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Tips For a Long-Distance Relationship?


Q:

Hey Meredith,

I'm a very mature 19-year-old woman (I find myself relating much better to career-focused people in their 20s), and I've been dating my boyfriend for two months (which I know is not much). I've known him for the past six months.

Going to the same small school, we spent lots of time together (not just weekend dates) and have found that we are really compatible. We've said I love you and we really do. I know we are moving fast but it seems like we've found a great match in each other. He's been with lots of other girls but has said that none of them can compare to me. We haven't had any huge fights but we have disagreed about things, so I'd like to think that we are out of the honeymoon phase. That's the relationship in a nutshell.

The relationship is now long-distance. I'm out of the country for June and July for my internship. And then early in October, he will be away for year for study abroad. But in between those two times, we're planning to spend a week together on a mini vacation. He's also invited me to come stay with him over winter break.

For his time abroad, I've told him that if he meets anyone there that he's really interested in, I'd rather him end it with me if he's not feeling it. It's hard to look that far in the future but I want what's best for him, even though it'd make me sad to lose him. But if we make it through that year, I think things could work out. We both have prospects of interning/working in the same city next summer.

So Meredith, I'm basically afraid of becoming distant from him in the next school year and possibly in the next two months, though this past month of separation has been do-able. (Though I miss him a lot.) Do you think we have a chance? I know it's especially hard because we didn't have a ton of time together before the separation. Any tips for doing long distance?

– Far Away, NY

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A: Some basic tips for long-distance:

1. Always know when you're going to see each other next.
2. Throw money at the problem. (If you really want to make it work, buy that extra flight, spend an extra two days away, etc.)
3. Have a plan for living in the same place so that you're working toward a shared future.
4. Make the visits count. Meet each other's friends, get a sense of each other's new communities, and pay attention so that you're a part of each other's lives, even though you're far away.

I can't tell you whether you guys have a chance. Your odds aren't great because of your age and place in life. And two months -- that's nothing. You barely know him.

But if you're into him and you want to try, there's no harm. Just be honest with yourself as the months go by. If your phone dates and relationship obligations stop you from having fun and getting to know new people, consider your priorities. You can always press pause and see if you want to try this again next summer.

Readers? Tips? Do they have a chance?

– Meredith