Hurt and Confused in long distance relationship

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TGP Episode 33: Dating questions, dentist fees, pet peeves

This week’s questions:

Jealousy: Friends with the opposite sex

Break up confusion; will he come back?

Cultural Differences Part 2: Am I being used?

Is he my boyfriend or am I just booty call?

We smile; does he like me?

Here are last week’s questions:

Is he stubborn or just not that into me?

The Gym Guy: Is he interested?

Sex after child

Is he playing me?

Dating and Deployment: Should I start a relationship?

Dear Guys,

To make a long story short, I met a guy from a city 5 hours away through mutual friends.  We hit it off and started talking from then on.  He initiated everything, and texted or called me every single day.

I went to visit him 4 times over a 5 month period, and towards the end of the 4th month we decided to have sex.  We weren’t “official” but acted in every way like a long-distance couple.  We talked every single day, supported one another as I worked through my senior year of college and applied to graduate school, and he started a new job.  He still initiated 80% or more of our conversations, and remembered all the small things in my life, as I did in his life.

Once he started his new job he started to get depressed and stressed.  He was living alone in a new city and having a hard time adjusting.  I knew this, and tried to support him in every way I knew how to.  I never pushed a relationship status, because I felt comfortable with where we were at and confident of where we were going.

On the day I texted him to tell him I got into my top graduate school (5th month), he was happy for me, but we soon ended up talking about us as a couple.  He then said to me that he just couldn’t commit himself to anybody at this time, and that he liked me, but the time was too hard for him.  I was hurt, but knew that he was having a very hard time dealing his new job, and told him that he should do what he needs to do to be happy.

We talked twice within the next couple weeks, and exactly a month after we had our talk I found out that he was in a relationship with a girl he had met in his current city.

I’m not mad or jealous of this, but extremely extremely hurt.  I feel like I was used.  It hurts me to think that I wasn’t good enough for him to make me a part of his life.  I let all my guards down for this guy, and had no doubt in my mind that he did care for me.  I’ve never felt this way about a guy, and he expressed the same to me.

We haven’t talked at all since all this has happened, which makes me feel like he never even cared about me.  I’m just really really confused and hurt over this at a time in my life when I should be happy.  How could he start a relationship so fast when he told me he couldn’t commit to anybody at this time?

What happened?  Help! 🙁


Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your note. We’re sorry you’re hurting so much. And we can understand why.

But first let’s focus on the positive. Congratulations on getting into your top school. You should feel very proud of that accomplishment; and you’re right, this is a very exciting time in your life and you should be happy. We’re confident that once you start school, and get into the groove there, you will see that maybe this will work out after all.

We’re not going to pooh pooh how you feel, or tell you this all happened for a reason, but we will say if we were in your shoes, we would be excited to arrive at our new destination with a fresh outlook and a clear mind. Having a boyfriend in some other city, especially a guy that gets depressed and stressed, would likely distract you from your primarily goal, which is to focus most of your efforts on yourself and your chosen academic field.

But having said that, we can see why you would be hurt and confused, and probably pretty soon, very angry. It’s hard to let your guard down and give yourself over to someone. Yes, it sounds like he was into you, but when things got more complicated he bailed. That should give you an indication of what kind of guy you were truly dealing with.

Long distance relationships are ripe for these types of problems. Without the day to day connections that build the foundation for a long term relationship, things can go south pretty quickly, often with one person-you-not even being aware of it. It’s less about the people and more about the situation. Some people can handle this type of separation because they have clear convictions, loyalties, and a strong sense of self. You would fall into this category. Your “guy friend” would not.

The reason this is such a surprise to you is because you didn’t know him the way you thought you did. And once again this is where the long distance piece can skew the entire picture. He may have been charming, fun to be with, interesting, and exciting; but most people can keep that up for a weekend, or even a week. However, day in and day out, the realness of people is exposed. We think this realness is a good thing in the long run, because long term relationships are much more satisfying, albeit not necessarily more exciting all the time, than flings, or casual dating. You never got to see the real him, until now. So you, along with countless other men and woman in long distance relationships, were blinded by the excitement of the situation, and the limited access to the actual person.

