I'm new to this board category but I've posted in other sections. I am in need of some advice from objective and candid people who've been in similar situations.
I've been with my boyfriend for a year and a half now in a semi long-distance relationship (we live an hour's drive away from one another and see each other every weekend). We've been doing that without many problems for the entire time and it's worked out very well. We're both graduate students and pretty busy with our studies during the week, but our similar lifestyles (school and studying) make our relationship pretty strong.
He's applied to a year-long medical surgical residency in NY and got accepted-- yesterday was the deadline to accept and as he'd not heard from any other programs that he applied to yet, he had to accept the NY program.
I live and go to grad school in San Diego. So this would make it a very long distance relationship!
Now, he is VERY much gung-ho on staying together, making it work, etc etc and in fact he's told me that he's ultimately doing this program to boost his career and to essentially give us a better life together -- insinuating that he plans to settle down with me. That's all very sweet and romantic, but I have my hesitations.
I've been in a long distance relationship before him that did not work (due mainly to the person and not distance) and trust issues and infidelity left me scarred from that. So I have a hard time disassociating infidelity with long-distance relationships.
Another problem I have is trusting him completely-- I know trust comes up as a theme here a lot on this board! My bf hasn't cheated on me BUT last February we almost broke up when I found some very inappropriate sexual flirtations via text messages on his phone to an ex girlfriend of his.
Since Feb, he's been an excellent boyfriend and no other trust issues have come up, but I feel that that little setback with my current boyfriend AND my past issues with long distance and infidelity in my previous relationship make me incredibly hesitant to embark on another long-distance situation.
Would would any of you suggest? Am I being too harsh or paranoid or pessimistic? My close friends think I should give it a try as it's only one year and they like us together, but it's not like we're married and a myriad of possibilites can occur (he can meet someone else, he can get a great job offer in NY and end up staying there, etc). I don't know, perhaps I'm being too negative but I feel my previous naivete in my last relationship left me open to get hurt and I"m afraid of being put in that situation again. I know he loves me and I love him very much, but I don't know if I can take any more long distance, even if it's just for a year.
Sorry for the long post but I'd love to hear what any of you have to say! Thanks so much for any help or advice.
It sounds like you two have a very solid relationship, despite his flirty text messages that have since stopped. A year really isn't very long.. even though it can seem like eternity under certain circumstances. Just from the basic info you've written, I think it sounds like a relationship that can survive the distance, and maybe even grown stronger b/c of it. I definitely don't suggest giving up on it before even attempting the distance.
I definitely understand being scarred from past relationships, and having trust issues. But the trust issue is a battle you will have to conquer yourself. Most of the time trust and jealousy feed on our own insecurities and self-doubt. Try to be confident in yourself, and that will bring more confidence to your relationship. And remember that your current boyfriend is not any of your ex's. He won't make the same mistakes that they did, and he shouldn't be punished for them.
Temptation will tease both of you at one point or another, as it probably does now from time to time. But that can happen whether a couple is 5 miles away or 5,000. You just have to have that confidence in him (and confidence in yourself to resist temptation). If you two communicate well now with the distance, then I think you'll handle the further distance better than you expect.
Its normal to be nervous about big changes in relationship. Relationships aren't easy. Think of this as just another, maybe a bit bigger, bump in the road. Don't tag the relationship as over without first giving it a chance!
(I always seem to post these really lengthy replies, and then a few posts later someone comes by saying the same thing I tried to say, only better and shorter!!)
Don't worry though.. life has a funny way of working out for the best, even if it doens't seem like it at first!
Thanks for your reply Jen! It truly helped me put things in perspective and even though you don't know me or my relationship, I think you definitely are right on about your comments. I think I will give it a try first before I write off the relationship -- but yeah relationships can be such headaches! Ugh. Thanks again for the advice and hope you have a nice day!
Its like "will the water be cold?" Don't know til you jump in. I agree with everything Jen said (thats why the shorter posts after hers, she says everything right the first time,lol), don't hold you past insecurities over his head. The flirting, well that was very early on in terms of relationships, I think that can be forgotten and forgiven. It will be hard not to see him as often, but many relationships survive and thrive despite this (ask Blastoff, a military wife), you will get through it, and I am sure the time will fly. I also believe that he will be much too busy studying to party, from the sound of it he is serious about his career. Hang in there! Sera
I'm on your similar situation also but kinda different too... My bf is working abroad (USA) so I'm the one who take care of our kids. It''s very hard for me to be in this situation coz after being together for 11 yrs its our first time to be apart, last June 25 i celebrate my birthday without him but also it's our 12th year anniversary.... i feel so down and all i wanted to do is to cry and lay in bed but I can't do that coz I have kids to take care of...
Sometimes we have to sacrifice a liitle bit just to attain our dreams and goals in life and after that I know we will be together again.
Love don't keep record of wrongs...
You must trust him.. and your feelings...
I think you'll be okay... sounds like you have a pretty solid base to start from (just don't get all carried away with the jealousy and insecurity, LOL- I'll get to that in a bit).
I got out of the Army a couple of years ago, my husband is still in. Due to deployments (his and mine) we have actually spent more time apart than together. His last deployment (which ended a month ago) was 15 months long. We've always managed to stay strong and healthy in our relationship, and I think that's because we are individually strong and healthy (does that make any sense?).
The insecurity thing... well, I think everyone has it to some degree. The thing is, when you have these feelings, just talk to him. Tell him what's going on. No one likes to be kept in the dark.
