Ask Rachelle: Long distance relationships


My boyfriend and I met at Bellevue College. This is his first quarter at UW and our lives are really different now. It’s hard adjusting to him having a completely new life while I’m still stuck here. I think it’s starting to take a strain on our relationship, but I can’t tell if he’s actually drifting or if I’m just creating nonexistent problems in my head. What should I do? 


  It’s not easy watching your relationship be affected by seemingly uncontrollable factors. And maybe this is one of those situations; maybe your relationship won’t be able to survive the strain of distance. But you don’t know that’s the case. Right now, it seems like you’ve convinced yourself this is happening without knowing if it really is or not. Maybe your relationship can be fixed, maybe it can’t. But you’re not going to know unless you talk to your boyfriend.

You’re not crazy. Chances are; if you’re feeling this way, something is happening in your relationship to evoke these feelings. What you’re doing though, is exaggerating those problems in your head to the point that they became your reality. When you do this, you end up acting in ways that reflect those thoughts.  If your boyfriend has no idea that this problem even exists, all he’s going to see is your really strange behavior. And that is what tends to cause problems.

You need to differentiate the problems that are going on in real life and the problems you’ve created in your head. Got it? Good. Now you can approach your boyfriend with those issues. Tell him how you feel, but try not to sound like you’re nagging. Listen to how he feels too. Talk it out and come up with a plan.  If you both put in the effort to execute that plan, your relationship can probably be salvaged and this will be nothing more than a little bump in the road.  There’s also the possibility that there is an actual problem that cannot be fixed. Your boyfriend’s behavior could be his way of avoiding a confrontation. Even if that’s the case, you should still talk to him. If he doesn’t want to be with you anymore, it’s better you find out now and have a clean break.

Don’t forget that he’s started an entire new chapter in his life. He’s experiencing a lot of new things and meeting a lot of new people. You have to make sure that he knows that you understand that. That being said, he should be more aware of how he’s treating you. Long distance relationships are tough, but they’re not impossible. Maybe your relationship isn’t meant to make it over this hurdle, but you can certainly try. The most important thing is to be on the same page. If you both know where you stand and how you feel then it’ll be much easier.


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