We hope you understand that he wasn’t the guy you thought he was. And this means that once you get over the hurt, it will become clearer and clearer to you that you are exactly in the place you need to be. Don’t let your ego fill you up with anger. Move on and throw yourself into your studies. You’re about to embark on an adventure, and what better way than to arrive at school with a mind and heart completely open to possibilities. That’s a wonderful place to be in life.

And who knows what or whom is waiting around the corner.

So enjoy,



16 Comments on Hurt and Confused in long distance relationship

  1. Hey guyz… Thanx I sight ur works and you re doin a great thing, I’m a bit confused about love and relationship issues…
    I met a gal online just lastweek and I requested for her bbm pin and she added me herself, from that night we started talking but I noticed doing all the chatting lastweek, when I asked her anything or any question she did authomatically and the ball kept rolling but what I noticed was that she neither asked me questions but I do ask her.I found out that she leave around me just 10min drive away. We talk and have so much fun last week chat untill saturday morning I just suddenly asked her out on evening and she said, she I’ll try, but as d discussion continued, she said she wants to see her boyfriend to on that day and that maybe after seeing him she I’ll see me. Well on that evening, I called her to know, bt she said she said she just got to his guys place thou she used bedrrom voice for me. Then under short min she called to tell me shes on her way that I should hold on whereever I am. Once she got to the eatery I wanted to host her she I’ll call me. She did just that and I met her there. I host her, we talk and have some gist. I express my hrt to her, she collected my phone go through it and was amazed to see her pix on my wall paper and also seeing I ve downloaded som of her other pix. And I collected hers, I saw his bf pics. But I went to his wall I foundout that she and d guy had brokeup two month ago, she still call him is bf to me. And after much wyning and pleadin, she comment ‘even if I’m gotta give you a chance its nt now’ she now said again it a slip of toungue and said ‘who told u I’m gotta accept u’ then I said all I ve to say and she gave me a listening here. I snaped her and we rounded up and the next morning she took off to school. Her school is 4hrs journey drive. But after she had got to school tins started changing. When I pinged her I always asked her… Are u busy she will say no, but wen I talk to she gave straight ans but when I call she answers well. But she often call me a possessd a guy, she start picking different things up.but tonight when I asked her why all shes doing, she said I act like I owned her. So I don’t no maybe I should stop pinging her or I should stop talking to her or maybe I should maintain my stands with her. I’m confused

  2. @Femi……We’re not exactly sure what’s going on, but it seems this woman is a bit unsure of what she wants. She seems somewhat interested in you but then she says she has a boyfriend. And if she broke up with this guy why does she still call him her boyfriend? That’s a bit confusing wouldn’t you say? Maybe you should try backing off for a bit and see how she responds. You could always resume your calling etc. in a bit. See if she takes some initiative. Our sense is she’s still working things out with this other guy. Breakups often take time to work themselves out. And it’s also common for people to get back together and then break up again. Good luck.

  3. Hi Guys,

    I have a complicated story.

