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dating coach for smart, strong, successful women Evan Marc Katz
I’ve found myself in a difficult relationship position and I would like your advice. I met my boyfriend 18 months ago. He’s 37, I’m 33. He was a little reluctant at first as I have a child with someone else. However, we started dating and everything worked. He was keen. He locked me down in a relationship pretty quickly. There was no vagueness or uncertainty about what he wanted. Me. And I felt the same. We had a good, solid real relationship.

A year in he received a job offer that meant him returning back to his home country, 12,000 miles away. He decided to take it. I was fully supportive and the plan was for me to join him once he’d gotten everything settled on his end and I sorted everything out my end. I was worried the relationship might fizzle out going such long distance, but it didn’t. He came to visit as often as he could (at great expense to him) and we met half way as often as we could. He rang and texted all the time and still seemed as keen as ever. He got a house big enough for me, him and my son…whilst I’ve been sorting out all the other practicalities e.g. my visa, job, nursery place for my son.  

Then a month ago, he confessed out of the blue to meeting someone else and is now unsure. At first, I assumed he was just confessing to a one night stand, which given our long distance status I was prepared to forgive, but further talking has revealed it’s more than that. He’s seen this girl a few times and is now totally unsure what he wants. He’s been totally open and honest about it. He loves me and wants to be with me but at times feels the responsibility of me moving so far away from all my friends and family, with my son, for him, is a lot of pressure. This girl is a far simpler option. She lives nearby, she’s not uprooting her life for him so if it all went wrong, it would be far simpler.

I’m torn. Part of me gets his thinking and I’m glad he’s taking this decision seriously. But part of me thinks it may just all be bullshit. He’s basically fucking us both around because he can. Leading us both on…her for the physical side and actual company, me for the emotional support that comes with a long-term girlfriend. I know about her but she doesn’t know about me. His family only knows about me. His friends know about both of us.

I love this man and want it to work but I’m struggling to decide if his intentions are genuine or not. What do you think? Do you think this is a genuine dilemma and being understanding for a while is the best way forward or am I being played?

Sarah

You’re not being played, Sarah. You’re being naïve.

I’ve written about the perils of long-distance relationships before.

Quite a few times, actually.

You don’t have to read all 7 of those links to get the basic premise:

Online dating is tricky.
Dating is tricky.
Relationships are tricky.
Long-distance relationships are the trickiest.

  • You don’t see each other in person often.
  • Your communication is restricted to Skype or FaceTime.
  • Your time together is like a vacation — short bursts of intense pleasure, fun and lovemaking.
  • Your intimacy is a bit of an illusion — everything can seem great, but that’s only because you’re not spending 24/7/365 together.

And even if EVERYTHING I wrote above is untrue about YOUR long-distance relationship, still, one of you is going to have to uproot his/her life to make a long-distance relationship work.

All that matters is that your boyfriend has a job in his home country, 12,000 miles away.

Even though my sister married her LDR, I NEVER recommend my clients engage in one.

Too risky. Too illusory. Too many built-in problems.

I don’t judge you, Sarah. We’ve all been in your shoes. But it’s time to grow out of them.

Is it possible that your boyfriend is trying to have his cake and eat it, too?

In the realm that we all pursue pleasure and avoid pain, it may be.

But the truth is that it doesn’t matter.

Really.

It doesn’t matter if he’s lying. It doesn’t matter if he’s telling the truth.

All that matters is that your boyfriend has a job in his home country, 12,000 miles away.

As such, he makes for a poor long-term prospect, no matter how much you love each other.

This girl didn’t break you up.

Find another man locally who possesses the same qualities he has.

She’s just the first person to call his attention to the fact that a romantic relationship from halfway around the world is not really a romantic relationship, but rather, a pen pal.

Let your boyfriend go.

Find another man locally who possesses the same qualities he has.

It’ll be hard in the short-run as all break-ups are, but you’ll both be very glad when you’ve found new partners who can cuddle with you seven nights a week, reading this blog aloud in bed.

(I’m assuming that’s what most couples do.)

Good luck.