What Should I Do if My Long-Distance Relationship Can’t Get Closer?

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My boyfriend and I have been dating for 18 months. Because I followed your advice in Why He Disappeared, the relationship has evolved naturally over time. I am 52 and he is a young 66. For the past few months we have been seeing each other five or six nights a week. While we both have baggage, we have been mostly successful at working through it. It is the best relationship I have had for a very long time. He is a very good boyfriend. So far so good, right? Except…

When we started dating, he was “between jobs” as they say. Because he is a mid-level executive, he had enough money in the bank that it didn’t really affect him in the short term, but it was a threat to his long-term financial stability. Since he is very close to retirement, this was a huge source of stress. When the job market started picking up and he began getting lots of calls from recruiters, we agreed he would only look at jobs in the area.

About four weeks ago, he got offered and accepted a job. The position was a perfect fit and the salary is very lucrative. It will allow him to replenish the funds he lost when his 401(k) tanked a few years ago and will leave him set for retirement. Except …. it is 90 miles away! The current plan is he will stay in a hotel Monday through Thursday and be home Friday through Sunday nights. At first, they told him the project would be 1-2 years, but now it looks like it could be up to 5 years. When we first talked about it, I told him we could do anything for a year. Five years is just not possible. He has consistently said our relationship doesn’t need to change – and it’s close enough for me to drive out one night a week. We were more or less living together and now we are back to dating on weekends.

So here is my question: how long do I do this and if I draw a line in the sand, what’s the line? While neither one of us is in a hurry to get married again, I do think moving in together would have been the next logical step. But now everything is up in the air. One good thing is I am a lawyer with my own practice and I could theoretically try to move part of it to the nearby county seat. But when I suggested that, he said it’s early yet and we should wait for a while to see if he likes the job enough to stay there. We agree that we both expect our relationship to continue to be exclusive and I think he can actually see us doing this commuting thing until his project is up. Like most men, he is really good at compartmentalizing. As long as he knows he has me to come home to on Friday night, he is fine. But that’s not the kind of life I want long term. What’s a girl to do? —Annette

Annette,

I’m posting your question, not because I have a good answer for you, but because some questions are completely resistant to good answers.

How boring would it to be read a weekly column that tells every woman that she’s right and that her man is wrong?

And if standing on my soapbox and giving advice for the past 8 years has taught me anything, it’s that most people don’t actually want advice at all. They want validation of what they’re already thinking or doing. Unfortunately, that’s probably why there’s so much conflict on this blog, since there’s absolutely nothing interesting or useful in providing validation. How boring would it to be read a weekly column that tells every woman that she’s right and that her man is wrong?

Your situation is not really about right and wrong, though.

Your situation is about assessing your own needs, and, frankly, that’s not something that anyone else in the world can do for you.

In public policy terms, it’s cost-benefit analysis. What do you gain from him taking this job vs. what do you lose from him taking this job?

But unlike straightforward cost-benefit analysis about your own feelings, you have to factor in one other important variable: HIS needs and feelings. After all, he’s part of this couple. He matters, too.

If I put myself in his shoes, he had almost no choice but to accept that job. You think he WANTS to commute 90 miles to work? You think he WANTS to stay in a hotel four nights a week? Of course not.

He’s doing this because he’s insecure about his financial situation, and there aren’t tons of lucrative jobs for 66-year-olds in this economy.

He knows for a fact that he’s going to be a part of his future. He doesn’t know that you’re going to be. So he has to take care of #1 first, which means taking a job to provide for his long-term security. Can’t really argue with that thought process.

Only time will tell if his job lasts or if your relationship lasts. But it seems to me that he’s doing his best.

Needless to say, he doesn’t want to lose you, which is why he wants to remain exclusive and give you as much time as possible given the circumstances. Only time will tell if his job lasts or if your relationship lasts. But it seems to me that he’s doing his best.

So if he’s being perfectly rational and using impeccable logic, that means there’s nothing he can do differently. All it means is that your fate is entirely up to you!

Not him. Not me. You.

