Long distance false start: Can I get it going again?

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Readers: Scroll to bottom of post for more questions about Long Distance Relationships.


Hi Guys,

I met an amazing man on a vacation last March.  He was very clearly smitten with me. And although we live far away from each other, he seemed really interested in pursuing a relationship following the vacation. We texted and called each other several times a day for several weeks following the trip and talked about future trips we’d like to plan together.

At first it was platonic, because I had not yet ended my long term, yet failing relationship, back home. But, when I felt myself really falling for this new guy, I felt both elated and guilty. I felt sure I’d met a man I could spend the rest of my life with. He was kind and inclusive and interested and shared deep feelings with me. He talked about what life would be like if we were in it for the long term. Mutual friends from the vacation felt sure that I could have him if I wanted him. But, I also wanted to be honorable and kind to my old boyfriend and settle things with him before moving into something new. When I was honest about this, the new guy was at first very understanding, but as I took a few weeks to settle with my ex, my new guy became discouraged and decided we should just be friends, and he opted to date someone local instead.

A mutual friend says that new guy was incredibly into me, but he couldn’t see it working because I was still involved with my ex and then he talked himself out of it due to the long-distance. About a month later, new guy contacted me again and told me that he wasn’t that into his new girl. He said he felt comfortable with her, but that she wasn’t very exciting and staying with her might be like settling. Perhaps he was feeling out my situation. He invited me to travel with him. I was not available to travel at the time but I told him how happy I was to hear from him. But, I’ve hardly heard from him since.

He’s still with the other girl. What happened? Has he decided to just settle with her? Has their relationship grown close? What now? Do I contact him to declare my feelings? Do I just try to occasionally communicate as friends and hope that he’ll take the initiative again some day? Do I cut him off entirely so I don’t feel tortured anymore?  The problem is that I’ve never felt so sure of anything in my life.  My feelings were so strong for him and his for me during those first few weeks. So strong that I can’t get him out of my mind and I don’t want to forget about him.  What should I do?


Dear Mia,

Thanks for your question.

It seems to us that this guy’s uncertainty stems from your situation with your ex-boyfriend, not because he’s not into you. And while we very much respect how you handled breaking up with your ex it’s now time to reach out to this new guy. If you really like him as much as you say you do why are you making him work so hard? And when he contacted you again, why wouldn’t you offer him some other possibility to get together even if you couldn’t travel at the time? Now what is he supposed to think? So the ball is clearly in your court. You’ve got to be the one to take the initiative.

Remember Mia, the nature of this situation is very tenuous. You met on vacation. And as you know vacations always have an element of fantasy to them. Not only do you travel to a new place, but in some ways you travel away from yourself. Often when you meet someone in that setting it can get intense quickly. But when people return to their daily lives that’s when doubts and insecurities can start developing. (They did for him) So yes, he might have been understanding at first, and probably respected you for being honorable with your boyfriend, but a man can only take so much, especially if he’s only known you for a week. And so we imagine he started questioning himself. “Do I really know this woman? What am I doing? Was this something I just made up in my head? Maybe she’s not as into me as I’m into her?”

But you ask, “Why is he dating this other girl?” Unfortunately it’s for comfort, which isn’t great for her. But this guy has convinced himself that the situation with you–the girl of his dreams possibly—isn’t going to work, so he’s seeking solace in another woman’s arms or bed. And while we don’t condone taking advantage of another woman we completely understand why he’s doing it. And probably there’s an element of ‘well she did it so I’m going to as well’ going on.

So to answer your question, yes, you can get this going again. But the ball is in your court. And frankly what do you have to lose by telling him how you feel? Life is full of risks, but putting your heart on the line for love seems well worth it. If it doesn’t work out at least you’ll have no regrets. And if it does, well you know better than we do how that will feel.

Be strong and just go for it.

Good luck,


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Other questions about Long Distance Relationships:

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Wooing at a distance

Long distance work situation; Is he interested or just being nice?