    I’m currently 18 and he’s 21.
    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about 2 and a half years. We met eachother in highschool untill I moved to Holland. Then after a year I moved back for just a year. He promised me we’d stay together and that he’d move with me to Holland. We’ve seen eachother almost everyday that year. When I left at the airport I asked him u promise me ur gonna come and he said yes and he kinda cried a bit. After a few weeks passed by that i’m in Holland he tells me he changed his mind and that he wasn’t thinking clearly about Holland. His bestfriend told me that his mom talked to him and that that’s the reasonw hy he changed his mind. His mom never wanted him to move to holland. I’m really hurt and upset by this, if he knew he wasn’t gonna come then why couldn’t he just tell me?He tells me that he wasn’t lying about coming, but he never made an attempt to enroll in a university, he was always just watching movies or playing video games. I kinda lost all my trust that I had in him and that’s whats making this relationship so hard at the moment. Whenever I tell him your probably gonna find someone else he tells me you don’t know anything about me. Were both each others first bf and gf and till where I know he never cheated on me, but now he’s moving to a campus and to another state and anything can happen. Another thing is were both virgins and that’s what worries me too, that he’d lose interest in me and go for someone else. And I can’t move because it’s too expensive for me and I am all the way in Holland now. I don’t know what i’m supposed to do, he’s not the party type guy but a lot of crazy things happen once your living in a campus and i’m afraid 🙁 I don’t want to breakup but if he cheats on me or if anything similar happens i’d be completely devastated. I didn’t do anything to deserve this from him.I’m a loyal gf and I would never cheat on him 🙁 I just dont know if I can ever trust him a 100% and if he’s capable of lying to me about this then he’s also capable of lying to me about another girl. In my opinion.
    Please help me 🙁

  4. @Sophia…..This is a wait and see unfortunately. But just because he changed his mind doesn’t mean he was lying to you all along. It’s very normal for people to do or say certain things during an emotional event—like you leaving—and then not be so sure about them later. That’s what we think happened here. The thing is, you’re worrying isn’t going to help the situation. And there’s nothing you can do to control it, even though we understand why you’d want to. He’s either going to be a trustworthy person or he’s not. This has little to do with how good of a girlfriend you are, it has more to do with the stage of life he’s at, and what he thinks he needs right now. Some of this comes down to timing. And unfortunately relationships only work if the timing works. Keep us posted as this progresses and feel free to ask us a follow up question anytime. Good luck and hang in there.

  5. I heard about you guys through a friend. And I also met this guy over the summer through a friend, but he was not from here and moved back. We decided we’d stay in touch because we wanted to get to know each other better and initially we texted every day and we’ve been doing so for the last 3 months. But the last two weeks he hasn’t said a word and I am not sure if he’s still interested or not? I mean we had a casual conversation the last time we talked and he was joking around and pulling my leg but since then nothing. He did this before and I messaged him and we started talking again, but I do not want to keep initiating the conversations. I mean if he wants to talk he can message too? He did say he wanted to keep talking, but maybe cut it down a little, but at this point we aren’t at all.And i dont want to freakout at him for it because we arent dating or anything, plus he’s on facebook and other social networking sites so does that just mean he’s no longer interested?

  6. @Sarah…..Nice to hear from you. So quick question: Why did the two of you decide to stay in touch? Did you have a nice connection? Were the two of you intimate at all over the summer? How long did you get to know him over the summer? We need a little more info before we can offer our opinion. Thanks for filling us in about the nature of your relationship.

  7. The reason we decided to stay in touch was because he had a really good connection and he was the one that was like I want to get to know and hopefully make it work. I’m the conservative type so we weren’t intimate. We went on dates and ended up just talking for hours. We met through friends and I had known him for almost a month.

  8. @Sarah…..Thanks for giving us a little more info. You’re right when you say you shouldn’t be initiating the conversations. We advise you to let the ball be in his court, at least until you know what he’s really thinking. We don’t think it’s the best sign that he wanted to cut down the frequency of your conversations, or that you haven’t heard from him in a bit. It’s possible you were making things too easy for him, or overwhelming him. So we suggest dialing it back and seeing what he’ll do. If he doesn’t start making more of an effort we think it could be time to move on. But we also think you need to give this a little more time before you can make any sort of decision. You’re still in the “getting to know each other” stage. As you get to know him a little better, or when some new development happens, definitely come back and ask us another question or questions. Anytime. That’s what we’re here for. ps. We hope you’ll share our site with all of your friends as well. We’re on Twitter: @TGPBuzz. Facebook. Also, take a moment to VOTE on our Ask our Audience page. Help a fellow reader! Thanks. And take care.

