She Doesn't have Time for Me

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Male
I'm in a long distance relationship which has so far worked out okay (we've visited a couple times), but somewhere along the line she became crazy.

We used to talk around 30 hours a month in the beginning, then that subsided but we still talked a lot. However, this school year, she's taken on more hard classes and activities than she can handle. She doesn't even have enough time for all the activities, let alone people she's close to, and she rarely gets more than 6 hours of sleep a night. She even claims she almost fell asleep while driving. She's killing herself being busy because she thinks it'll get her into Stanford, and her plans for this coming summer are just as busy.

I want to be supportive of her, but she's being completely unreasonable in her work load. It's bad enough being far away, and now I'm also at the bottom of her priority chain. Even her friends never see her anymore outside of school.

When I confronted her about this, she said she thinks about me all the time. She asked me how many hours a week she needs to give me, which I found to be a pretty offensive question, like I'm just another activity to be scheduled and checked off. I told her she has to give up something or give up me, and she wouldn't make a decision. I guess I'm not worth it.

So, is there anything left to do here? I miss all the good times, but things don't look like they'll ever get brighter again. Advice
I'm not sure if she's crazy - she has found a goal in life and is working hard to make it happen. Part of being in love is about supporting each others goals in whatever way you can - and not demanding that your needs are more important than your partner's needs. So to put an ultimatum on her because she wouldn't spend enough time with you - even though she asked you outright what you would be happy with - is rather unfair.

Why were you offended when she asked you how many hours would be OK? Life IS about scheduling. There are work schedules, child daycare schedules, night course schedules, karate class schedules. Believe me, if you're in high school, the world of scheduling has barely begun. So here she is reaching for her goal. You tell her you're feeling neglected. She says, OK I'm willing to try to give you more time to make this work, how much do you need and you get angry with her.

Why does she have to give something up to prove her love for you? Why can't you find a solution that helps her reach her goals and also helps you feel less neglected? She already says she thinks about you a lot. So get her a portable tape recorder. That way she can record messages for you all during the day. Then she can send them to you and you can send her YOUR messages. Give her origami paper to fold into shapes for you.

There are tons of people out there who never get to talk to each other because they are long distance loves and they can't have phone calls. Think of all the military couples who would dream about having even the level of contact you two have. There are definitely ways to make it work. I have tons of advice on the site. But you have to actively work on solutions, not demand ultimatums. And you have to believe in her goals, and want to help her reach them. That's what love is.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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