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Should we try a long-distance relationship?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 11, 2011 08:14 AM

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Q: Hi Meredith,

My boyfriend is about to move for a year to a city 10 hours away and I'm not sure if we should stay together.

Here's the background: We met on a dating website and went on our first date around a year and a half ago. I was living at home at the time because I had just graduated college and hadn't yet found a job; he's a med student. We started seeing each other, but we didn't become exclusive until 8 months later when I moved to the city.

We've had a good relationship since then -- I've met his parents a couple times, he has come to my house for holidays, he spends all his free time with me -- but I still see that he goes on the dating site every day. I've called him out on this, but he just says he doesn't do anything bad on it and won't talk about it further. I think he shouldn't be on there if he is happy in our relationship; it isn't a social network. I can't keep tabs on him from more than 500 miles away, and I'm concerned that he will meet someone else in his new city on there.

He went home, which is a few hours away, a month ago and just returned to Boston to move out. He has a few exams to take before moving, and I understand he needs to dedicate most of his time to studying, but I am hurt because I thought we would be able to spend his last few weeks together. He also wasn't great about keeping in touch while home, and doesn't really understand why I've been upset about that.

I don't know if he is still immature (he's 25) and doesn't know how to be a boyfriend, or if I'm really not that important to him. He says he wants to try to stay together while he's gone, but he also claims he isn't sure if he'll be able to visit me at all due to time and money.

We're really good together, but I'm scared things will go sour when we're apart thanks to the above problems. He doesn't know anyone in the city where he is moving, so I have a hunch I will be bombarded with calls every day out of boredom and loneliness. Still, I don't want to waste a year pining for someone who isn't as dedicated to me and still on the prowl. Help!

– Unsure if distance will make the heart grow fonder, Boston


A: I gave up on him in paragraph three. He's still on a dating website? Come on. He's disrespecting you. He's looking for other women. I'm not sure I'd want you to stay with him even if he had plans to remain local.

"I don't want to waste a year pining for someone who isn't as dedicated to me and still on the prowl." That's the answer to your question, isn't it?

Long distance isn't easy. One person can't do all of the work. You're already exhausted. He has given you every indication that he's just not ready for this. Think about your own needs first and make decisions accordingly. I know it stinks. But it shouldn't be this hard.

Readers? What do you think about the dating website thing? Does he get a pass because med school is crazy? Should they try to stay together and evaluate after a few more months? Is it possible that he'll mature? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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