  9. Hello,

    I embarked on a long distance relationship after dating locally for one month. Things went south within a month of dating long distance due to infidelity on my part (kissed another guy), which I admitted to immediately and apologized profusely. I regret it and I have since quit alcohol and am committed to my relationship, but the damage was done and he dumped me due to this and because “our breakup was inevitable and can’t commit to a serious relationship when it is long distance.” He wasn’t mad anymore and says he forgives me, but he stopped talking to me for a month after this. We arranged to meeting prior to breaking up in my hometown and he still came and we spent every day together acting like a couple and attempting to work on our relationship. I want him back, but he didn’t make any decisions while he was here. We have kept in touch every day since he went home and continue to act like a couple even though we are not one. The ambiguity is making me unhappy and I don’t even know when I’ll see him again. I expressed this to him and he repeated that “he cannot be in a serious relationship when it is long distance”. My question is what should I do? He says he loves me and I shouldn’t doubt that and would like to continue talking, but I want more. Thank you 🙂

  10. LostandConfused101 // July 19, 2013 at 10:46 am //

    Me and my boyfriend have bee dating for a little over 2 years now, but for the last 4 months or so it has been long distance, he got an internship in WA, and i am in NC.

    Not even a week after he left, i had a miscarriage, and was very alone without him and needed alot of reassurance. up until this past week, we have been wonderful, texting everyday and calling/google hangouts. He all of a sudden friended this one particular guy, he became less interested in me. He started spending the night at this guys house, and i noticed a pattern that when he is with him, he doesnt text/call me back. This guy lives with 3 other interns, 2 girls and another guy, and i cant help but feel like something else is going on.

    I will admitt that lately i have been kind of a bitch to him, and i know its driving him away, we saw eachother a couple weeks ago and we fought the entire time.. its not like us to that…at all. we use to be the couple that never fought and that everyone looked up too and wanted “what we had” i really miss those days and am trying to do whatever it takes to get them back.

    Iv had to start going to therapy over anxiety issues and reading too much into a situation. the therapist has told me to try and look at the feelings im having when i have an attack. Last night he was with this particular guy and i text him and called him and again got nothing and had an axiety attack about 2am my time. thats when i realized a feeling of embarressment that he could have for me. but the thought of “is he beside a girl and doesnt want them to see me texting my gf” comes into my head. When i question him about it, he says hes just been too busy to talk to me or see me but tells me to trust him and that theres nothing going on, but i feel like if he cared like he use to that he would make time for me. I asked him if he was embarressed by me going to therapy and his reply was “no. just want whats best for us”.. should that be a sign that he wants to try and stay with me?

    We use to have these “naughty hangouts” as you could call them where they would be pretty sexual about eachother. Lately he has also lost interest in that. Im worried that im not as beautiful as i use to be to him.

    He comes home for the reaminder of his undergrad degree in 3 weeks, but i dont feel as excited as i use too. We have already booked a hotel for an alone beach trip the weekend after he lands and iv asked him if he wants me to cancel it and he keeps asking me “why?”. He tells me hes excited to see me but its so hard to read his emotions when i dont get text or phone calls like i have been.

    Am i just being paranoid or do you think there could be something else going on? i understand hes got 3 more weeks in seattle and is trying to do everything, but i dont feel included in his life anymore. iv contemplated breaking up with him because right now the stress is too much for me and i feel it would be easier, but everyone is talking me out of it. His friends all the time tell me how obvious it is that he loves me and wouldnt do anything to hurt me, but right now hes hurting me.. and i dont think he sees what hes doing.

