Dear everyone, I'm posting this from Mass General. My mom is very, very sick. I'm without my normal computer and today's letter. This was an acute thing, and I don't know how it will turn out. I can't leave the hospital, and this was just ... well, it's scary and it's after 2 a.m. and I am at a loss.
To deal with today, I'm posting a letter and hope that you'll run rampant with your advice to make up for the lack of mine.
My mom is a very big fan of Love Letters, not just because she has to be (she's my mom), but because she finds you hilarious, helpful, and sometimes ridiculous, and because she appreciates the letter writers for sharing their stories. She especially loves the lurkers, because she's one too.
Thank you. I don't know what I'm thanking you for -- maybe just for entertaining for her so much, and for being such a weird, nontraditional community, and for existing, in general.
For the record, mom would say that these people should break up.
Q: I've been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half. We're both in our early 20s and live together. He is a wonderful guy -- caring, sweet, makes me laugh, and loves me so much. I love being with him. Things got serious pretty quickly, since he introduced me to his extended family and they're all waiting for us to get engaged. The problem is that he plans to leave for a year-long backpacking trip to Europe this winter. He wants me to visit him during that year that he's away, but he doesn't want us to be in a relationship while he's gone. He has said that he wants to sleep with other people during his travels. I understand that we're young and it's unreasonable to expect him to commit to me forever, but I just can't fathom taking a break for an entire year and then just picking up where we left off. I feel like a year apart will break our bond and he has this "if we're meant to be, it'll work out" attitude about it. Am I being unreasonable to not want a year-long break? I really think that this guy is fantastic, but his laid-back attitude towards this freaks me out.
– Going the Distance, Boston
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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.