Dear Miss Dinna –
I’m 26 years old and have been in an off and on again relationship for over 2 years. We definitely have issues – especially trust issues due to cheating on both sides. Anyway, I recently went to a wedding and met the wife’s cousin, who lives in LA (I’m in NY) and we hit it off immediately.
Now that I’ve returned to NY we’ve been talking on the phone everyday and recently (two weeks after my return) he has told me that he loves me. We haven’t even kissed! AND I haven’t fully ended my current relationship! This is all very intense for me and he’s talking about future plans, where we could move together in order to both be happy etc. etc. I do really like him, and I like the way he makes me feel (adored etc.).
He also provides me with emotional support in a way that my boyfriend doesn’t (he’s way more emotionally present and my boyfriend tends to be the “buck up and get over it” type). My question is – do you think long distance relationships can work? Should I even try to go forward with this?
Long Way to Love
Dear Long Way to Love –
Although your letter is short, there seem to be so many things going on and factors leaking in between the words, that it immediately makes me want to sit back for a minute, take it all in and slow everything down. I think that’s the key here: let’s slow down for a minute.
Firstly, in just your first two sentences, I can see that you are not happy in your current relationship and it makes me wonder what you are holding on to and why you are still holding on. I think those are important questions to ask yourself. If it is a fear of being alone/single (would you rather be in a not so great/unfulfilling relationship then single?) then that could also effect the beginning or need for this next relationship.
This then leads me to your third sentence which allows me to believe that you had/have space to meet someone else. What I mean by the preceding is that usually when we are fulfilled in our current relationship, we don’t even actually have space to meet another person – especially one we would entertain a relationship with. This then again leads me back to the beginning….It sounds to me that it is important that you end your current relationship in any case – with or without this next person in line.
Now that we got that out of the way – let’s move on to your next four sentences. Is it possible for two people to connect so intensely after a brief meeting and such a short time? Yes of course it is….but does that negate that most of our interactions with people are a series of projections, hopes, wishes, needs for fulfillment – no, unfortunately not.
I would encourage you to note the things that this new man is fulfilling for you – which happen to be things that have been neglected in your present relationship – which can often feel like instant love and a great sense of relief. I encourage you in turn to see that you might be fulfilling something for this man as well, something that he might feel is greatly missing in his life – maybe it is something real, maybe it is something he is hoping/projecting on you and is actually not real or sustainable – but regardless, it’s important to note it in evaluating its potential for authenticity and therefore it’s ability to be long standing. Perceived disappointments based on unreal projections are a great bummer my dear…..although they feel great at the moment, when they crash – they crash pretty hard.
And now finally we are led to your actual concrete questions: can long distance relationships work and should you move forward with this.
In my experience, long distance relationships work best when temporarily long distant and after a strong foundation of being together was established before hand. Otherwise, if begun long distance, there is a large learning curve that day in day out reality brings with it– which is usually difficult to tackle when finally introduced (eg: you date long distance for months even years, only time together is vacation time together, and then you eventually move in together and try to adjust to every day life together – which is VERY different from “vacation” time together).
If you should move forward with this is a question of how you are defining “this”. If you mean should you take the time to completely break up from your current situation, THEN take the time to get to know the new guy a bit better, try visiting each other consistently about once a month for a couple of months – see where it goes from there – Then well yes, sure, that sounds interesting, logical, and like a healthy good plan.
If “this” means should you continue on with your current boyfriend, while filling your emotional needs not met by your current boyfriend with the new guy and jump on a plane with in a month to move in with him in a new city – YIKES! Ummmmm no would not advise it.
So, Long Way to Love, long story short…..slow down sweet heart. What’s the rush? You have some things to attend to first (most importantly that of being yourself) and there is plenty of time to do it all. One breath and one step at a time.
Best of Luck!
Ask Miss Dinna a question — any question– regarding relationships, sex and sexuality by emailing her at: [email protected], Subject: “Ask Miss Dinna.” She may answer your question personally or in a future column (your name will be kept anonymous).