    Please help me 🙁

  11. @Lostandconfused……You shouldn’t make any decision until you see him. You feel vulnerable, lost and upset. That’s not the time to make serious decisions. Yes, he’s probably communicating less than he should, but like you said, he’s there and wants to make the most of his time. Is he doing anything he shouldn’t be doing? Not sure. But that’s something you need to talk about when you see him. You’ll have much more information then. Sorry. But you’ve just got to hang in there and then see how it goes. Take care. Last thing……..Remember: You do deserve to be with someone who loves and respects you. If he’s not that guy, then it will be time to move on. The one red-flag we see is that he didn’t support you more with your miscarriage. He was very insensitive. He should understand how big a deal that is. But you’ll just have to see how this goes.

  12. I knew him in high school, but have not talked with him since then until several months ago after running into him on POF. He initiated conversation constantly in the beginning, but now that we are engaged, he rarely communicates. He wanted to keep our POF accounts so we could chat while he was at work, which we did for a while, but now he is online and not chatting with me. He says he is not dating anyone, but is talking to people as friends, but I am the one he wants and loves, and wants to marry. When I asked for his address to send him something that he asked me to get for him, he said that I didn’t need the address if he was coming here in September. Texting has also decreased significantly and so has email. Am I just an idiot or am I over-reacting?

  13. @Bella…..If you just ran into him again, why are you engaged? That’s confusing us. He doesn’t seem ready that’s for sure.

  14. My boyfriend and I started dating a month before we graduated college and spent the next 5 months, including summer, spending every day together with no responsibilities. We decided to continue to long distance when he moved an hour and a half away for grad school in pharmacy. The first few weeks were fine but now it’s getting hard. I have a part time job so my daily demands aren’t as bad as his as he spends every day and night studying. We try to visit twice a month and so far I’ve been the only one to spend the gas money and miles and make the trek to him, and he hasn’t visited me once. Last week he called me saying he had doubts, in assuming cause his academic demands are freaking him out, and asked what if I wasn’t the one, would this long distance be a waste. It’s only two years and then we’ll be in the same city. My problem now is, he’s not as cute over text as he used to be, doesn’t use any nicknames anymore, says “love” instead of “I love you” ad just generally feels distant from me and it seems as if he’s putting in zero effort. Now I understand he can’t give as much effort as I want him to and that’s fine, but I expect at least some. I don’t know if I should talk to him about it or not (he says his doubts are gone but I’m still scared). I just don’t know if I’m over thinking it.

  15. Hi guys. I don’t how old you are, but you may still have some advice for a woman in her fifties. First, a question: Do men actually continue to behave the way you’ve described in some of your posts well into their fifties?

    Earlier this year, I started dating a guy I had briefly dated in high school who now lives in another state. We had communicated by email a couple of times over the last 15 years and actually met for dinner once while he was in town. This Spring, he wrote to tell me that he was getting divorced and that he’d been thinking of me and wanted to visit with me again. For three weeks before his first visit, and for the next five months, we talked on the phone daily and spent four long wonderful weekends together. By our second visit, he told me that he loved me and we started talking about spending the rest of our lives together … there was no definite commitment, but we had a strong connection emotionally and physically, good communication and no trust issues. I loved him too and really thought that we could have a future together.

    Things changed suddenly during one of his last visits and he seemed to withdraw. It really bothered me, but I didn’t say anything until after he’d returned home. When I brought it up, he explained that he thought we were moving too fast, that he wasn’t sure how he felt and didn’t know how to tell me. That he was sorry and the last thing he wanted to do was hurt me. We agreed to cut our phone calls to once a week. The signs that it was over were pretty clear, but since we’d already made plans for him to visit last month, I told him that he was still welcome to visit. His behavior that last weekend was the same, basically ignoring me, although he said we’d talk soon when he left. That was three weeks ago and he’s only initiated one or two text messages. He did respond to a couple of mine, but I stopped contacting him after a few days.