You have two choices: stay with him through these adverse circumstances, because you’d rather have him two days a week than not at all. Or break up with him because while he’s amazing, you’d rather find a guy who is more available to you.

Neither is wrong.

But if I were to weigh in at all, I’d point out that it’s the best relationship you’ve had in a long time, and that you would be able to talk to him every night and see him three nights a week. That’s pretty much what I did with my girlfriend for a few years before she became my wife.

You’re not wrong to be dissatisfied since you feel you had something taken away from you. But understand, he didn’t have a choice.

You do. Use it wisely.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    nathan

    Helene ” I DO try to predict, now, where things SEEM to be headed and I get out if I don’t like the prediction. What do others think? Is this sane….or just risk averse behaviour that may be sabotaging my relationships?!”
      
    I’m glad you pulled this out because it’s really one of the main push-pull items here. It’s easy to see how the OP is considering bailing based on predictions of how things might go once her BF starts his new job. In addition, she also seems to be predicting that the new arrangement will be miserable, when it might end up working out just fine if she gives it a chance. In addition, I have been trying to point out that the boyfriend – and others here – are basing their idea that he “has to take this job” on a prediction that he’ll be financially in trouble if he doesn’t. That he won’t be able to deal with medical bills and other issues in retirement. Which may be true, but may not be. The guy could live to 90 without any significant health issues, he could die tomorrow, or any number of things could happen health-wise. Everyone, including the BF himself, is making guesses about how much money he’ll need during retirement.
      
    Now, some level of self protection is healthy; if a relationship has been just plain going poorly, there’s no need to linger on hoping it will get better. And although some of you seem to think I’m off my rocker about finances, I fully support efforts to cover one’s basic needs over the long run.  
      

    In terms of relationships, though, as someone who has bailed too early a few times in the past, based on faulty assumptions, I tend to spend more time these days when predictions about things going bad start to come up. Especially if I generally feel a good connection with someone, but maybe am tangled up about a handful of issues going on.

  2. 42
    Ray

    stephan@40

    To answer your question… she’s got 14 years to figure it out… or she can stay with him and have him die when she’s older and has even fewer options.    

    I think a year and a half is plenty of time for her to sift out his true  intentions.   He made his choice.   It just hasn’t sunken in yet with her.   I’d still recommend she keep him around until she finds someone  else.    

      Why not keep him around as the back-up plan?   That’s what he’s done to her, after all.      

  3. 43
    Saint Stephen

    @Ray (#42)
    How come you have such a negative view about her boyfriend even without knowing him personally? All your assumptions about him and the relationship reeks of pessimism. Isn’t it possible that she might die first before him or they can both die at the same time? There is absolutely no certainty in life. And when two people are in love – life and death are the last thoughts running through their minds.

    You are not in his mind to figure out if his using her as a back up plan and you don’t have any information or evidence presented to jump to such conclusions. Maybe if you go back and reread the letter with an objective frame of mind, you will begin to see things the way some of us on here do.

  4. 44
    That East Asian Man

    Dear Annette.   The quality of the relationship that you and your boyfriend have is measured by how the two of you deal with what life sends your way, whether it’s easy (New Year’s Eve, Hawaii vacation, big bonus) or difficult (colicky baby, loss of a job, diagnosis of Alzheimer’s).   It appears from your letter that you believe your boyfriend’s new job location is difficult to deal with.   Now is the moment for you to step up and show your true character, the stuff that you’re made of, the greatness within you.
    Here’s what you could say to your boyfriend, in a soft voice, with loving eyes:   “Every day, you give me new reasons to love you.   I am in awe of you, for offering to stay in a hotel room during the week, and to travel to see me on weekends.     You are the knight-in-shining-armor that I always wanted.   But I love you too much to let you sacrifice yourself for me.   I’ve discovered that I don’t need a knight-in-shining-armor; I need you.   I am your partner, and will help you with every burden that you have to bear.   Let’s take a look at all of our options, and figure out — together — how to make this work for both of us.”
      

