Wisdom and advice for long-distance relationship. (long story, skip to current issue if you want)

Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 02:00 pm
My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship and we’ve been together for one year now. We’re both fairly young individuals just entering on the path to adulthood, because Lord knows you’re not really an adult until you’re at least 20 and up. I used to attend the same college as him, but an incident that occurred there caused me to become very depressed and secluded where I didn’t even want to hang out with my friends. I even started to doubt that I had friends there. Anyway, I transferred to another school closer to home. Within 2 months of attending the new school, he contacted me over a text initially, we started talking every day. (This is the very short version of the story, so this all didn’t happen overnight). So I was very happy, but I didn’t want to do long-distance initially and wanted to meet other guys (cause I never had a real relationship and wanted something closer to home). So a situation occurred where one dude I was talking to mistook me going out with him several times for me “going out/dating” him and he posted it on Facebook. I didn’t even know it was there because somehow Facebook didn’t deem it necessary to notify me that I was in a relationship. My boyfriend, prior to being that, saw it, got mad, gave me an ultimatum where in the summer he was coming to visit me as a friend or as the guy I like. I really did like him, so I told him that and that was the end of the situation.
So in summer, when he came to visit, he asked my dad if he could date me and then asked me out. I said yes. He spent a good part of the summer with my family, about 1.5 months. We visited each other interspersed throughout the semester when we could. He was with his family on Thanksgiving, and I drove my car 4 hours to go see him (my mom didn’t know). Then in winter he spent Christmas with my family and then the rest with his (so I went with him to his family’s home for about 1 week as that is all my parent’s would allow without throwing a huge fit). So then we go back to school, everything is good between us. Then spring break comes around the corner. Surprise, his sister decides to take him on vacation to Mexico, which bummed me out cause I wasn’t going to be able to see him. But, I made it work and left straight from school on a Friday to drive 4 hours to his house and stay with him for one day. But he left his passport at his school, which was six hours away from his house…so when I got there, I waited at his house until it was really late when he came back with his sister. So I lost a lot of time with him, but I made the most out of it. I then drove home once our time together ended. Spring Break is over now and he’s back in school. As school is drawing to a close I start to hear from him less and less. It got down to where I would hear from him maybe once or twice a week with brief conversations. I realized he was busy and his schedule was awkward, so I let him text me when he could and tried not to bother him too much.
So the semester ends and everything goes back to much happier times until I learn that he has to take a summer class at that school. I get a little miffed because I hardly ever see him and now I wasn’t going to be able to as much as I’d liked because he was also going to work at the school to cover the cost of the class. I respected that, but I was still annoyed, but I got over it quickly and tried to be very supportive. I even got two jobs to keep myself distracted and make money so I wouldn’t have to bother my mom about paying for visits with him later. So the beginning of the summer was okay, I drove the 4 hrs to see him for the week before he had to go back to school. Everything was great. Then as the summer semester starts putting pressure on him, I start to hear less and less from him. Worse than before though. It got down to once a week or once every two weeks until one day he starts talking to me again…the day before our one year anniversary. He seemed more chipper, but something was off. He then texts me that we needed to talk and asks if he could call me. So he begins telling me about how rough his semester has been and how he doesn’t see how we can do this. He tells me “I haven’t even had time to talk with God. And to be honest, I don’t care!” He was breaking my heart as he was talking, so I told him that I needed to calm down before I said anything. I hung up, went and cried, then I talked to a good friend, calmed down some more, prepared myself, and called him back. I told him that I wasn’t going to “give up on us” and that “I think we are meant to be together, and so help me I’ll live with only one text a month if necessary.” I also said, “I think right now you’re overly stressed and spiritually distressed. And breaking up with me isn’t going to help you right now. Let’s just wait until we see each other face to face and then we’ll figure it out.” So I hang up, I cry some more, and place our ring in a box. I prepared a letter with the ring and sent it to his house two days before he got home. The letter basically said that if he decided within the week that I was with him that he wanted to be with me that he would put the ring back where it belonged. Otherwise he would keep it and he would never hear from me again, that I would just let him go. (I did theatre for a long time…I also wrote this when I was on the emotional high after crying…hence the dramatic expressions…I even made a wax seal for this…I was very upset and emotionally inspired).
So I see him with two weeks of summer left, I’m preparing myself for the worst, so I put on a tough front and pretend everything is okay. We greet each other and hug, he’s chipper, I’m chipper (faking…but not faking cause I really do love this boy/man, but I’m feeling so desperate on the inside). We’re lying down on the couch (I guess it’s spooning…cause there’s no other way to lay on a couch with someone) and watching TV…I can’t hold it in anymore, so I start to cry (not bawling…but sniffles and silent tears). He hugs me asks if he can kiss me. I say yes. He kisses me, which makes me more upset, so I go to our/his room and just lay down on the bed. He comes in like a half hour later (it was probably less time than that…but it was long enough that I was getting sleepy) and lays on the other side of the bed next to me. He asks me what’s wrong… >Sad (WHAT DOES HE MEAN WHAT’S WRONG?!) so I tell him that he hurt me very badly over the summer and that I can’t handle emotions for two (like I can’t take his stress/anger and my own—I’m a nursing student I might add). I say “I love you so much, you don’t even know. So it was hard for me to hear you say things about not knowing how it’s going to work. We’ve made it work before. I know my parents are controlling, I know that better than anyone else, but they’re still my parents. I’m doing the best I can with them. I was very depressed this entire summer because of you. I don’t think you realize how much you affect me. I honestly don’t think I could go on without you. I mean I would, but it would destroy me. I would never be the same (my name) that you know now.” I start crying and he hugs me, apologizes, he then starts petting my head and tries to quiet me Smile (I like the head pets)…he starts choking up…and then says “(my name), will you still be my girlfriend?” I get quiet, nod my head “yes.” So he starts crying and tries to say “okay.” You get the gist, that’s the backstory.