Military Gal in a long distance relationship; is it time to move on?

Contemplating a long distance relationship; could we be something more? 

Long distance relationship; I want him back even though he cheated 


16 Comments on Long distance false start: Can I get it going again?

  1. I’ve asked a couple questions and you guys have been extremely helpful. My situation is long distance as well (not an LDR, but talking stage)…just curious- if I have to wait 5 months to see him again (when he moves here for job) after 1 awesome date, should I just wait it out? I don’t want to seem extremely forward by suggesting that we see each other again before then. The financial issue and all the logistics are off-putting. But I don’t think I can stand just trailing along with emails for almost half a year, or progressing to some agonizing skype-ing situation. I want to see him, and not just like “hope to see you again”- like really want to see him. In general is it an OK thing to say to someone -“I’d love to see you again, sooner” when it’s still so new and in formative stage? Ah, I know it all depends by each situation… Just wondering- if you were into a woman, would pragmatics trump the desire for travelling to date 2? Should I suggest, or follow his lead?

  2. @Anon……All we can say is if we were really into the woman we would be very happy to know she was interested enough to suggest seeing each other again sooner, rather than later. We don’t see how it would hurt. And if it is a problem that will at least tell you where he stands as well. Good luck and keep us posted.

  3. Guys help!
    So I met this guy a few months ago when he was in my town visiting family. We hit it off right away. He pursued me hard. I was planning on this being a one time deal but one drunk night turned into a sober one and then him texting every day even when he returned home a few states away. Everything was great for a while then he said he just can’t do long distance its just too hard and we’d be better off as friends. We stopped talking until I texted him saying I was in town. We met up and hung out.. Hooked up of course. Every time we have hooked up he wants to cuddle and asksme to stay. We continued to talk on occasion but he says he just can’t like me because of the distance. I found out I’m going to be moving to where he is and told him. I visited again and everything was great. Watched a movie cuddled hooked up. But I’m so confused if this is just because of the distance or if he just wants me for sex when I’m around So confused

  4. @Erin…..So what do you think? What do your friends say? The long distance may be factoring into this equation, but to us it seems more likely he’s not interested in anything serious. Maybe you’ll hook up more when you move, but we wouldn’t suggest moving because of him. (We’re not saying you are, we’re just sayin’) Be careful to NOT let this turn into a “booty call” situation. Here’s how you know if it is: If all you do is hook up, but never really go out on a date. And he doesn’t make too much of an effort to communicate with you between sessions. And you don’t meet his friends and family. And don’t let the cuddling throw you off. That’s all part of hooking up. It kind of ensures you’ll come back. It’s not that he’s faking it, but it’s more instinctive on his part. And this is where it gets confusing for a lot of women. Does this make sense? Any other questions? Keep us posted as this progresses. And please let your friends know about our site. Share on Facebook, Twtitter, etc. Thanks. We appreciate it.

  5. Its hard to go on dates when we have a very limited chance to see each other. I’ve met his friends and I actually met him through his family that I already knew. We used to talk all the time. He’d text me every day. Now when we talk he still occasionally says sweet things and is always a good friend when I need him. I brought it up one time before I told him I was moving n asked would it be different if we lived in the same state? And he said “we will just have to see If that opportunity ever presents itself :)” I dunno we just don’t talk like we used to anymore and I know he’s really really busy but we used to text all day every day.

  6. @Erin…..By dates we mean just interacting outside of the bedroom/apartment. Well, time will tell on this. We’ll reiterate: Don’t move because of him. Keep us posted as things progress and ask as many questions as you’d like.

