Long Distance plus Starting College
Visitor's Question from a 16-20 year old Male
I live in Massachusetts and am turning 20 years old tomorrow (yay). I am dating this girl in California, who just recently turned 18 last month. Our relationship started out as any other normal LDR, and we were great friends chatting online a lot for over a year. Slowly the relationship evolved into phone conversations every night. We do speak every day through texting, and phone conversations before bed.
Here's a little twist that I'm sure you don't get with every LDR - we HAVE met each other. She had wanted me to attend her senior prom in California, so we did it. I spent about 5 days in California on my own, staying at her Grandparents apartment, and she stayed the entire time with me there also. We got along great and as we suspected, we felt an even greater connection in person. Things were amazing when we were together, but of course I was not able to stay. I didn't want to leave her but I had to return home. She's making plans to come visit me next month for a week or two during 4th of July.
Right now I think our relationship has been great, because we've visited each other and done things most LDRs don't. She has been down in the dumps, and been really discouraging as of late though. She has been asking me questions about where we will be in 4 years etc. She says she hates that we're apart, and now that she has experienced US together, the distance is becoming even more of an issue for her.
We both are attending College, and we may only see each other when she visits in July, and not again until December. She says 6 months is a long wait and she isn't sure she can last that long. I have been trying to convince her that we've been through so much already, and our relationship had improved so much over the past year, past either of our expectations, that we can easily make it through 6 months and whatever after that.
Regardless, I'm here to ask you what I can do or say to help her get through this. It seems to be a lot harder for her than it is for me at this moment. I am more of a glass half full kind of guy, and she is a glass half empty. I'm looking at everything we've accomplished already, and she's looking at everything we're missing out on while apart.
What can I do to help keep this train on track?
Long distance relationships are always challenging, as you know. And it's multiplied ten-fold when you add in the starting-college challenge. Even most in-person relationships don't survive that. People want to experience all that college has to offer - the fun, the flirting, the relationships - and having a committed relationship is hard enough to manage in that. Never mind a committed relationship with someone who "isn't even there".
You can go through all the tips, and stay in daily contact, and try your best - but you also have to accept that this is a severe challenge that many (if not most) relationships fail to survive. And that is normal. It's not due to some sort of failing in what you do or in her or anything else. It's just the forces of the situation. It might even be best to stay as best friends and agree to be more open, so that you can come back together at the end of it, vs having your entire relationship destroyed permanently because she is drawn into having fun at a party one night.
I.e. the chance of her meeting "the one" at a drunken college frat party is slim to none. But the chance of her slipping up and then feeling like she can never talk to you again as a result is much more likely.
Just something to think about.
-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com