I feel like I’ve done a lot for this relationship. I truly love him and I try to be understanding and patient. It’s not easy. We’re clearly not the perfect couple that we could be…if there wasn’t so much distance and if my parents weren’t so controlling (that was something else he said when he was telling me about how he wasn’t sure if we would work out. He said he felt like he was dating a high schooler). Anyway, for the coming holidays he plans on spending Thanksgiving with his family like he did last year, which would be fine with me…if he weren’t spending Christmas with his family (and not even his parents, just his sister again…and a friend this time)…and he’s not even spending it at home. He’s going overseas to Japan and South Korea (two places that I have wanted to go for a long time). So I’m feeling a bit jealous. I’m happy for him, but I’m also mad because he didn’t even invite me. He invited his friend. So this Thanksgiving…really afterwards on black Friday I was planning on driving up to see him for like 2 days and then going back to school. My mom asked me to see if he would just spend Thanksgiving with us, so I asked him. He pretty much says no and then says “Thanksgiving is like the only holiday my family enjoys. I need to have dinner with my dad, cousins, aunt+uncles, friends, and my mom.” (his parents are divorced…probably been about 3 years). So I say “I realize that, but you also chose to spend Christmas this year with your fam/going overseas. But I understand, I’ll let my mom know.” His rebuttal: “Well yeah, I have a priority to my family. They never see me and I’m all my father has left.”
…I don’t know about that last part…there is his sister…plus his dad’s family…etc. I’m sorry…anyway, am I being unfair? I understand that we’re not married and that he’s his own man…but still, that’s the direction we’ve been heading in since day one. I honestly don’t know if I’m being too selfish. I’ve always been one step ahead in the relationship…at least that’s what I feel like. Like I’m ready to put our relationship first and foremost. Any advice or wisdom you would like to give would be helpful.
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 02:33 pm
Don't wrestle with him about holiday plans. You won't win
I’m ready to put our relationship first and foremost.

He's not.
You can live with it and hope he changes or you can start making plans to move on.
This is not about him
It's about your insecurities.
Empower yourself and control your future.
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 02:42 pm
You are his friend, not his life partner.

He's clear that he is focusing on his family and school. He also wants to consider his faith.

Maybe someday you'll both be in the same place in terms of a relationship, but that time doesn't appear to be now.

If I were you I'd definitely think about the high level of emotion and drama you've got going on. He is right that you sound more like a young teen than someone in college.

Those trips to see him - I'm not sure they're useful to both of you.

I always suggest that people think about whether they'd be friends with someone if they weren't romantically interested. Then think about how you treat your friends - and give your romantic interest at least that amount of respect.
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 02:43 pm
panzade wrote:

Don't wrestle with him about holiday plans. You won't win.

word ^^

you wouldn't do that to a friend. don't do it to someone you'd like to think of as a boyfriend.
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Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 03:41 pm
It's not that I sound like a young teen though my writing style in this post is definitely geared in that direction as I wrote it in one sitting trying to recall what happened and how I felt during those moments. He was referring to the way my parents inserted themselves into our relationship and tried to control everything. He's not used to being told what to do (even if it's just a suggestion), being the firstborn male of a Korean-American family. We both definitely have some growing to do. I hardly ever talk about this stuff with him as it makes him angry/annoyed. You are definitely right that I need to observe this drama I have going on. Guess I'm overly sensitive.
I consider him to be one of my best friends, but I do not know what level he sees me at. It goes without saying that I would do anything for my best friends and I have the same expectation from them. During the summer when he was freaking out he said, "between school, my family, my friends I'm being pulled in so many directions and I can't do it. Something has to give." I replied "and that 'something' is me?" When he said that...it kind of dawned on me that I may not fit into his category of friends, at least at that point. Perhaps to him I am just the stereotype of girlfriend? Should I discuss this with him?
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2015 05:53 pm
I'd suggest cooling things off with him.

Taking the additional information you've provided and adding it to the second part of your OP I don't see there's any upside to you travelling to see him. It seems like he's willing to tolerate/accept your interest but isn't willing to put much into a possible relationship with you.

Focus on your education and your local friends. Pay attention to who is respectful to you (it doesn't appear to be this young man at this time).

Move on with your life while he spends time with his family/friends/school/travel. Maybe once he matures he'll realize that he needs to work at being a partner in a relationship.
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