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I don't know how to feel (long distance)


stupidchair

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Sorry for the vague "relationship advice" tag. I primarily need advice, but this falls under the categories of LGBTQ, cyber relationships, and- even though it really hurts to say it- infidelity.


So I've been dating this girl for a year, and it's long distance. It actually works out great for us, because she's in college and I moved into my first house around the time we met and I'm still trying to get my stuff together and navigate living on my own. We know we're at different places in our lives and meeting up is hard due to covid- but honestly, I love her more than anything and she loves me. I'm disabled and neurodivergent, and though she's the first person to really love me as just me, and think I'm beautiful, I've gotten to the point where I have the self worth to say "this is amazing, but I'm worthy of love anyways." She's helped me grow as a person.

We decided that we're going to meet up lots of times- and after she's graduated from med school and I have a good career thing going, we're going to settle down together. We're both aware that it's going to be a long, long time. Like, maybe even a decade. But that sounds good for both of us, because I couldn't imagine settling down any sooner. She's so worth it to me and there's no other option. This is the love of my life. I've been in other relationships, so no, I'm not inexperienced or trying too hard with my first love. I really just know. She's the same way- she says she feels cared for, and listened to, and wanted. I don't mean to be too much "me me me," but her side of the story is something that she should be able to tell.

However, she's a very private person and that was always fine with me. We try to work around it, but one night, she called me and muted her phone saying she was going to sleep. We do that a lot, we just sleep on the phone together to feel close, so I didn't feel like anything was wrong. When she muted, one of her friends came over and she started doing stuff with her. Stuff. She told me right after saying it was just an accident and she was drinking, and I forgave her. I love her, and I'm not physically there to be with her. I kept my feelings out of it because she was so upset and needed to talk about it. She was on the phone with me, while she was having sex with someone else. I can't even bring myself to call it cheating. We wouldn't do that to each other.

I'm not crazy to be upset about that, right? Am I upset? Am I okay? I don't know. And then I started seeing tweets that were obviously not about me, but really romantic. The friend is liking these tweets. I'm not watching, and I don't even pry any deeper because its not my place to. I keep feeling like she's got feelings for her friend, but she keeps saying it's nothing and they just hang out. She's really upset, like how could I? I don't know if it's just petty jealousy, or if there is something going on. So she's allowed to be mad at me for seeing my friends- knowing I'm demisexual lesbian and ONLY attracted to her- but if she sleeps with someone else, how dare I be worried and miss her and need to know what's going on?

Not to be a Chad or anything, but lots of sex is a good part of our relationship and she says I keep her satisfied. It didn't seem like a matter of me not fulfilling her. Sex is pretty much the highest level of intimacy to me and it's just my way of showing she means the world to me. She's the first person I've consented to doing stuff with, because I can't handle the idea of giving that level of intimacy to someone I'm not committed to for life. (I'm not religious, I'm just weird.) Even if it's just video calls and texts, it's a lot for me. She kinda has the same idea and is monogamous. But for her to tell me "I only want you" and sleep with her friend? Even on accident, it's weird to me.

If she doesn't want to be with me, why isn't she telling me? And if she does want to be with me, why is she acting so off? Obviously things like mental health and being upset affect someone's attitude, but at what point do I just tell her we need to talk about it? And obviously, my mental health and disability make it difficult to read between the lines and communicate sometimes. I tell her she has to tell me what she needs and I'll literally do anything for her- but then that doesn't happen, she never communicates, and I'm just left stuck wondering what's going on with us.

I feel bad, but I love her. This very much is a healthy relationship, even if we have struggles. Does anyone have any experience with any of this? Where do I go from here?

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How much time do the two of you spend together in person?

I agree that "doing stuff" (sexual) with someone else is cheating if you're supposed to be in a committed relationship.  However, if you two don't see one another in person I'd have a hard time blaming her for wanting in-person physical contact.  But she should tell you that instead of having sex with someone else and then blaming you for being upset about it.

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59 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

How much time do the two of you spend together in person?

I agree that "doing stuff" (sexual) with someone else is cheating if you're supposed to be in a committed relationship.  However, if you two don't see one another in person I'd have a hard time blaming her for wanting in-person physical contact.  But she should tell you that instead of having sex with someone else and then blaming you for being upset about it.

We haven't met in person, we were only 3 months in when covid hit. We're planning on her coming for Christmas this year, and she wants me there for a few days in summer if it's safe. If it goes well, I'll probably be seeing her several times a year. It's more than an idea now, with both of us looking into different airlines for ticket prices and us talking to our families about it.

I agree, it's difficult to have a relationship like this, and I don't blame her for wanting someone there. If she wanted to leave and have in-person relationships, I'd want her to be happy. But the stress comes from the mixed signals and her not telling me what's going on. I keep asking and keep getting nothing.

I know the solution sounds easy- just break it off- but it would do a lot more harm than good.

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It's a relationship and monogamous or it isn't. Do you know that she slept with someone else? Now's the time to clarify what your boundaries are as a couple otherwise you're just going to keep going around in circles hurting yourself every time someone or other comes around appearing friendly. 

Clarify the boundaries and ask her if she's open to a committed relationship. If she isn't, do your part and re-evaluate whether this is a situation for you. Love alone is not enough to keep you on an even keel, nourished or mentally/emotionally fulfilled. 

Work on your self-confidence if possible because it takes guts being able to stand up for yourself acknowledging what you need to be happy. 

Don't make excuses for bad behaviour. 

Hope you feel better soon.

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I am confused. 

Do you two consider yourselves to be exclusive? Because if so, she is definitely not monogamous and she definitely cheated on you if she had sex with someone else. 

And if you do consider yourselves exclusive, surely you realize this is not wise when you've never met this person. Making all these grand future plans is also really not smart. You have no clue how well you'd mesh in each other's physical presence, day after day. Deciding to settle down somewhere down the line is unrealistic and very premature. Unless and until you spend ample quality time together offline, you really should not be planning your life around this person. 

What I am gathering is that she is living her life as a single woman, and you are way more invested than she is. Yes, she says pretty things to you sometimes, but her behaviour tells a different story. I'm sorry OP, but I would strongly caution you against putting the cart before the horse. You stand to get very, very hurt.  

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