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Temporary Long Distance Relationship Issues - Need Advice


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Good morning. I could use some third party opinions on an issue that I am dealing with. Here's the "short" story.


My girlfriend and I started dating in April of last year, so it's been about 10 months now. We live in Virginia and in early January, she went away to school in Missouri. We're both big into animal welfare and she is going to school for professional dog training. The school is 20 weeks long and she will be back in May.


Well, I was and am very supportive of this school, it's very well regarded and she will excel at it. We talked before she left and agreed to continue dating and agreed that we both definitely wanted to make it work and give our best efforts to stay together and see what happened when she was done (i.e. could we start a life together in earnest).


The problem is, she is so consumed with school now that it's making things extremely difficult. They go to school from about 8am to 6pm and then train until 10pm-11pm at night. I know this to be true as I know several people who have gone to the school and they all said the same, that it is all consuming and students essentially wake up and train or they don't pass. There's a very low pass rate and only the most dedicated students pass. There are plenty of other guys there, but honestly, I don't really have a worry that there is something else going on. She's not the type to do that and I can pretty much tell she is all consumed with training.


My issue is that I am feeling really left out. We text back and forth during the day on and off and we have talked on the phone or on Skype a handful of times (used to be every 2 days), but it's getting tougher. I no longer get texts at night before we go to bed (3 days in a row without), we haven't Skyped/phone talked in 3 days and she just seems too busy to really have any significant engagement. She also won't let anyone (me, her mom, her dad, her cousins) come and visit her at least until she is further in the program as she says she can't spare the time and will get behind with training.


In the end, I know she cares, but I know training and school have become her #1 priority and I am a waaaaaaaay distant #2. I'm not in her shoes, but it seems to be that if she really cared and missed me, she could take 5 seconds to text goodnight before she goes to bed (lots of times she says she just passes out when she is home - I can see the bags in her eyes on Skype - before she can) and would find some way to see me if even for a day. I just feel like I am not worth the few seconds some little gestures would take. We've discussed it and she knows how I feel and has made efforts to communicate more which helped, she just gets caught up in school and they tend to fade.


I love this girl to pieces but we've got about 4 months left to go and every day is torture waiting on her to contact me. I don't think I can go on like this and am about ready to break up but not sure I will feel any better knowing she is there by herself and is now single with a bunch of guys. She is the perfect girl for me in so many ways, unlike any other I have met. We have so much in common and get along so well, I really believe we could have a great future if we could get through with this. I'm just not sure we can.



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I think she has her priorities correct.


Her career and what she is going to do in life does come first, it does come before you. If you want that amazing life with her you need to let her finish what she is doing. You have explained how hard this school is, she is trying her best to graduate. Just be there for her, don't start life drama with her about it, don't make her chose between you and her career. She is working towards a future with you, just because she doesn't contact you every time you need her to that doesn't mean she isn't thinking or dreaming about you.


If she can't spare time with you then don't worry about her sparing any time for other guys. She is focusing on what she needs to right now.


Be supportive, love her and reassure her you are there for her and when she is done you will be waiting for her.


You have to be less selfish when it comes to ones career and the path they want to take in life, there are plenty of times in our lives that we need to realize we are being selfish and take a step back and let others do what they need to do.

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Okay, question. What are you doing for yourself? This was and remains my biggest enemy during my own LDR. My SO is a medical resident, so time is a big issue for us. I also end up thinking, "Well, if he cares for me, then he would find time to call/text/whatever." At this point, I end up asking myself if it's worth it, and I always come to the same conclusion: I wait, and wait, and wait for him to contact me to the point that I forget to take care of myself. My happiness and satisfaction is my responsibility, not his. He's doing what he needs to do, but when he manages to find some free time, he is amazing to me. If that's the case for you, then I suggest you use this time to start a New and Improved Scurry1 project. It's four months. You can do so much for yourself in four months. Or, if that's too much of an undertaking, do small things for yourself. Go out with friends, see a movie, play video games.. all the things you can't do with her. It's easiest to feel their absence when you don't have a goal or activity of your own.

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Thanks for the great advice, everyone. That's all very helpful and appreciated.