  5. 45
    Ray

    stephen@43
    Very true that when people are ‘in love’ the last thing they think of is life and death… apparently and especially women… which is my point.   It is stupid behavior on women’s part.   Born out of ‘desperation’ from (men usually) that we women have to take whatever they can get… That’s the only way older men can get much younger women usually.   Yea… keep that ‘dream’ alive, buddy.
    Would you commit to a woman 14 years older than you if you knew that (on average) women live much shorter than men (of course, we know the reverse is true).
    No, I sincerely doubt you would.  
    What evidence do I have he is using her as a backup plan?  
      – they’ve been dating for a year and a half
      – It appears he had other job prospects nearby, but chose not to take them.
      – He does not want her to move closer to him…we can’t say why… but usually people ‘in love’ don’t say those things…  
    If she thinks that driving there on weekends means anything… it doesn’t.   It just means he wants to keep his weekend f-buddy.   Nothing more than that.   If I were her, I’d continue seeing him, but tell him that because of his choice to move to a different location, I’m obliged to consider other offers should one arise.   Same as he did with his job. No biggie.
      
      

  6. 46
    Goldie

    @ Ray
      
    ” – It appears he had other job prospects nearby, but chose not to take them.”
      
    Nowhere in the letter does it say that. Everyone who posts their resume online gets “lots of calls from recruiters”, because recruiters are people too. They want to eat, they work on commission and will call anyone if there’s even a 1% likelihood of them placing this person anywhere. Most of the time, these calls don’t mean anything and lead nowhere. Nowhere in her letter does Annette mention any other job offers, or even job interviews, that this man has had. For all we know, they may not exist.
      
      ” – He does not want her to move closer to him…we can’t say why… ”
      
    Why can’t we say why? Says right there in the letter that he doesn’t know if the new job is going to work out yet. Among other things, you don’t have solid job security the day you start. For the first few months, you’re the new guy and things are still pretty shaky. He doesn’t want her to move until he’s sure that he’s going to stay there for a while. He doesn’t want her to move there and then have to move back a couple of months later.
      
    “If she thinks that driving there on weekends means anything… it doesn’t. It just means he wants to keep his weekend f-buddy.”
      
    I do not see this from Annette’s letter at all. Moreover, what does this say about everyone else on this thread who are in long-distance relationships and only see each other on weekends?
      

  7. 47
    Ray

    Goldie@46
    I admire that you want to give him so much benefit of the doubt.   If it is true he ‘had no choice’ but take this job, then it is perfectly reasonable for Annette to say she ‘has no choice’ but look for a partner who lives nearby and is willing to do more to demonstrate a commitment.
    I’m actually kind of appalled to see so many people here who think his willingness to live in a hotel demonstrates ‘commitment’.   Maybe he just wants someone else to change his sheets and clean up.   Besides, there is usually laundry on site and restaurants available nearby when you live in a hotel.   Doesn’t sound like such a huge hardship to me.
    If it is true that Annette has limited options dating-wise, I’d say she can’t afford to put all her eggs in one basket with a guy who leaves NO indication (except a bunch of wishful thinking on ya’lls side) that he wants anything more than fun-time girlfriend on the weekends or whenever it is convenient for him.
    Really… someone show us some proof that he is heading towards any kind of commitment to her.  
    You folks really do set a low bar for women… I’m sorry you are so conditioned to just take whatever you can get.   That is the impression I’m getting.  
      
      
      

  8. 48
    Saint Stephen

    @Ray
    Why do you believe that is only the women who compromises in relationships? and why do you think is only women who date men much older than them?
    By your perspective – What would you say about men who date much older women? Are those men also desperate that they had to grab whatever they can get to avoid being single?  

    Here is a quote from one of the most intelligent commenters on here.  Sorry that i had to invoke it from another thread.
    Karl R Said:
    I set out to find a partner who was around my age. Do you think that  I’m  bitter just because I met an amazing woman who happened to be 16 years older than me … and decided that I’d be a fool to pass up this relationship just because of the age difference. There are still  obvious drawbacks. If we get married (and it seems likely), I’ll be more statistically likely to become a widower than a divorcee. But I’m willing to face that near-inevitability to get a few decades of a wonderful relationship.

