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Hi. This is my first long-distance relationship, and it is with a childhood friend - never a boyfriend - that I reconnected with on an online network 6 months ago. We were both single and seemed to be inseparable nearly from the moment our paths crossed. We live 1200 miles apart. Within two weeks, he invited me to meet him halfway (we drove) over Labor Day Weekend, and it was wonderful. I felt safe, secure, and really trusted him. Then, I flew to see him for a long weekend later in September (if this is going to work, I need to see what life is where he is because he has a very good, solid, and irreplaceable job with an auto manufacturer and two very young daughters where he lives, and I will eventually have to move so I wanted to see what life is like there). During that visit, he told me and showed me on his calendar that he had taken time off work to spend long weekends with me in October, November, and December. They were all very wonderful. I met his girls, and they love me and I them. I even met the ex-wife who is now married, and everyone gets along very, very well. She and I even like each other. HOWEVER, in October, during my visit, his phone kept vibrating, and he kept telling me it was work and he wanted to ignore it. I had a bad feeling about this but said nothing. Next thing I know, his ex-girlfriend shows up to his house irate and asking him why he isn't answering his phone, returning phone calls, etc. I saw her coming and hid upstairs. This is a girl that he had told me was his ex since January 2009. When she finally left, I asked some very difficult questions to which he seemed to answer well. I pointedly asked if he was still seeing her, and he said no, that she has a hard time letting go (but I would later find out that he was still including her and her daughter in plans that he and his daughters had). He left her out of the details when he would tell me about his activities with his girls. I came back home and tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Also, while there in October, I asked him where he wants to take our relationship (what he hopes for, how long he'd like to see each other this way, etc. and so on -- trying to learn of his expectations to see if we are in agreement and also to put a timeframe on things). He just very abruptly would state "I'm not rushing into anything". That is the only thing he would say. I didn't like this, either, because I've been hurt alot, and he knows this and knows I'm not anxious to be in a troubled relationship again, AND I've not trusted a man with my heart in over 5 years so this is quite a leap for me. Especially at a distance. Not to mention that if I were looking for a relationship - which I wasn't when he and I fell into this - I could certainly find someone right here in Florida. I don't need to be hopping a plane to find a man to spend time with. The November trip was wonderful, and so was the December trip. There were no more phone calls from the ex (that I know of), and I never saw her again. I must admit that I'm a bit hurt, though, that he never even asked to get together over the holidays (he made two trips back to our hometown during the holidays), and we haven't kept up with our monthly long weekends (which is what he said he wanted to do with our relationship until he is comfortable that we are not making a mistake). We didn't see each other in January, and now no February trip has been planned, either. When I asked him a few weeks back about Valentine's Day (since it is our first, and I also thought a good excuse to get together since we haven't seen each other since beginning of December), he avoided the topic. Finally one week ago, I said "What is the problem? Why do you not seem to care that we haven't seen each other?", and he blamed it on work, said that the beginning of the year is hectic at the plant, etc., and he never knows what may be happening there - that he could be called into work at a moment's notice on a weekend, etc., but I've already been there when he worked, and he hasn't been called in one single time this year. We used to exchange emails, but he doesn't answer mine anymore. We still text every morning and throughout the day (though the texts throughout the day have dropped off), and we talk every single night after he gets off work. I've tried to suggest to him that maybe he has made a mistake or doesn't have time for this relationship and if so, just tell me, and he says that isn't it at all. He has said that Valentine's Day just isn't that big of a deal to him, but I don't know why he couldn't have told me that when I first mentioned it over a month ago. I just thought it an opportunity - that's all. So, now, I'm wondering if I will even get a V-Day card (if nothing more but to express appreciation for me) from my long distance boyfriend. Things just seem so different now. Should I be worried? What do you think? I don't want to end what seems like an awesome friendship and romance (when we're together), and worse yet, ending it on suspicion alone or misunderstanding due to distance and time constraints. I just have this nagging going on inside me all the time, but I'm not sure if I'm just scared or if something is not quite right on his end. Please don't misunderstand - I'm in no rush to move up there or anything like that, either. I just feel that he isn't that interested in me anymore though he denies it. I also have to be honest here and say that since this weekend (V-Day weekend) is a non-visitation weekend with his girls, I can't help but wonder if he made other plans with someone else. That being said, I just have to tell you that I have never been cheated on before nor have I ever been the jealous or insecure type so where is this coming from?

