ASK REAL GUYS
Long Distance Relationship Woes
Dear ASK REAL GUYS: My boyfriend (31) and I (24) have been together for nearly one and a half years and everything was going great until three months ago, when his work relocated him to Brazil for two years. He’s a very career-oriented person and is trying to get ahead in life by working hard right now. I knew that him moving there was a possibility from the get-go, but of course I never really thought it would happen. Although it was a challenging decision for me, I agreed to continue our relationship long distance as I live in California.
Unfortunately he is having a difficult time acclimating to the Brazilian culture (he doesn’t know too many people, plus he doesn’t speak Portuguese – which gets in the way of simple tasks such as ordering food). He is stressed to the limit, and feels that he made the wrong decision in going due to the distance between us.
What’s more, he has doubts about how we’ll make it through this time apart. He tells me he loves me and that he regrets accepting the offer.
Our communication (through Skype and email) has been off, and we’ve gotten into several significant arguments – more like disagreements – over how frequently we should be talking to each other.
In my opinion, the only way to make our relationship work is to communicate on a regular basis, and to meet up as much as possible. He, on the other hand, wants to “preserve” our relationship by speaking less (or not at all!) because he fears that micromanaging will destroy the love we have for one another.
He claims that it’s emotionally draining for him when we talk, because I continuously broach complex questions such as how he feels the relationship is going, and when he thinks we’ll see each other (which I had stopped asking about for a month, yet he still felt ‘emotionally drained’ when speaking to me). He says that the more we talk, the more distant he feels because he thinks I don’t understand how difficult it is for him in Brazil. He wishes to put our relationship “on hold” until he returns, at which point he will “follow his heart” – for the first time in his life – by moving in with me.
I don’t get the feeling that he’s aiming to be “free,” to enjoy the single life. I know this because I flat out asked if he was interested in having an open relationship – which he knows I’m against. Luckily he said no, and added that the thought of me being with other men would drive him up the wall. Also, he asserts that he has no desire to date anyone else.
Because we aren’t clicking like we used to, he sought advice from two relationship councilors who told him that putting our relationship on hold would be a wise choice.
If you ask me, placing our relationship on the back burner is the last thing we need. What’s to stop us from completely growing apart during the 2 years that he’s in Brazil? Our lives will continue to change, and if we don’t keep in touch I fear that we won’t change together.
We have agreed to communicate a couple of times a month, but plans to visit each other are still pending (although he wants to come back for the holidays). Should I keep waiting on him, or call it a day? How can I make him understand that his “on hold” method won’t work for me? I’ve tried to tell him, but he still thinks we should give it our best and then in a month or so re-evaluate the situation. I love him and don’t want to lose him, but at the same time I’d rather we had broken
up if this is how he’s going to be, i.e. no emotional attachment on his end.
Avery: You both are trying to make it work, but it just isn’t. Your boyfriend has told you what he needs while he’s away, and it doesn’t work for you. You need to end the relationship on good terms, continue with your life in California and if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. If he’s THAT unhappy in Brazil, and he loses you on top of it, he’ll come running back soon enough, believe me. If he doesn’t, then trust in fate and move on, be happy and make that next incredible thing happen!