    I sincerely doubt if you have ever been in love or in a wonderful relationship before. Judging by your post i sense  cynicsism in you, and i don’t know any self-respecting and emotionally healthy/matured man who would want to be in a relationship with someone who sounds as “cynical” as you do.

  9. 49
    Joe

    Ray, I gotta say you sound very pessimistic and bitter.

    As far as the age difference: at birth, the difference in life expectancy (2007 SSA figures) is about 5 years between males and females.   At age 50 it’s 3.7 years.   At 65 it’s 2.7 years.

  10. 50
    Nicole

    @Nathan,
    At no point in my comments did I call you privileged.

    And when I talk about protecting financial security, I don’t mean it from the standpoint of the relationship failing.   But you’d be a fool to not include the risk of job loss, illness, or death in the equation.   

    The risk here is on both sides, b/c if this man wound up financially dependent on this woman, she might not be happy with that arrangement.   

    She seems upset that he’s trying this out at all, which seems kind of selfish.   

  11. 51
    Peter

    14 years age difference in one’s 50’s and 60’s is irrelevant.   It is what you want to do that counts.   There are 50 year olds pining for retirement and 70 year olds with new projects.   Matching personalities is rather more key.   Those who disagree might ponder why they are single.   In my first marriage my wife was 6 years older at an age which suggested more life experience.   I now have a girlfriend (4 years and counting), formerly my landlady, who is 25 years younger, doesn’t speak my language (I speak hers) and 3000 miles and various visa problems distant. Technology helps a lot but mostly having similar shared goals for the foreseeable future and a good fit of personalities seems to be holding us together.   I am here looking for views on all the potential issues that might arise but we haven’t crashed through the thin ice, if it is so, yet.   So far as ageing and medical care are concerned, in the UK we have longer life spans and longer healthy life spans than in the US.   (Get real about your doctors).   The average time for men with a long term illness is 3 years prior to death.   This is not 3 years of bed rest but 3 years of pill popping.   What is a better age to deal with the demands of a dying 79 year old husband?   77 or 65 or 54?   Maybe add 5-7 years to that by the time most of us here die.   I assume we are mostly non smoking members of the middle classes.   The 54 year old might want the man dead sooner rather than later 🙂 .   Time for a whole new life.

    Annette, I would look at why this relationship is so good.    If living apart doesn’t change the key factors then keep going.   A warm bed at weekends and holidays is better than a permanently empty one or one where neither of you connect with each other expect perhaps through sex, if you are lucky.   How many times a week do you have sex anyway?

  12. 52
    Ray

    Stephen@48
    Yay!   Good for Karl!   He’s a rare exception… I’m glad he’s not as shallow as the other gentlemen who seem to prefer youth/beauty over every other quality in a woman.
    You wouldn’t date someone 14 years older than you, so please stop using one example to promote your personal preferences (you older, them younger).  
    I don’t really know what you are talking about… ie the cynical and bitter part.   The part where I advise women to consider LOGICALLY their choices and don’t do stupid things that make men’s lives better at THEIR expense?  
    Simply do a little risk/reward analysis is all I’m saying.   Annette is risking some pretty good parts of her life on a guy who isn’t willing to commit to her after a year and a half of dating… and even if he DOES commit, he’s probably gonna die before her.. and she gets to start over again…
    Unless he truly is fabulous in every way and is willing to ‘will’ all that money to her that he’s working so hard (away from her) to earn… seems like a pretty poor proposition.   Not sure why that comes across as bitter or cynical.   Seems pretty smart to me.  
    When he moved away for his job, he made his choice.   Not sure why other people aren’t getting that.   Some people want to claim he has no choice. I’m just not buying it.   He chose his job. Not her.   It really is terribly simple when you think about it.
    The guy seems to sure be doing his math.   So should she.   It is just too bad that she left the impression with him that if he takes this job, she’ll be there waiting for him on the weekends.   It would have been better if she could have said, “ok, I see.   Well, you are certainly welcome to take this job, just please know that I plan on being open to dating other people for the duration of your time there.   We can still get together a weekend a month or so if that works for you… and if I am still single when you are done working there, maybe we can give it another go.    
    That way, she isn’t ditching him 100%, but she also isn’t ‘saving’ herself for a guy who isn’t committing.  
      
