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Monday, April 21, 2014
Dear NwaVic, My Boyfriend's Distance is Beyond Physical
Dear NwaVic, I just read your post on long distance relationships and I loved it. I am currently in a LDR and it has gotten to the scary part. Since I got back to school my boyfriend has been a bit off. He doesn't check up on me as frequently as he used to and whenever I checkup on him it takes him long hours to reply. Most times he's never in the mood to chat. I'm getting really worried. Sincerely, A
Thank you for writing NwaVic at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question is a tough yet common one because while you have ample cause to be worried. But it's in times like this that you need to trust your instincts. Like I said in my Long Distance Relationship post, in order for long distance relationship to work, both parties have to be fully committed to making up for the physical distance any way they can. Let's give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt, he could have valid reasons to be distracted...he may be busy with work or going through a life transition or hardship that is occupying his mind and attention away. He may also feel smothered in the relationship or be bored generally. But the realist part of me begs to insinuate that despite those reasons, he should be open enough with you to tell you that.
If I were in your shoes, I'd confront him about it and have an in-person conversation. You should arrange to visit him. The purpose of this visit is to "do your part", which is very important for your peace of mind if the relationship doesn't work out. You can do this two ways and I'd give you the pros and cons of each. The first option is to surprise him by showing up. The pro here is that for your benefit, you can catch him unaware and see for yourself what is distracting him, if any. Then, you can talk with him. The con is that you may see what you are not ready to accept, another woman perhaps. More so, he may be angry with you for just showing up. But you know your man better. Does he like surprises? A way to mitigate the "con" is do it under the disguise of a special event. Is his birthday or an anniversary coming up? If so, you can use it as a disguise for your surprise *evil laugh*
The second way to plan a visit is to plan it "with" him. Pay attention to his reaction when you insist on a weekend together. That alone will tell you quite a bit. If you can afford it, make it a getaway so you can have enough alone time to talk. If you're able to get him to agree, it'll be the perfect time to have a conversation. Tell him your concerns and encourage him to be open with you. No matter what, without getting "in his face", don't leave that conversation without making it clear to him that his doing better is the only way your relationship would survive this hiccup. Be prepared that his withdrawal may be a cry for space or a breakup. Believe it or not, some (cowardly) men do this to "send a message" and torment their girl into doing the break up herself.
It's enough that a couple is physically distant from each other. If one person makes it so that you're emotionally distant as well, the relationship cannot survive. Besides, you don't deserve a man you need to "pester" for attention. Again, time and effort are essential investments for the relationship. If he's not doing it, the hard truth is that he may not care enough.In the end, you may need to pull back, give him space and just focus on you. If he needs you enough, he'll bounce back and come find you. If not, there'll be someone else who would.