  7. Dear Guys,

    I’ve known this guy for three years, he’s a family friend, and this last summer we got together. We’re both still in highschool, this is my grad year.
    The only problem is that he lives over 6 hours away, and all we had for communication was texting because my parents aren’t to high with me dating.
    My bf was having issues with the relationship though because of emotionless I can seem to be. I wasn’t showing him I cared and it hurt him a lot.  I hated hurting him, and I thought he’d be pretty off without me so I ended it. I didn’t want to because I still cared for him a lot.
    My idea backfired on me though. I thought I’d b hurting him less if I left, but instead I hurt him more.
    I asked him of he would take me back, and that I regretted what I had done, and I told him how I felt about him. His reply was that we’ll see what happens when he comes out here duringthe winter, and that he still wanted us to be close friends.

    Is this a lost cause? Is there an unlikely chance of him takin me back? Should I let him have his space and not talk about it? I just don’t want to hurt him anymore, and want to fix everything.

  8. @Mick….We need a few more details. Has this guy always been just a friend, or have you been boyfriend and girlfriend? Any physical intimacy going on? Or went on? This info will help guide us to give you a more accurate opinion. Thanks. And we’ll get back to you.

  9. He was a friend before, but he’s told me that from the first time he had met me he was interested. And over the summer we made out and why not, and decided that we didn’t want it to be jut a summer romance.
    A couple times over text he had said that not being able to see me was making it difficult for him, but he wanted to try to make it last as long as possible becaus he said he had a good connection with me.

  10. @Mick….This is definitely not a lost cause. He’s still into you, but the distance is making it very difficult for the two of you to connect. And the fact that he’s young, and likely not that experienced, also plays a part in this. Why don’t you wait until he visits before you come to any conclusions. Keep texting. Try to be friends. Reach out as much as you can. Don’t put any pressure on him. And just see what happens during his visit. We bet it goes well. Definitely keep us posted and come back and ask another question anytime. ps. Please share our site with friends. Thanks. We appreciate it!

  11. JessSoConfused // May 6, 2013 at 12:14 am //

    Dear Guys,
    I’ve had this friend from on online game, and we got really close even though it was long distance, we even started dating even though we never met. We used to text all the time, skype, and we even used to sleep on the phone together. One day he said he woke up and he didn’t know how he felt about me. We’ve still been texting because he said he couldn’t stand not talking to me. I have a “date” to see him, which I made about a month after the break up. After another two weeks I asked him again how he felt about me, he told me he “did’t know yet” and he had “to meet and see me personally.” Since he hadn’t mentioned anything in a long time I decided to see what else he would say. I asked “Why?” and “Does that mean you really want to see me?” His answer was, “Confirmation and I guess”. Now that through me off so I asked what he meant by confirmation, he said, “you figure it out”. Now my question is, what did he mean? I have tried to think about and I am kinda at a loss. (I haven’t dated anyone before.) Does it mean we have a chance of getting back together?

  12. @JessSoConfused…….You haven’t actually met him right? We think this was an online fantasy for him, and once things began to get more serious with talk of actually meeting up, he decided it wasn’t what he wanted. That’s our best guess.