Thanks for your help.

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"Hope for the best but expect the worst" would be the attitude I'd try to adapt to if I were in your situation. Based on what you wrote I think he is at a point where he may still have his ex-girlfriend nagging him (maybe she doesn't want to let go) and between that and his kids and work he may be really pressed for time when it comes to your relationship with him. I think you're getting ahead of yourself planning to move there and having a future with him just yet. See how things play out over the next few months and if things are not progressing the way you'd like them to then it would be a good time to reconsider the relationship. I was in a long-distance relationship with a woman from the other part of the world. We had made plans to meet after 5 months of dating but she canceled on me last minute and has been rescheduling to meet me since always saying "In two months I promise" but when the two month mark came around there was always some new excuse. A year and a half went by nearly and still we didnt' spend time in person so that made me very weary of the whole arrangement I had with her.

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I am just going to give you my gut opinion, for what it is worth. He is letting work be the excuse for what is holding him back but that's not the reason. Anyone can manage work as well as a relationship. I fhe were into the relationship he would find a way.

 

I don't think you should continue seeing him because he's no longer making the effort. You don't need to probe why. Just take the facts as they are and move on. You don't need him to end things because he's too cowardly to do so. He's trying to get you to break up with him (maybe) so he doesn't feel guilty. Or he's keeping you as backup, I'm sorry to say.

 

You deserve better. Don't invest more of yourself in someone who cannot reciprocate.

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I am just going to give you my gut opinion, for what it is worth. He is letting work be the excuse for what is holding him back but that's not the reason. Anyone can manage work as well as a relationship. I fhe were into the relationship he would find a way.

 

I don't think you should continue seeing him because he's no longer making the effort. You don't need to probe why. Just take the facts as they are and move on. You don't need him to end things because he's too cowardly to do so. He's trying to get you to break up with him (maybe) so he doesn't feel guilty. Or he's keeping you as backup, I'm sorry to say.

 

You deserve better. Don't invest more of yourself in someone who cannot reciprocate.

 

I agree..trust your gut. You've done your job...you've noticed the difference and decline in contact and meetups, then you asked him. He is not doing his job...I would most certainly drop off the earth, and THEN see his response.

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I want to thank all of you for every single thing you said. I have actually thought about and considered each and every one of your ideas about this situation so your replies provided me with some much-needed validation.

 

I guess the thing that has clouded my vision most in this situation is the fact that my boyfriend is someone I knew over 20 years ago in school, and he was so kind-hearted, forthright, and all around just a sweet boy. He dated my friend, and we all ate lunch together every single day. I know - times change, and people change over time. I have so desired to not hurt my friend from long ago (we still interact just as warmly now) that I have second-guessed myself on numerous occasions because I don't want to be unfair to him or hurt him unnecessarily. It has been so wonderful to fall in love with and love and be loved by someone who is a friend. It would seem that we have all of the necessary components for a lifetime relationship and the kind that most people wish for - friendship and romance. But something is amiss.

 

It is difficult to break up with someone that you are in love with and love and have had nothing but wonderful times with (when together - not to mention to lose this childhood friend - but his actions (or inaction) have troubled me for so long. I feel that we all make time for what/who is important to us and that his work is a weak excuse. If roles were reversed, I'd see him however I could, and I'd be happy to have him however I could get him (even if it did mean I was away at work during the day or evening and could only enjoy a late dinner and sleeping next to him while he was visiting). At least we would have some time together.

 

I've been so confused because he texts and tells me everyday that he loves and misses me but seems unwilling to arrange a visit.

