned alot from that relationship, and I really don’t regret having gone through all that, even though it didn’t last. So my advice is that, if you see a future with him and he sees a future with you, to give it a try. It could work out or it could fail, but I don’t think you’ll regret having given it a shot.
Kerrycontrary June 3, 2011, 10:21 am
I really feel for the letter writer!! I’m in an LDR as well because of grad school and my boyfriend getting a random far out job assignment from his company. Luckily, we can drive to each other. I’ll tell you that a lot of people I know in grad school are in LDRs and it sometimes makes like MORE convenient because you can get your work done during the week without the distraction of a boyfriend. But, it’s still not ideal. Like Wendy said there are no guarantees in life so either way you are going to have to take a leap of faith, which is what my BF and I did with our LDR. One price of advice I would add is for you to consider: is this guy “the one”, I mean, do you truly believe there is no one else better suited for you on the planet? Once you answer that question then you have your answer.
jena June 3, 2011, 11:04 am
my general outlook on things like this is: if you have to ASK whether you should stay in the relationship, you shouldn’t.
ReginaRey June 3, 2011, 11:14 am
I agree at times that asking if you should stay in a relationship is a bad sign. Like if you’re asking, “My boyfriend cheated on me twice, should I stay in this relationship?” or “I don’t really love my boyfriend anymore, but should I try to get over that feeling and stay?” Those a big red flags. But all relationships, healthy ones included, require evaluation at times. I think the key is that you ask the RIGHT questions, which I think the LW is doing. She’s asking things that are logical and thinking of things that will be hurdles, which leads her to ask if she should still continue. I think that’s totally healthy, and MORE people should probably be re-evaluating their relationships more often, asking the important questions.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 2:21 pm
So agree with ReginaRey. We spend too much time ignoring the questions, when we should spend more time asking them. Then we would spend alot less time settling for what we don’t want. I think too many of us (guilty of it myself) will avoid asking the questions about whether this is worth it, whether we’re compatible with our SO, whether we are actually happy, in order to avoid the status quo.
Yay for asking good questions!
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 2:21 pm
Ahem, that should be “avoid disturbing the status quo.” Whoops!
SGMcG June 3, 2011, 11:56 am
Most of the LDRs I went into eventually broke off because of the fact that I wasn’t into them anymore and cheating occurred. The one LDR that worked did so because I was invested in having the relationship with the individual and I wanted to put in the work. In fact the majority of our relationship was an LDR until I moved down to be with my boyfriend and he eventually became my husband.
An LDR, like any relationship worth having, requires some level of work to reap the enjoyments from it. Not all relationships are easy and to break off a relationship because it’s looking to become potentially hard sounds like a relationship that you already checked out of. You can factor all the variables you want into predicting the probability of a relationship’s success, but it all boils down if the relationship is something that you want, or it’s something that you want to end. If you’re starting to question the value of a relationship, do yourself and your boyfriend the kindness of MOA.
Elle June 3, 2011, 11:59 am
LW, as you probably know (and if you don’t, I hate to break it to you), the first semester of grad school is the hardest. Coursework, adjusting to a new school, a new town, not having your friends and your family around. You’ll be spending a lot of time alone (to which I suggest forming study groups). I don’t think going through a break-up should be added to the stress you’ll most definitely experience in your first semester. You’re going to need all the emotional support you can get. I know you’ll still have your family and friends, but we both know it’s not the same.
Obviously, I’m in the ‘try it’ camp. And I also think that ‘logistics’ is not a very good reason to give up a good, satisfying relationship. And you’re right, the odds are you’ll meet someone else just as good, if not better than your boyfriend. The unknown is that you don’t know when that will happen – in 8 months or 8 years?
Your letter doesn’t say much about what your boyfriend thinks about it. Did you talk to him? If he’s willing to meet you half way, then I think you should give it a shot. Another idea for you guys – how about you meet in towns that are more easily accessible to both of you? Make it like ‘date trips’. I think it would be fun. And don’t forget winter break, spring break, summer break – that’s almost 4 months out of the year you guys can spend together.
I guess another way to look at this is – don’t think so much about the hurdles, think about the good things that will come out of it.
Dave Jay June 3, 2011, 2:12 pm
Has anyone questioned why he couldn’t find a job (any job) in the same state as her college? Married people do this frequently as one partner or the other moves from opportunity to opportunity. Military families too. Unless he’s a professional rodeo clown or something, he should be able to find work. The long-distance thing is do-able… I’ve seen it work a few times, and against all odds, but I’d rather see them put all that time and effort into finding ways to stay closer together. In the grand scheme of things, it seems like a small sacrifice for a potential lifetime of happiness.
