Dear Barb – The Distance Relationship

Dear Barb:

My girlfriend and I have been dating for two years. We began dating in high school and were each other’s first relationship. This year she moved away to go to university and I stayed home to attend the local college. We always got along great and rarely argued until she went to university. Before she left we had discussed her going away to school and knew it would be difficult, but we believed we loved each other enough to be able to manage a distant relationship. Now I’m beginning to wonder if That’s going to be possible. When I text her she sends me quick one word answers and even when I call her she is brief and claims she is so busy with school. When we do talk we end up arguing. She has been home twice for the weekend and seems to want to spend most of her time with her family or friends rather than me. I have tried to discuss how I feel but she is distant and says everything will be okay. I am beginning to wonder if she has met someone else. I can’t even think of the possibility of losing her. I don’t know what to do, or how I can get her to talk about this! James.

Hi James:

Long distance relationships are difficult, but not impossible. You both need to set some ground rules so each of you knows the others expectations. For example, set a schedule to text or call when it is convenient for both of you, then you will have each other’s undivided attention. If you text or call when one person is in class or busy, it is difficult to answer, which can leave you feeling ignored. But be careful, as too much communication may make you appear possessive or needy and that is a real turn off. Also, have you discussed whether you are exclusive? You might be under different impressions of what your relationship is. During visits home your girlfriend may feel she is spread thin as she tries to visit everyone in a brief weekend. Because you want her undivided attention, you may be misinterpreting her visits. It’s natural that her family and friends want to spend time with her as well. Maybe it would work out better for you to visit her at university, that way she will be able to spend time exclusively with you and also introduce you to her new friends and show you where she hangs out.

Discussing your future plans may put your mind at ease. For example, do you ultimately intend to be together, if so, have you decided on a timeline for when you would like this to happen? While you are apart you can still do things together. For instance, you can play online games together, or watch videos on YouTube, etc. Posting pictures and status updates on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will aid in remaining present in each other’s lives. Most importantly, you need to remain positive. Many long distance relationships grow in spite of the distance.

There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.