To your question, Newkiss, I actually had those same thoughts and have been proactive at doing things for myself. I have been working on a book for years now and in the last month wrote 5 chapters whereas I had written only a couple in about a year before that, so that has been productive. I am also going to the gym every night and have lost a few pounds and am feeling good, so definitely focused on myself. I am so smitten with this girl and that combined with the fact I have diagnosed OCD (sucks, right?) makes it hard to stop thinking about "why didn't she text me?", "if she cared, she would call tonight", etc. We had a good but difficult talk on text today and she apologized for being so distant of late and said it's not fair and told me over and over again how terrible she feels. She tried explaining how she feels the same about me and it's just the school and the program and how busy they are (she said she hasn't showered in 4 days or done laundry, etc. they are working them so hard). It helped to hear how she feels and how busy she is. I will still wonder why she doesn't contact me at times if she really cares, but hearing her words helped a good bit. We decided to keep at it and each try and do a little more (me be less needy, her try and communicate a bit more). We'll see how it goes. I really do appreciate everyone's advice.

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As an update, we had a really long text conversation on Valentine's Day (of all days). I had sent her some flowers and I could tell she was lukewarm about them. None of the typical language we use when we are talking happily. I said something about it and she apologized for "being this way". She said she feels disconnected to everything outside of the school because the school is all consuming (again, I know it is from multiple sources). She said the best way to put it is she honestly has not had time to think about us or miss me and if she does, she blocks it out because she doesn't have time to dwell on emotions, she needs to spend 100% of her energy focusing on school (there's like a 30% graduation rate and only the people who really bust ass make it). She was very apologetic and suggested we put things on hold until she is done with school and that we can still communicate during the time she is there, she just doesn't want the stress of "maintaining the relationship on a daily basis" like is expected with a long term relationship. She said that when she can't text or call me, she knows I am hurt and it hurts her to know she is hurting me because she can't find the time and that takes her focus away from training. I asked her if it was about someone else and she said no and I believe her. I looked back through old emails and the message she is telling me is consistent for the last 3 weeks. I really do believe she just feels like she is too busy and needs 100% focus on her schoolwork and I have to wait. I can understand that for the most part, but it's very hard to swallow that she doesn't miss me enough or think about me to make me a tiny, tiny sliver of her daily life. She has her own dog there and a new puppy she is training and lives in a house with 4 other people (3 women and a fresh out of high school guy, so no threats there) so I know she has a lot going on and deep down, I know her story is true. I guess it just hurts that I don't feel important enough for her to think about with fondness (she now says thinking about me makes her sad because she knows I am hurting). So, I guess I'll hang in there as long as I can and appreciate the sporadic texts I may get from her. Visiting her to the comment above is not possible. Not for me, her mom, dad, etc. She is not going to let anyone visit. She has laser focus on school.


Oh, well. Thanks for letting me ramble.

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  • 3 weeks later...



I can relate, somewhat, to your situation. My bf is in a different province (hopefully for one more week), working on a ranch with no cell reception. He is sharing a house with another guy and so they share the internet and phone. There are days I won't get an email or phone call... I usually worry, because I think something bad happened But my school and work schedule keeps be occupied, and he is an hour ahead, so usually when I am done my night classes its way past bedtime. Though, I do feel disappointed because I feel I should get a quick phone call at least...Of course, he makes up for it in the morning after he goes to bed feeling bad about not contacting me (like your gf). Fortunately for me, this LDR thing will be done in a week or so. But I can definitely relate to your situation. If my bf ended up having to work there for six or eight more months... it would be a grueling and lonely time for me.


Sounds like you have a lot of feelings for this girl, and hopefully things will return to normal once her schooling is done. From what you have typed, she does sound genuine.

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Hello OP, I'm a state below you


I am in the same boat as you. My fiance is in school up in Philly. I definitely feel you on how this is difficult for you to adjust because I'm going through the same thing. For me, the two things that make it so incredibly tough is that I am living in a new area where I really don't know anybody outside of my work (I moved a few months ago) and I am engaged. We are having a lot of difficulty getting wedding plans underway due to money and time. We can't even save up for our wedding because he went part-time (try going to med school full time and working at a hospital part-time to only cover rent/bills) to pay for school and as a Southern teacher living on her own and paying for everything... I'm not making much. It's why we may end up having a small wedding and hold out reception at a church hall (which I am not too happy about, but it is what it is).


