I am in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend. I came to know him on a social media platform, and was introduced by one of our common friends. He was in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend for nine years and they got engaged, but eventually broke up four months prior to the date of their wedding. She told him she fell out of love.
A year after, I came into the picture. We got to know each other and talked about our lives, our goals, our past experiences. He told me the story about his ex and how it affected him, and that the memory of their relationship still lingers. After a week, he became flirty and I responded in kind. After a six weeks of chatting, we became official. Everything seemed fine — we talked by chat, we did video calls at least three times a week, which took three to five hours each call. He was very sweet and respectful. Then after a month, his place started having a problem with the Internet. He’d lose his connection so our communication became limited to chatting. He can call me, but he’s not calling me often because he has to minimize the cost of usage, which I do understand.
Now that our communication has become limited, it has also become dull. Before, he used to send me long good morning and goodnight texts. They’ve become dry. It feels like he has no enthusiasm to chat. I respond similarly. We are both busy during the day and used to communicate at night once we got home. He’s often busy, and now, as a defense mechanism, I stay busy.
I love him and he is worth it. I want to hold on. However, each day I became more insecure. Should I end it? If I do, it will be really hurtful because I love him and he told me he loves me too ... but I don’t feel like he’s putting forth any effort in our conversations.
A. Three times a week for three to five hours. Wow.
I mean, that’s great commitment, but I’m not sure the two of you were ever going to be able to maintain that kind of schedule. You have other people in your lives, and goals for the day. You needed better chat/life balance.
That’s one of my questions for you. In a perfect world — but one that’s still long-distance for the two of you — how much would you talk? How would you balance your online lives with the world around you? What would be the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of meeting up in real life? Is there any way to close the distance gap?
My advice is to get him on a call or Zoom (or whatever works) and answer these questions together. Don’t be silent about what bugs you — or about what you’re hoping to get from this relationship. Figure out your baseline for what counts as dating, and then ask him if he’s up for it. If he’s not, you can move on. Yes, there might be love here, but practical issues are real. If you’re never going to be in the same place and you can’t find ways to communicate, you can love each other enough to let go.
I’m not saying you can’t fall in love with someone long distance, but the truth is you can’t expect much until you spend a significant amount of time together in person. Online, phone, texting whatever, still needs a physical component eventually. If your relationship can’t continue to be exciting via words, I doubt it would have lasted in person. Break up, nurse your wounds, move on. Most importantly live your real life around you, not online, and find someone there. FINNOKEY
^”Most importantly live your real life around you, not online, and find someone there.” This ^^ FREEADVICEFORYOU
So your entire relationship has been long distance? Have you ever met in person? If you want this relationship to continue, you’re going to have to (at minimum) make plans to meet. Connecting with someone online isn’t the same as connecting in person. SURFERROSA
You have never met this person. You have a pen pal. WIZEN
Send your own relationship and dating questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.