    Finally, I sent him an email on Friday saying that I’d hoped we would have talked on the phone by now. I acknowledged that we weren’t going to have a future together, but that we both deserved better than to simply walk away from our relationship regardless of how uncomfortable or painful it was, and that I hoped our friendship would survive. He wrote back and I am totally perplexed by his response! He replied that he’s been trying to let time pass to see if he really misses me … some days he does and some days he doesn’t … that he thought of nothing but me for five months and that it may have been infatuation … that it felt totally fantastic to have someone to talk with and be with who cared about him, but then it just went away. He doesn’t know what he’s feeling and is generally confused about it all … wants to be friends, leaving the door open for who knows what the future holds … can we try and let some time pass … all his words.

    I have no idea how to interpret his reply. He’s had two chances to break up so why is he still trying to string me along? Did I make a mistake in contacting him, and somehow give him the impression that I’ll be available whenever he figures out what he wants? Would it be another mistake to write again and tell him that he misunderstood me, or should I just ignore any future communication from him? I’m really struggling with this since I thought he was a good person otherwise and I really did think we’d continue to be friends. There is also a good chance that we’ll both be at the next HS reunion and I don’t want to it to be awkward. Thank you!

  16. @JC…..Thanks for your donation. We do appreciate it. And yes, we’re able to answer your question. We’re not exactly sure what type of behavior you’re referring to but we can make an educated guess. Yes, guys continue to behave the way they’ve always behaved. Sure, many men mature with age and don’t always act on their impulses, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking or feeling the same sorts of things they thought or felt when they were younger. We’re sorry this is so confusing. And we’re sorry this isn’t going the way you had hoped it was going to go. A couple of things to note. 1. He’s recently divorced. This factors in huge. Many guys have no interest at all in getting involved in something serious soon after their divorce, or for that matter any sort of breakup. Men often think of divorce—once they get over the emotional hurt; and yes they have that—as a way to make up for lost time. They have sex on the brain. The more the better. And with as many different women as possible. This period might last anywhere from a year to five years to the rest of his life. It all depends on the man. Most men eventually realize they want something more and start looking for someone to share their life with. (This doesn’t mean they want to get remarried, they just want to have someone in their life.) It’s way too soon for your guy to know what he wants. And he made a mistake by jumping into a relationship with you. He knows it and it sounds like he feels badly about it. He’s basically kicking himself because he knows you’re a great catch in many ways, but he also knows he just can’t commit right now, and so it comes down to timing, or rather bad timing. Now you might think, “What if I just wait for him?” You could, and it’s possible he might come around. (That’s what he’s trying to figure out.) But our guess, unfortunately, is that your relationship was fun for the five months it lasted, but he’s just not in a place to get involved with someone. If you ride this out, it’s just going to be a lot more pain, and then it’s still unlikely that it will work out. (Once a man moves on, he rarely comes back for anything more than sex.) Also JC, long distance relationships contribute to the infatuation aspect he’s referring to. What he really means, is the fantasy aspect. Picture him: He’s horny as hell. He’s also feeling vulnerable, since he just got divorced. Here’s an attractive woman who he already knows that’s interested in him. He can barely contain himself. He’s just waiting to come visit you. Have sex with you. Be with you. Have you fill him up. (Metaphorically.) It took five months but he finally was filled up enough to be able to think straight. And that’s where you are now. We’re really sorry. He doesn’t sound like a bad guy, just a confused guy. He’s trying to understand WHY he’s not still into you, and that’s why he’s stringing you along. Maybe he’s not someone who is that in touch with himself. Who knows? 2. As per a friendship. We’re not sure that’s a good idea. It seems you’d just be hanging on hoping that things will change. Probably not the best idea. You need some space from him. Time to heal. We’re really sorry. This sucks. But hopefully you’ll be strong enough to go to your reunion and have fun. Last thing: Don’t be surprised if he hits on you again. Once again, the pattern is endless. He’s away from you, chemicals start brewing, he’s lonely, etc. and bam, all of a sudden he’s back. We’d tread carefully here. We’d hate see you get stuck in an emotional holding pattern. Take care. Feel free to ask a follow up question or two.

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