Just like you are too, I am also having issues of keeping contact and trying to find things to keep conversations going. Skype, phone calls, texting help, but they aren't a permanent solution. In fact I've lately been feeling even lonelier and distant recently every time I talk to him and I'm trying to look for ways to overcome them. I mostly find myself avoiding calling him for a few days because I don't want to be depressed


Oh yea... you comment of her being alone with a bunch of dudes while in school... I'm there too. My fiance is the only male student in his classes and one of his classmates (single) has recently been "liking" every single Facebook posts he makes and writing overly-friendly comments that almost come off flirty. I'm trying to deal with that too even though I am not a jealous type... so yea... feel you on that.


20 weeks isn't that bad. I seriously wish I had your time. Try being in my shoes for a year of being separated and it will drive you crazy. My fiance won't be moving to where I am until August and we have been separated since June 2012. Only time I get to see him is in two weeks from now... for just a week long... and then I wait again until AUGUST when he graduates.


In times like these, you have to keep yourself busy to use your time. Find some hobbies, spend time with your friends, etc. I have been working out, reading a lot of books, playing video games, taking as many volunteer opportunities at my workplace as possible, and going to link removed group outings. It's not much, but it has kept me sane and stable in a place where I don't know anyone or have a lot of friends in.

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I've been through this before with my boyfriend (going on 6 months) and we've gone through A LOT of issues/discussions/arguments etc over this. His work requires him to travel a lot and it's very time consuming. When we first started dating, he has yet to start the job so we had a lot of time together and we would text every hour and he would call me every night. I LOVED the attention. Then, he left for the Caribbean to work for 2 weeks and suddenly, the texts stopped. I had a heart attack thinking that he was in trouble. It turned out he was just extremely busy. When he got back to the States, his work would sometimes be so time consuming, we would exchange 1 text a day. In the beginning, I was UNHAPPY and FRUSTRATED. I thought, why couldn't he spare a few seconds during lunch time or on his break to text me? Was I not important enough? Does he not think about me? It's not fair since I am dedicating so much of myself for him.


Anyhoo, we went through this at least 3 times because of his work and travel, and FINALLY, I understand. He's now in Europe for 10 weeks and we haven't had any fights (knock on wood). Here are a few things you should keep in mind:


1. You girlfriend DOES care about you. She DOES think about you. She DOES misses you. - You have more time than her, therefore, the problem is much bigger in your head and you dwell on it more. She does NOT have the time to dwell on it, esp if her schedule is that hectic.


2. Trust should not be the issue- STOP, and I mean STOP, thinking about her spending time with those guys etc. You keep mentioning how this guy and that guy is not a threat, and that you don't want to break up and let her be single with all those guys. Come on! Give her more credit than that. Don't let your insecurity make her out to be the bad and untrustworthy person. If you let this jealousy take over, it's not going to work.


3. Be more SUPPORTIVE instead of offensive. She's isolating herself not from you but also from her family and friends. She's working hard for her future and goals. She shouldn't be punished for that and you're punishing her by telling her how she is hurting you, how she needs to do this and that.. it's not good.


4. Be UNDERSTANDING. If she doesn't talk to you today, or tomorrow or the next day, send her a nice and supportive email. Tell her about something funny that happened to you. Then tell her you miss her and hope that she's doing well with her classes. She would then look forward towards reading and hearing from you to ease her stress, to make her smile and trust me, knowing how you're understanding and supportive is going to make her appreciate you and she's going to look forward to coming home to you. Again, focus on making her smile instead of making her feel bad. No one wants to come home from a long day or work and deal with relationship problems that they CANNOT control.


I did this with my boyfriend. Instead of waiting for him to text me, I'd email him about something funny to make him smile. I'd remind him of something that we shared. Send him a cute photo and tell him I miss him and hope that his day went well. I never mention "you never called me" or "why didn't you text me?" etc. When he does find time to talk to me, he would tell me how much he appreciates my understanding etc.

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