      
      
      
      
      
      

  13. 53
    Sayanta

    Ray

    It’s not your arguments but your tone that’s making people call you bitter and cynical.  

  14. 54
    Ray

    sayanta@53
    I believe it is my arguments that they are calling bitter and cynical, but that’s fine.   Everyone has a right to their opinion.  
    If the tables were turned (the poster was a man, not a woman) I bet there would be very few people recommending he/she work it out.   I happen to believe it is only because she’s female that people think it is A-OK his job comes first and she’s supposed to be accomodating.   Same goes for the age difference.   This is considered ‘normal’.   I don’t consider it normal at all.  
    I think it is sad that she is being coached by some people into twiddling her life away with a man 14 yrs older than her who puts his job first after a year and half of dating.   Not everyone has said that… but too many have, IMHO.
    Some people consider that bitter and cynical because I’m not telling her to go along with it, and that I think that she CAN do better if she stops believing that because she’s 52, the best she can get is a 66 yr old who is just fine seeing her on weekends or whenever it is convenient for him.   Yes, I realize that men of his generation have come to expect that.
    That is the problem.   Smart, strong women don’t put up with that junk… not for long anyway.   People can call that bitter or cynical if they want.   Frankly, I think she CAN do better, and it starts by not putting her life on hold for men who won’t commit…. and certainly ones who are bad bets for a long-term relationship (by choice, ie commitment phobes or not by choice, ie much older).
      

    1. 54.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Ray,

      You’ve read so many things wrong into the original post that I’m not sure where to begin. Still Looking did a good job of dissecting it, but I can’t help but to follow up.

      You’re inferring that gender has something to do with my advice. It does not. It’s commonsense. The man needs a job. It’s a tough job market. He doesn’t have enough for retirement. He’s making a sound and logical decision – and said he wants to remain exclusive, despite the distance. What else is a better option for him?

      You’re inferring that age has something to do with my advice. As if somehow, it’s common practice for me to tell women to “settle” on older men. Wrong. You might want to read this post about how younger women often have better options than older men before you accuse me of such things. In fact, the OP wrote that her boyfriend is a “young” 66, has been seeing her 5 or 6 nights a week, and is the best boyfriend she’s had in a really long time. THAT’s why she’s writing to me with this dilemma.

      Because SHE doesn’t want to lose a man she loves. Not because HE is using her and everyone who sympathizes with his job situation is misogynist.

      If SHE thought she could do better, she wouldn’t have written to me. My opinion on his situation has nothing to do with me being a dating coach, but being trying to be an impartial arbiter. And, if you’ll note, I didn’t weigh in particularly strongly on what she should do. Why do you make it sound like I’m selling women down the river and putting all these words in my mouth?

      Unfortunately, YOU seem to have a very clear bias that suggests that this woman who’s in a happy relationship is doing herself wrong and that everyone’s in on the conspiracy. Sorry, Ray. It’s just not true.

      Your inability to sympathize with the man’s point of view says a lot more about you than it does about me and my readers.

      Sounds to me like YOU would never date a man 14 years older and YOU would never tolerate a man moving 90 minutes away, which is 100% your prerogative. But a) it’s not a black and white situation – that’s why she asked the question, and b) you can still side with her moving on, but not for ANY of the reasons you cited, which were much more nefarious than the reality.

      The reality is that they love each other, he’s in a tough spot, she’s in a tough spot, and she’s got a tough decision to make. Anything else you’re inferring about age or gender is completely off.