 

I asked him again about his feelings towards Valentine's Day (that it has never been a big deal for him) and if there is a story surrounding that attitude toward the holiday. He said there is no story - just that he feels that it is a holiday for people who do not regularly show their love and appreciation and that he feels he shows his love and appreciation each and every day. I said "Wow. I don't know what to say to that because it seems to me that since we are doing this long distance, we need to work at it so much harder. My thought is that it is another opportunity to show each other how much we care or appreciate each other." I trusted my gut and only sent him a card (because I'm tired of feeling unreciprocation); however, I did send his girls Valentine's Day cards and gifts.

 

I just wasn't up to getting into some big discussion last night because I missed his call to me when he first called, and then when I returned the call, it went right to voicemail (which happens just about every single time that I don't answer his call after he gets off work). As usual, I texted him and said "Trying to call you. Please call me", and then he texted back "Talking to folks on landline. Call you shortly." Then it was over an hour before he called. Of course, since this happens regularly - inability to reach him when I return the call and his same text response - this had me going. Not to mention that by the time he called me and we could talk, it was approaching 10 PM. Not the time when I want to have a dark discussion that I have no idea how it will end. When he called me, he asked what was wrong, and I did say to him "I was just beginning to wonder when you were going to return my call and why whenever I miss your call and I call back, you're not available. Guess you figured it was a good time to call the other girl and get that over with since I lost my place in the queue." Dead silence. Then he said "Whaaat?" and I could feel the arctic winds coming through the phoneline. I said "I know you heard me", and he said "No, no, no." And then I changed the subject because I thought to myself "Do I really want to do this right now? Am I up for it?" But seriously, over the past couple of months (when the distance seems to have grown on his end), he suddenly started calling me from the car on his way home rather than once he was home and settled. And I hate to say it, but I thought "He is calling someone else after he hangs up with me." I don't know why. I have never thought such things before. And then last night happened again the way that it did, and that just fed into my suspicion. Yes, it could have been his folks, but I find it odd that it is his folks each and every single time that I don't take his call when he calls me after work. For whatever reason, I don't believe what he tells me anymore.

 

Anyways, I'm going to be hanging around this forum for a long while as I attempt to get through these issues and move out of this emotional uncertainty.

 

Thank you so much to everyone who has replied or replies. I appreciate it very much.

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HurtingInFL, I want to wish you the best, whatever that may be. I have been in the situation of wanting the man that I am with to be The One for me. But his actions have shown me otherwise.

 

I would like to hold out hope for you, if it is appropriate -- only you, ultimately, know whether it is. But -- and this may sound silly but it's true -- as the movie, "He's Just Not That Into You" pointed out, our well-meaning friends can try to give us hope when hope is not justified. And in fact, stirring up hope when it is misplaced can do our friend harm instead of good in the long run.

 

Again, I wish the best for you. I understand the deep connection that you feel due to growing up together and him being a sweet person. All I can say, as someone with her own experiences, is judge by the actions, not by the excuses. Excuses will tangle you up in knots. Actions are much clearer, especially if they form a pattern. If your man's actions change and he demonstrates his love for you, then I will be all for your continuing relationship. Then he will have given you something you can trust.

 

Be well. ((Hugs))

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you again for the very sound and kind advice.