The plus side about your long-distance relationship is that you are both in the States, you can have phone and computer contact, etc. Keep the lines of communication clear and open and you should be fine.
Thank you all for your replies! It's truly helped me and knowing that some of you are in similar situations and are working it out gives me hope. Thank you!
I definitely will give this a try-- and you're right Jen. If I don't give this a try and end it now, I'll will always wonder "what if we stayed together..." and I think that would kill me. And at least now I have a good excuse to finally see NYC for the very first time!
Summer, I hope you feel better. I know long-distance is frustrating and lonely at times, but at least your husband will be back soon, right? And you're right, he is ultimately doing it for the benefit of you and your children.
Thanks again for the advice! It's just what I needed to hear to make sure I wasn't going to make the mistake of a lifetime. Thank you all!
I think I'll be repeating all previous posts if I say that you have to give it a chance before freaking out.
Hey you might decide to come to NY too, and transfer your program over here, plenty of great graduate programs here as well
Personally I hate long distance, I've done it once and didn't work, well I should take that back and say that it brought out the real problems we had so in my case, it was better to know early than too late.
So take it one day at a time, and as time goes by you both will know better were you stand. I roommed for two years with a surgical resident and I could barely see him, he was that busy studying and going to hospital.
If anything happens down the road, you can address it as it comes. Enjoy San Diedo, trust me, he's gone miss the sunny,clear, no humidity wheather
It sounds like you both need to focus on grad school..... especially if you feel hesitant...
I've been in 2 major long distance relationships - both of which crashed and burned, so maybe I am kind of an extreme case of bad LDR. They just don't lend themselves to a huge amount of day to day involvement which = emotional distance which = anxiety, insecurity, trust issues.... at least they did for me.
The last LDR was a wonderful guy, but we were not on the same page so I ended it with him. Do I miss him, yes. Do I miss the anxiety/not having a date to couples' functions/being in a relationship yet being lonely/wondering what the heck he is doing? NO NO NO!
It ended up wearing on my self esteem. I think I got a little nuts. So although I'm totally lonely and single... I at least dont' have the anxiety of my heart belonging to someone who was just not there.
Good luck, and the best part is... maybe if you keep in touch, focus on school, you'll end up together later... you're not really closing any doors if you break up due to distance.
I guess I will throw in my two cents since someone has already mentioned me.
My husband left for Korea on March 5th. If we can afford round trip airline ticket I will get to see him for about 30 days in Oct. If we cant then I wont see him at all until March 5 or 6th of 2008.
Now we do have the benefit of being married so that can make it easier. Then of course if anything were to happen I could royally screw him with a divorce...lol Im joking honestly I am.
It isnt easy but it can be done. We take full advantage of the time difference. there is a 14 hour difference. But to make it easy I just add 2 hours to my time and change the am to pm and vice versa. So right now it is 6:30 at night here over there it is 8:30 Thursday morning. So he is at work right now and in the evening I leave our email open so I know when new ones come in and we chat that way most of the night. We also im before he goes to bed and as Im getting ready for the day.
We make sure we tak every day in one way or another.
With the time difference between NY and Cali it wont be so easy. Chances are you will have to sit down and plan you call times.
Also dont forget snail mail yeah it can be slow but it is always nice to get a card or hand written letter from your SO. Its a little more personal that emails.
If you get time together make sure to use it to the fullest and most enjoyable to you both.
LDRs married or not can survive they just take a bit of work and trust on both parts. Good luck
DS 13 yr
DS 8 yr (3+ yrs ttc)
TTC #3 since 01/02
Hi again futiva, nice to see you on this side of the board! You did give me some good advice so I appreciate that. I agree that I must at least give it a try as I'd have nothing to lose, really. You know, his move to NY is a bit exciting in a way as I've never been there so now I finally have a reason to go visit. I wouldn't consider transfering to a NY grad program as I'm already half-way through my program and just have my dissertation left to write. The thought of packing up and joining him in NY while I write my dissertation is tempting and he even hinted at that idea, but it's also a bit silly as all my job, professors, friends, and other committments are in California and I was raised to never financially depend on anyone else (esp. not another man!) But it will be nice to see NY finally!
Marlakate, I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety and stresses of LDR-- I definitely went a little crazy in my last relationship, too! I was also in one before which is why I'd hate to do it again-- but then again, my previous LDS had NO time limit, it was MUCH further away (he was in the UK!), and the guy had no career ambition which meant there was no end to the LDR in sight. Oh yeah and he cheated! But my bf now is different and thankfully there is a time limit to the long distance and we'll be in the same city after a year. Plus he is very devoted and sweet, so I know all my paranoias and insecurities are all in my head, so that should stop.
Thanks for the tips, Blastoff! It sounds like you have a good system down with your husband and that you also have a time limit, which is great! Yeah, you two have the benefit and legal bond of marriage so if anything happens you can take him to the cleaners! jk! I know how emotionally draining and lonely it can be to have a significant other but rarely get to see them-- but I think what's key for LDR is the end-in-sight aspect. If there isn't any time limit, well then that's when I think it can get too overwhelming and is more of a challenge.
Once again, thank you all for your advice! You all have definitely helped me put things in perspective and I know I'd be foolish to break up with a wonderful guy over distance. I've decided to stick it out and just channel all the LDR frustrations into my studies and keep myself busy with friends and school. Take care everyone, and thank you all again!