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Treading water with distance

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  November 4, 2011 07:01 AM

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Q: Hey Meredith,

I met a woman at work over the summer who's a couple years older than me, and we really clicked. She's a great girl and we had a lot of fun together. Unfortunately, she's overseas for nearly a year for a job. It's been two months since she left and we still speak everyday via text, phone, or Skype. Things have gone smoother than I would have expected. I haven't had a great history with relationships so I tend to think more negatively than most. Anyway, I'm at a crossroads. I really care about her but it's difficult being so far away. It almost feels like I'm treading water.

I have made tentative plans to go overseas to visit her in the coming months. But I have a couple of questions for you and the readers out there. The vibe I get from her is always good. I think she has strong feelings for me, but she is constantly bringing up guy friends, one in particular. I have my guard up as it is, and we haven't known each other for long at all, so I do have a certain level of speculation about it. Should I feel this way? Is she treating this as a "We're going to do our own thing but still remain in touch" kinda relationship?

I just feel like I have this weight on my shoulders for no reason and I don't know if I'm personally bringing it on myself or is she helping. We've spoken about this before and she knows I'm a little uncomfortable about guy friends but I just feel like she throws it in my face in certain ways. Fact is, she's gone for a while and I shouldn't be worrying about things I can't control. Should I slow things down with her? Keep it like it is? Any advice would be appreciated.

– Overseas, San Diego


A: Is she treating this as a "We're going to do our own thing but still remain in touch" kinda relationship? Good question. Didn't you guys have a conversation about this before she left? Are you exclusive? What terms did you set? If you don't know, ask.

After you have the conversation, ride this out. See how you feel in three weeks ... and then again in three months. Reevaluate your situation when you buy the plane ticket to visit her.

You are treading water. But that's how it goes with summer love that becomes long distance in the fall. I know that you want answers right now, but you'll get them eventually. You'll either get sick of Skype or it'll become a way of life because you like her so much. You'll either freak out about the male friends or you'll learn that they're not a big deal. Basically, you'll find yourself committing to this or you'll hit a wall and let go.

All you can do is get some immediate answers about the rules and then let this play out. That's how it goes with these shaky, new, long-distance relationships. They have to run their course. Sorry.

Readers? Should he just end this? Am I right to say that this will just play itself out and that the answers will become clear? Should he be worried about male friends? Help.

– 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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