ReginaRey June 3, 2011, 2:17 pm
Find a job in her town after only 8 months of dating? Perhaps if where she was moving was a big city, but she said it was a small town. And she said he’s pursuing a job in another small town. I don’t think it’s fair, after less than a year of dating, to ask either of them to sacrifice their goals (which have existed LONG before the relationship). Perhaps if they were dead-set convinced that they’d be together forever, but she doesn’t seem convinced of that yet, which is normal after less than a year! In fact, I wish more people would be as practical and logical as this LW…not drop their goals and move to a small town to be with someone they’ve only been dating for 8 months. THAT sounds ridiculous.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 2:29 pm
I have said before on other letters… some jobs are not portable. Mine sure isn’t. I could have another job, also using my degree, but what I do I could only do here. If its his dream job then it makes alot more sense to go where it is, not to follow her. And he’s starting a career which he may have for a long time, she’s spending a few years in school and then may have more options on place to live once she gets her degree.
I think its best, especially in so new a relationship, that she go where her dreams take her and he go where his dreams take him… thats why the LDR exists.
justpeachy June 3, 2011, 3:35 pm
Couple of notes:
First, if you decide to try and make long distance work, talk about where you think the relationship going. If he can’t imagine getting married for another 5-10 years and you want to get married as soon as you can be in the same city/state, it may not be worth.
Second, decide how often you’ll communicate/see each other. If you can only afford to fly to him twice a year because of finances and school work, but he can afford to fly to you every two or three months, is it something you’re both comfortable with? Do you expect to talk to him every night for an hour? 15 minutes? Every other day? A really long skype date on weekends? You don’t want one of you to feel smothered while the other one feels needy.
Lastly, realize that a LDR is more difficult when BOTH people are in new places. You’ll both be trying to make new friends, find new hang outs, balance your time, as well as trying to hold on to what you have together. Communication before you part is your best option for making it work, if you choose to try.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 4:59 pm
I slightly disagree that it would be more difficult with both people in new places. When I was in an LDR I felt like my boyfriend couldn’t understand what it was like to be in my shoes… he was in a place he knew, with people he knew, while I was trying alone in a new city and having to make friends and find my way around.
Maybe it will be a plus that both the LW and her boyfriend will be going through the same thing… they will be able to help each other through the difficulties of starting over.
lva June 3, 2011, 5:07 pm
After dating a guy for 6-weeks, we knew we’d have long distance coming up. Though I really cared about him, I felt like I was default programmed to resist the long distance thing – “Its so far” “Traveling is difficult” “Flights are expensive” “Long distance is a pain can it even work?” – when he replied with the best relationship advice I’ve ever gotten: “Don’t you want to at least try?”
2 years later and (now in the same city) going strong. 🙂 Bottom line – there are a million reasons not to do something, but if you really see potential, why not even try.
mf June 3, 2011, 6:23 pm
I started an LDR with a guy after we had dated less than six months. We are now engaged 🙂
I have to agree with Wendy when she says you don’t sound committed to this guy. When my then-boyfriend had to move out of state for work, I did not consider breaking up with him because I was certain he was worth the time/cost/work/loneliness of an LDR.
I’m not saying you have to go into an LDR with absolute certainty that you will marry him. However, you do need to be committed to him and to making it work. If you don’t feel like he’s truly worth the hassle, an LDR may not be the right thing for you and him.
Just my two cents!
BW June 3, 2011, 6:43 pm
I started a LDR with a guy after we’d dated for 2 months.
We’re going on 7 months now and it’s not easy. Not easy at all, but it’s totally worth it. I’m starting grad school in the fall (ironically enough, in the same state that he went to school in for the past 5 months) while he gets a job (in the same city we both usually reside in), so we’re actually FLIP FLOPPING states!
I chose to continue dating him because I felt like I couldn’t let him go (and he felt the same :)). Neither one of us has regretted it so far.
GatorGirl June 3, 2011, 10:10 pm
LW, you absolutely should try the LDR. If it works out, you’ll be so thankful. If it doesn’t work out, at least you tried. It’s a win-win situation.
My BF and I moved 900 miles apart after dating for 8 months, it’s been 2 years and 10 months, and I’m moving on Thursday to his city! It has been a wonderful, challenging, rewarding, expensive and exciting journey to this point, and we can not wait to begin this next chapter. LW, if you are going to try a LDR, make sure you have clear rules outlined before either moves (exclusivity, frequency of visits/calls, ect). Be ready for a lot of airport tears, Fridays home with your cat, and amazing reunion weekends. If you love him, and see a future with him- do it.