Reality has hit in quite hard over the past several weeks. He blew off Valentine's Day (as far as "we" went); however, he talked about how his parents sent him a monetary gift for V-Day and how he purchased V-Day gifts for his daughters (even though he had previously told me that he doesn't acknowledge V-Day), then he wouldn't commit to a visit. I did finally get him to talk with me about "us" (nearly one month ago), and he very simply said that "we aren't firing on all cylinders". Well, we hadn't seen each other since early December, and even though we were texting every morning, texting rarely throughout the day, and then talking at night, it is a long distance relationship. I think to expect sparks and high-intensity emotions every single moment of every single day is immature - over the distance of 1200 miles or even living under the same roof. I reminded him of my concerns about this, among other things that go with a long-distance relationship at the start of all of this, and he didn't seem to care about anything that he or "we" had committed to. When I asked him if he wanted to continue, he said he did and that he does, in fact, love me. So, it seemed that we had had "the talk" and would move on from there. My birthday was rapidly approaching so I suggested a visit. He said it sounded good but would "get back to" me about it. Thought that weird and felt uneasy. So, the next day (literally 10 days ago), I pressed the issue and said "I need to book a flight if I'm going to be there next week. What do you think?", and he said "I haven't had a chance to think about it." I said "Why do you need to think about it - - Are you still having problems with "us"?", and he said "I am. We are just not the same.", and I said "How can we be the same when we don't even see each other, have separate lives accross 1200 miles, and only share a very small portion of each day with each other? I thought we made a commitment. Didn't we have a great time each and every time we were together? Wasn't our last visit just perfect in every way?", and he said it was! So, we ended it right then and there. I asked him why he was continuing to say he misses and loves me, and he said because he does. It sounded as though he thought we'd continue our friendship, but quite frankly, I don't feel that he was a good friend to me at all. Not now. Way back in high school, yes, but something has changed. The sweet boy that I knew so long ago was changed. I don't say this because we broke up or didn't work out - which I beg to differ (I'm serious - it was all great. He told me so when I was there and even texting me as I was boarding the plane each and every time on my way back to FL). I say he wasn't a good friend and isn't friendship material because he was either dishonest at the start of this or throughout or both. I always thought that he was shopping around. I think he is fickle and lacks the maturity to have the kind of relationship that he told me he was looking for and had, in fact, found with me (just months ago).

It had reached a point for me that it seemed that the longer I stayed in this relationship with the way he was behaving, the more I was signing up for more questions, self-doubt, confusion, and heartbreak. Though once out, it did surprise me that yesterday (my birthday), he didn't even have the decency to text, email, or call - or send a card or gift. We haven't spoken since that night when we ended things even though he had the audacity to presume that we'd be friends after how he treated me. After everything, I wasn't about to let him have it both ways (which it seemed that in some respects, he already had been having things both ways). I needed to not participate in that kind of imbalance any longer. I knew that he'd be happy to call and/or text regularly just to keep me waiting in the wings, so to speak, and to stroke his ego, and I'm just tired of that. He treated me like I'm some stupid, fat, ugly girl, and I'm so not any of those things.

I'm relieved that there was finally a conclusion (not that I wanted us to end), but from time to time, I still have questions and sadness. That being said, those questions and that level of sadness that I have now is far less than what I had while being his better half - which I most certainly was.

I did have to reach the point where I started only looking at actions and behaviors - and the patterns that were being played out - and stopped listening to what was being said. I used to do that, but somehow along the way in this relationship, my commonsense had taken leave. I appreciate the reminder of this very basic concept and I so very much appreciate the validation and support that I received here.

THANK YOU!

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You mentioned a couple things: "The sweet boy that I knew so long ago was changed.." That is definantly true. Also, he does seem to want to have it 'both ways'.

 

I think you deserve FAR better. You almost have to throw your past with him from 'back in the day' out the window as far as evaluating him. View him for what he is 'today' and the person he has become. These relationship are kind of strange, because had you not known him from the past you may never have even gotten into a relationship with him. You also probably wouldn't have put up with as much stuff that you have so far.

 

I believe there is somebody better for you. This guy has a ton of 'loose threads' in his life that he seems unwilling to address or change. I doubt very highly that the ex-girlfriend is simply having a problem 'letting go'. As they say, 'it takes two to tango'. If she was being a stalker he probably would have told you that earlier and forewarned you. I think he was just making up something on the fly to cover his tracks.

 

You would be wise to move on from this guy and his games.

 

God bless...

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HIF, thanks for updating us. I'm sorry that the relationship didn't turn out the way you'd hoped, but you've given it your best shot. You have everything to be proud of, actually. You gave him chances and stated what you wanted, and you cared about him, and that's the best any of us can do. Unfortunately, he is not rising to the occasion and he's not giving you the love and respect you deserve. You need not think about him any further.

 

Move toward the next thing that is in store for you. You're more than ready for a satisfying, reciprocal relationship. I am confident it will come your way.

 

Be well.

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