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Long distance relationship stress


tennisguy

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Hello, this is my first time on these forums. My situation feels a bit desperate as I feel like every option I have is wrong. Sorry this is long.

 

Is marriage the only happy destination of a good relationship?

 

I just graduated from college and in the previous Fall semester I fell in love with a girl for the first time. However I have dreams of a career that will take me all over the US (I'm American and I'm still in the US now) and all over Asia as well. She is Japanese but she still has two years of school left in America. I have always been clear with her about my plans, and that things would be tough after I graduate, but emotions got the best of us and we got extremely close. I also have casually told her (wasn't specifically talking about us, I didn't want to be arrogant) that I don't want to marry anybody until my late 20s or early 30s.

 

However those far off travel plans don't seem so far anymore now that I'm out of school. I was happy every day I spent with her. Now that we are apart I just feel horrible guilt every single day. I'm already freaking out over another major decision to get my career started, it's the biggest decision of my life. Now on top of that this relationship is making me feel so guilty and stressed that it's pushing me over the edge and I can't go on like this. I already know that while she is here this Fall, I will be in Japan. Then I may go to China to work, maybe someplace else in the US, maybe someplace else anywhere. I don't want to settle down for another 5 years at least. In my travels I plan to learn Japanese and Mandarin, but I avoided speaking to her in much Japanese so she wouldn't think I was using her.

 

When I told her about my plans again for like the 5th time, she was devastated. This wasn't news to her, the other times that I have talked about my plans she was just like "oh yeah that sounds cool". She said that she was heartbroken this time though. Then she turned around so fast that it was almost eerie. Despite the enormous odds against us she is willing to wait 8 years if she has to, she's optimistic. But I don't see how this will work, I don't like our odds and I don't want a 5 year cyber relationship where all we do is talk on skype and maybe visit twice a year. She was surprised about that news even though I told her like 5 times before. For all I know she thinks I will just "come to my senses" and propose to her as soon as she graduates. She is crazy about me and I'm afraid that if I break up with her she will be a mess for months. She took her last breakup very badly. I can't in good consciousness continue a relationship that I don't think will work when she is so emotionally invested in it. I can't keep feeling this guilty every day. Should I wait a few months and hope that distance cools it off before I break up with her? Should I do it now in case it intensifies on her end? I don't want her to be a mess again, I don't want to damage her. But if we try for a few years and fail she will take it even worse. I don't know what to say or do. My feelings for her are strong but if I abandon my life goals so early in my 20s I will always hate myself. A relationship requires responsibilities that I don't think I will be able to offer for quite some time. I have no doubt that my career dreams are genuine, but I never planned on falling for her. I wish our meeting could have waited 10 years.

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OP, don't put this decision on her... clearly it's your decision. Don't try to be all noble and suggest you are doing it for her sake. If YOU feel the relationship is worth the shot, then go for it, she's clearly on one side of the fence so to speak. Either way, you need to air out your feelings on the matter. She might not realize how serious you are about pursuing your career... which there is nothing wrong with by the way. The question is do you feel the risk is worth the reward?

 

-Kevin

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Well Kevin, my feelings are currently clouded by some other things going on in my life right now. But if I could do something about this guilt I could just keep going on like this with her and see what happens. If we spent so much as a week together everything would intensify back up to the way they were on graduation day. But like I said our odds are very bad, we may not even be able to move to a similar place X years from now no matter how badly we want to. We have talked about it before and she insists that she will wait for however long it takes. We both don't even know what country we want to settle down in. She claims to have similar aspirations as me and I hope they are legit. It could be bad if she was just saying that she doesn't yet know where to live just so she could follow me.

 

Do long distance relationships like this cool off over time? She keeps telling me how much her friends like me and tell her how good looking they think I am from pictures(sometimes if Japanese people don't see many foreigners they overestimate the attractiveness of a foreigner that they see). When her friends and family talk about me so much it will be hard to imagine things cooling off on her end. Ans selfishly I don't want her cool family to view me as the kind of jerk that people write songs about.

 

If there was just some way to start a lifelong friendship with her instead of this I could still talk to her a lot without feeling so guilty. Perhaps I would see this as being worth it if I was sure that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her eventually. While we have a ton of fun together and rarely fight, there are some key areas that we differ in that would cause problems later. For one I am not gifted in anything yet I worked my ass off for sports, decent grades, and language ability. She learned English when she was 2, and she has always been smart but very lazy. She has great common sense and understands that she is waisting potential and her parents money when she has to take a summer course because she failed the class during the regular school year thanks to plain laziness. She is smarter than me yet my grades blow hers away. She was bilingual her whole life and has no appreciation for it while I study my ass off to speak Japanese with a thick accent. Her Japanese education allowed her to get amazing SAT scores without even using a calculator yet she failed a basic accounting class and an econ class. That stuff isn't my business but it still bothers me sometimes, and is one thing that I've never told her.

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Sounds to me like you're putting this relationship on a pedestal... a beautiful potential of what "could be" somewhere down the line. Let me clear the air for you... feelings do change... guaranteed. If the people involved roll with the change and can continue together that's what love/respect/friendship is all about. After all, it's the hard times that define a relationship, not the easy ones. Sounds like you two are on the edge of some hard times. Don't force your hand, or allow her to force yours. She and you may be very different people a few years from now.

 

-Kevin

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Do long distance relationships like this cool off over time? She keeps telling me how much her friends like me and tell her how good looking they think I am from pictures(sometimes if Japanese people don't see many foreigners they overestimate the attractiveness of a foreigner that they see). When her friends and family talk about me so much it will be hard to imagine things cooling off on her end.

 

 

 

It's pretty clear that she's young, a little immature, and that she and her family idolize you. She (and her family in some ways) loves you for what you represent, an idealized sense of beauty - different and more "popular" features - and America. I betcha if another, more 'handsome and successful' guy came into her life, her friends and family would not mind if she stayed with him. It's nothing against you; she just needs to grow up ... which she will with time.

 

I would steer clear of this long-distance relationship if I were you.

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you've been very clear to her what your plans are.. you're going abroad to better your career. you have nothing to feel guilty about for that..it's not like you surprised her with this. it's too bad for her if she stayed in it because she thought you would change.

 

you should figure out whether she is worth being with but not seeing often. is she worth missing? the missing feeling is hard, but you'll both distract yourselves. if you really want each other than you would deal with this issue.

 

LDR are definitely possible if both people put in the effort. the physical aspect is hard, but technology makes it easy to talk all the time.. texting, video chat, calling, etc.

 

good luck in your decision!

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