  15. 55
    still looking

    Ray –
    You stated, “I don’t really know what you are talking about… ie the cynical and bitter part.   The part where I advise women to consider LOGICALLY their choices and don’t do stupid things that make men’s lives better at THEIR expense? ”

    The BF needs a job.   He found a job that is 90 miles away.   They will still be able to continue the relationship even though the distance will hamper the frequency.   He is making a logical choice and the choice is not a her expense.   Would it make more sense for him to remain unemployed?   Should the GF offer to support him?   If the relationship fails after he turns down the job is the GF going to continue to support him??

    You also stated, “I also disagree that he had no choice.   He chose his career first.   Period.  He had plenty of other choices he could have made… less ‘lucrative’ ones of course.   It is only because of the fact he is a man that Evan or anyone else thinks this is ok.”

    Would you recommend that a woman declines a scholarship to grad school or a great job promotion if acceptance would require her to move 90 miles away from her boyfriend?   Would your advice differ if the boyfriend was 15 years older or younger?  

    One final question, would your answers differ if you had never known a woman whose boyfriend/husband had not left her for a younger woman?

  16. 56
    Selena

    Adding a little to what Evan said –
    By the time they reach age 50 many people have realized it’s not so easy to find someone with whom they can have a deep, genuine connection. They’ve done plenty of dating. They’ve likely had committed relationships that ended. The fact Annette said this is one of the best relationships she’s ever HAD is the reason so many of us are encouraging her to hang in there and see how it works out.
    At 52 it’s possible she could find someone younger. Or someone who wasn’t out of town 4 nights a week. But she might not find someone to whom she has connected this deeply.  
    The man in question isn’t blowing her off, or trying to downgrade her to weekend girlfriend. He’s just asking her to wait and see how the job goes before discussing moving part of her practice up there. He’s not even talking about finding a home there himself yet, he’s living out of a hotel.
    It’s your own prejudices and insecurities that make you see this as unreasonable Ray – not the rest of us.
      
      

  17. 57
    kenley

    I’d like to support Nathan’s view that the Op’s boyfriend did in fact have a choice and decided to choose money over the relationship — which isn’t wrong. It’s just a choice.

    Lots of people have suggested that the guy didn’t have a choice because he’s old and the economy is so tough, etc. However, I read the post several time, and what become clear to me is that this guy is simply not a typical 66 year old. I completely agree that most 66 year olds would have an incredibly tough time finding a decent job. In fact, 50 year olds have a tough time. My previous boyfriend couldn’t find a job in his field for three years and when he did, he got only half of his salary. So, believe me I know it’s tough for older people. Yet, no where in the post did the OP indicate that her guy had a tough time finding a job. In fact, there were several indications that he really did have choices — lots of recruiters calling (in some fields, that really does mean something), agreeing to only take jobs in the area, etc). Finally, the fact that the guy said that if he doesn’t like that job, he’d leave. That confident attitude does not sound like a guy desperate to hold onto a job and worried that he’ll never find another one. That sounds like the attitude of a man with choices. So, I think this guy may be in a specialized field and he is in demand —- so he doesn’t have to take just any ol’ job that comes along, he can cherry pick the one that suits him. He appears to have chosen a job that suited his wallet, his need for fulfillment, perhaps his ego — but not his relationship.

    Indeed, I think the fact that this guy probably had options is why the OP wrote. I think if she really felt he had no choice, she would not have questioned his commitment to her and to the relationship. From my personal experience, when my previous boyfriend was looking for work for over 3 years, I wouldn’t have batted an eye if he had to take a job in another city — or another country for that matter. He was DESPERATE. Ironically, I ended up getting a job in a new city, and guess what? The distance killed the relationship. I applaud all the people who can make long distance work through technology. However, for me a key component of my relationship is companionship — going to plays, movies, dancing, hiking etc. Talking on the phone or facebooking etc are very poor substitutes for face-to-face contact. I essentially felt like I didn’t even have a boyfriend.

    So, who’s right — the no-choice or the pro-love contingent- I don’t know. However, there is definitely more than one way to interpret the situation and I hope that diversity of opinions are truly welcomed here. It doesn’t seem to be the case lately — which is very sad to me.

