Long distance relationship: visiting issue

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Hi Guys,

My boyfriend and I attend the same University but during the summer we go our separate ways back home. It’s a 9 hour drive or 1.5 hour plane flight.

Although he admitted to me that he had been attracted to me the first time he saw me in class, it wasn’t until a few weeks before the year ended that we had a mutual friend set us up for a date. There was immediate chemistry and we fell head over heels, spending every day together for three weeks until we had to go home for summer.

After a few weeks of our long distance summer relationship we decided it’d be great if I went to visit him in July. And since my parents were totally cool with it, I bought the plane ticket and now had a date to look forward to all summer.

The whole time he was at the University for spring term he texted and called me every day. When he went home, it all stopped and I was lucky to get one a day. I got insecure and became angry at the sudden change and he said it was because he only had two months to spend with his parents and we’d have plenty of time during the fall and winter semester together—but his feelings hadn’t changed. He felt bad for making me feel insecure and pleaded for me to still come visit him.

He seems pretty busy all of a sudden. Should I call off this trip that’s supposed to happen in a few weeks? We miss each other but maybe giving each other summers will be more beneficial. How bad could two more months be?


Dear Megan,

Thanks for your question. You may have already gone on your trip—or not—since you wrote to us a month ago. But if not we think you should go. There’s no reason not to really. (If you already went, how was it? Please give us the update.)

We can see how you’d feel a bit insecure since your connection with him changed so dramatically after you both got home for the summer. Long distance relationships are tough because they require even more trust, fortitude, and commitment than “normal” relationships. Since you only had three weeks to really get to know each other, we can see how the two of you wouldn’t be prepared for the unenviable separation for three months.

In case you find yourself in the same position next summer, here are a few suggestions.

It seems the two of you could benefit from a conversation before school ends next year, at which point you need to discuss how you’re going to conduct the relationship while the two of you are separated by distance. Both his viewpoint and your viewpoint seem reasonable and logical. He wants to spend more time with his family, and knows you’ll be seeing each other soon enough in the fall. You feel you want to keep the strong connection going over the summer by talking or texting often. The two of you need to find a common ground that works for both of you. A compromise. Maybe you agree upon a set number for the amount of times you’re going to talk each day? This might include text messages, phone calls, emails, and Facebook. Let’s say you decide to “talk” three times during each day. You could try it for a month and see how it goes, and then modify it if one of you feels it’s not working.

You also need to decide how many times you’ll visit each other over the summer. Once? Twice? None? (Please discuss cost of the flights as well. This may seem petty, but believe us, it doesn’t take much in this kind of situation.)

With any relationship, communication is the key to making it work over a long period of time. But a long distance relationship requires even more communication, because you can’t rely on seeing the person to keep the connection strong. And without being able to reassure one another face-to-face, often little things can be misinterpreted, and sometimes blown out of proportion. It’s all about talking, which is why many relationship can’t withstand the weight of long distance.


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