Long Distance - He Called it Quits

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My ex-boyfriend and I met each other when I went back to my college homecoming, and he was still in school. We got along great, and kept in touch online occasionally after that, but with no real intentions on seeing other again.

But it wasn't for nearly two years later, when he was back on the east coast for the summer from grad school in LA, did we start really talking seriously and realizing we wanted to see each other. After that first night of seeing each other again, we were instantly together. There was no dating, no games, it was perfect. We stayed with one another for days at a time on the weekends, and met each other's family and friends.

We couldn't get enough of each other, but he had to go back to LA a month after we got together. We both knew this, and began visiting once a month, talking every day in one form or another, never arguing, everything was perfect with our relationship - except for the sadness.

We were together for 5 months, and missed and loved each other tremendously. We weren't afraid to talk about the future, even if just in an idealistic way. With him in grad school, he really needed time to focus on his instrument, as auditions are coming up in a few months. With the sadness and depression of the miss, he had been drinking often, and wasn't able to concentrate on his practicing and finishing his masters.

We are still completely in love with each other, and miss each other so much. I understand he needs to focus on school now, and I have told him this. I want to be there for him throughout this, and make sure he is happy and finishes school with confidence in himself.

I am here for him to be strong and optimistic for us until he graduates in 6 months, but my biggest fear is that he wants to forget. He is in a very negative mood right now, and can't see the positive. This is not normally him, and I know he has a lot to worry about. I don't want to lose him, but I am afraid he thinks we need to be separate in order for him to concentrate.

It has been a week, and we have talked most days since. It is hard, and I just don't know if I should give him as much space as possible, or try my hardest not to lose him. He was supposed to stay with me for a week coming up at Christmas, and he doesn't know if he can handle seeing me. I also already have a plane ticket bought for Valentine's Day.

I just don't know the best way to deal with everything right now. He says I deserve a boyfriend who can give me more attention, but I don't want anyone else. He is more than I could have ever imagined, and I just don't know what to do next.

RomanceClass.com Advice
It's dangerous that you say everything was perfect. It means you weren't really seeing the relationship - you were in the passion-filled courtship phase where you see all the good in each other and none of the bad. Relationships like that feel like they are perfect and nothing is wrong. But as soon as some small glitch comes up, one of the couple bails because it interferes with that perfect ease.

So apparently when your boyfriend started to get stressed, instead of turning to you for comfort as should happen in relationships, he turned to drinking and then running off on you.

The whole point of relationships is that you support each other during the bad times - NOT just have fun during the good times. But when he hit his first bad time, his solution was to drop you and do it alone. It's not like you guys were seeing each other daily and this was interfering with anything. You're long distance anyway. Why would just having you as his girlfriend be anything but a help? It really sort of says that he was fine with having you to chat with when things were good, but when things got serious he didn't want to have to worry about you being around to be "paid attention to". That's about the opposite point of view you want to have in a relationship that lasts all the highs and lows life throws at you.

I would have him come out to see you. A relationship NEEDS time together, in real life, real world situations. Five months is a REALLY short time to get to know each other and most of that time hasn't even really been together. You really need to get past the rosy-colored glasses stage and into the realistic stage, where you both see each other fully, not just in a cruise-ship-romance weekends-are-fun sense but in a daily grind, there when it's bad, there when it's grimy sense. You need to talk about this honestly, to show that even when things are tough you can face them together. Believe me, life throws FAR more at people than just a tough exam. Think of this as a tiny speed bump test for some of the really hard problems people get through in life - and you have to show you can get through it together.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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