  13. Lissette // June 29, 2016 at 11:41 pm //


    I just met a wonderful European/American man on my first trip to San Francisco, where years ago I had decided I wanted to eventually relocate to for medical school, but I never made the trip to check it out because I decided against medical school along the way. We met online and met up on my last night in SF, spent my last 24 with him, and it was absolutely fantastic, an amazing number of things in common, and we just kept remarking on how blown away each of us was as to what a pleasant surprise it all was. He spent the night, we went sightseeing and then he offered to take me to the airport. While we were hanging out the subject of staying connected on social media arose, and he told me how to find him on FB and I friended him there. Couple of cute/casual texts the next day from him, with the “wish you were here” vibe. I got strep throat while there, and apparently found out later that he was also sick, not entirely clear who gave it to who but I was probably me based on when we each got sick. The day after I arrived home, I posted pictures of my trip to FB which included a selfie of both of us cuddling, and tagged him on it, not realizing that doing that puts the picture front and center on his wall until several of his friends enthusiastically commented. When I found out he was sick, since I am a healthcare provider, I gave him advice on taking anti-inflammatories rather than just Tylenol and some other medical advice, and also strongly recommended he see his doctor and get antibiotics due to problems that can arise if not treated. All things I would do for friends, or patients, or anyone. Just me being me. Nurturing. I guess I can be intense that way, but for me it’s just the way my brain and my heart are wired. The next day I continued occasional texts throughout the day about how busy I was, how awful it is to have to work when you’re sick, basically just commiserating with him since he had sent similar messages when he told me he was sick. Then the messages just stopped since yesterday after my last casual question about when his boss was returning so that his workload could improve. My thoughts are that between the me getting him sick part, that picture showing up on his wall which maybe was interpreted as intrusive into his life, and my efforts to continue easy conversation like we did when I was in town, somehow he is distancing himself because he doesn’t want to lead me on or something. He doesn’t know this, but that trip was so magical even before I met him, that I have since decided to move there, and have started sending my resume for jobs there. I don’t have a time frame, and this move has been on and off my mind for years as I am not happy after living 11 years in Boston, but I expect it will be within the next 8 to 12 months given the slow speed at which my profession moves when hiring. What can you glean from this story as far as what I should do with regards to him? He is someone I would really like to remain connected to, to date and maybe discuss/consider even more. And now that I am planning on moving over there, I am reluctant to tell him this, especially in light of the above, since for me it feels like he is staying away from what he sees to be a clingy woman. I’d appreciate your input very much. Thanks.

  14. @Lissette……A couple of questions first. What do you mean European/American man? Is he American, or is he European living in SanFrancisco? How old are the two of you? (Early-mid 30s we’re guessing) When you departed, did he talk about seeing you again specifically, or was it just about how to stay connected on social media? Finally, we’re assuming some physical contact happened since one of you got the other sick, but did you have sex? Or? (Helps us figure this out) ps…..Keep in mind that the comments are public and for everyone to see.

  15. Lissette // June 30, 2016 at 8:49 am //


    Thank you so much for your reply. To answer your questions:

    -He is Eastern European, came to the US at age 17, living in SF. He is currently 33.
    -When we departed (at the airport), we had already had the social media conversation in the car earlier in the day where he told me how to find him and I added him then. When we said our goodbyes, he said something to the effect of “maybe we’ll see each other again,” and some cute referende to how we would “see each other” online.
    -Im 42, but have a huge Peter Pan complex. 😉 and am frequently told I look like Im in my 30s. As an aside, during our prolonged conversations, we talked about prior relationships, including our take on having children. I mentioned that I was in a place in my life where I wanted children, but wasnt sure abiut doing it alone versus waiting to do it with a partner which is my preference, but that dating in Boston where I live is hard and meeting people is not very easy. He mentioned having been married to someone who was much older, which ended a year ago in large part bc of his desire to have a large family.
    -Yes, we did have sex (many times, even though it was 24hrs together. Just giving you an idea of the way we connected).

  16. @Lissette…..Thanks for filling us in. We know you’re worried that you may have crossed the line and possibly freaked him out a bit, but honestly, based on your goodbye, and the fact that he didn’t specifically say, “When am I going to see you again” it makes us think that he may not have seen you as long-term relationship potential, even if the two of you connected on many levels. That said, we don’t think you should throw in the towel either. Give it a little more time without you contacting him, or commenting, or anything. See if he takes some initiative. If he doesn’t, then maybe reach out to him via text to say hi. It’s also okay to be somewhat direct. Something like, “I had a great time with you. Let’s do it again.” Something direct, but not too intense. (In your words of course.) But, we’d say, wait a few weeks or so. And definitely DO NOT mention your move any time soon. See how this unfolds first. Hopefully he’ll step up to the plate soon. ps. We hope you’ll share our site with friends. Thanks. (Check out our e-reports on Long Distance Relationships)

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