    @Nathan: I love the way you can share a different point of view without coming across as mean or condescending or a know it all — it takes a skill and talent to pull that off and you do it well!

    @East Asian Man: I love your posts too. They are always so calm and grounded.

  18. 58
    Ruby

    I think the big question here is based on Annette’s statement, “He has consistently said our relationship doesn’t need to change”, and there is some ambiguity in that statement. After a year and a half, Annette’s at a point where she is ready for the relationship to move forward, and now they will continue to be stuck in the dating stage for months. or perhaps years. While I don’t get the sense, as Ray seems to, that he’s a complete commitment-phobe, Annette does need to set some parameters for herself. She says, “When we first talked about it, I told him we could do anything for a year. Five years is just not possible”, and I can’t blame her one bit for feeling that way. I think it’s completely reasonable, and not selfish in the least. She’s giving them both a chance to adjust to this new situation.

  19. 59
    Ray

    Evan,
    She loves HIM.   That’s clear. However, I see no objective proof that he loves her. There is little in the original post that indicates to me that he had no choice.   Not at all.  
    I advised she date other people while he is at this other location.   As it is now… His work is his ‘wife’…   Annette is the mistress.   Obviously, this is a role lots of people here claim is ok for her to accept… and not only accept but EMBRACE (ie. East Asian Man’s advice).   And yes… I do believe that if the tables were turned (Annette was a man), that would not be the advice.   I encourage everyone to do the mental math themselves.   Take a moment and imagine the reverse… now tell me if you’d give the same advice.   I highly doubt it.
    I’m objecting to is this ‘filling in the blanks’ and wishful thinking attitude that prevails when giving advice to women (not just you Evan… people in general) instead of coaching her to ask the hard questions… make the man match your commitment… don’t come up with playful fantasies about your life together.   Make sure it is grounded in actions and reality.   Otherwise, it is nothing more than another segment of he’s “just not that into you”.   Does someone here need to tell Annette that?   Ok….  
    Annette, he’s just not that into you.   There… Someone had to say it.
    Advice like East Asian Man’s… as good as his intentions are… is exactly the kind of advice women should avoid.   I don’t believe this man has proven worthy of Annette’s continued commitment based on his choices.   It furthers the notion that if a woman ‘gives’ more, a man will love her.   Not true.   She has ‘given’ for a year and a half.     That’s plenty of time for both of them to suss out the direction of the relationship.   And he made his choice.   It isn’t her.   Sorry.   It just isn’t.
    Note that I didn’t recommend she throw the baby out with the bathwater… just date other people while he is at his other job location.   Continue to see him occasionally, but don’t pin her hopes on anything more.   He’s already said he’s happy with the way things are… and that is… stringing her along…. IMHO.   Maybe if he has some time alone at his new job location, he’ll be forced to make some hard choices himself.   Or not.   At least she’s not left in limbo-land.  
      
      
      
      
      
      

  20. 60
    Goldie

    “Annette, he’s just not that into you.   There… Someone had to say it.”
      
    Why did someone have to say it if it doesn’t make any sense? He’s just not into her because his work comes first? Well then someone call my BF and tell him I’m just not into him (and he apparently just not into me), because I know I cannot sacrifice my career for him, and I’m pretty sure he can’t do that for me either. You know why? because we have our own financial obligations, families, aging parents, kids in college etc. that we cannot offload on anyone else. So far, I haven’t met anyone who thinks my work ethic and family responsibilities make me a bad partner. Truth be told, someone who’d think that way is probably way too entitled and self-absorbed for me to be interested in them romantically anyway. “There, someone had to say it.”

    1. 60.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m with you, Goldie. I think people can be so myopic that it’s infuriating. It’s always easy to see how things affect US, but how about putting yourself in the shoes of the man once in awhile? This is what my entire business is based on – and when people argue with me when I give a man’s perspective, it always says far more about them than it does about the man.

      If you can’t empathize or accept a man when he’s being REASONABLE, you have little chance of having a successful relationship during the times he’s not.

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