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Long-distance problems

Wayne Powell

Monday, July 31, 2017

 

Dear Counsellor,

I am 23 years old, and my partner and I were friends long before we decided to enter a committed relationship. He was more than just a partner, but also my best friend. Our relationship was fulfilling and we had plans for a long-term commitment in the future. I eventually moved to Kingston to attend university, and that's when the problems started.

I wasn't used to being away from my family, and I found myself on my own for the first time. I became extremely lonely and insecure even though we would still talk on the phone. I got intimate with a guy, but no sexual intercourse was involved.

I disclosed what happened to my boyfriend and he took it badly. He told me that my revelation has shattered him, and he doesn't feel that he can make me happy anymore. He said he can't give me what I deserve, so it's best for us to go our separate ways.

It has been some months since he told me that, but I still haven't accepted it. I deeply regret what I did. I want him to be a part of my life. I want us to have that future we dreamt about. Is it possible? What should I do?

I still see him from time to time. He no longer calls, and when we do text, it's just empty words. We spoke a few days ago and he said I need someone who can be by my side and build a future with me. He said he wouldn't put me through being with him again because he knows it won't go anywhere, and he doesn't want to waste my time.

 

This is a typical case of what happens sometimes when couples are involved in long-distance relationships. They might start off very well, but challenges begin to surface as time passes.

In your case, you became lonely in a new environment and succumbed to the advances of someone else. This has seriously affected your relationship. Your partner couldn't handle the disclosure, and decided to walk away from the relationship.

He knows full well that it would be impossible to be physically near you every day, and realises that there could be a repeat of what happened.

His approach is one used by some men when they want to walk away from a relationship. They give the “I am not good for you…you deserve better” speech. The women feel a sense of gratitude and even if they wanted to go, think that they would be ungrateful to the partner if they did walk away.

Your boyfriend may feel that your attendance at university could lead you to a better earning position, and this might make him feel insecure.

If he is really not prepared to forgive your indiscretions, then you may need to move on as well. It would be difficult but less stressful than begging him to stay and trying to navigate the dangers of a long-distance relationship.

It is important for you to focus on your schoolwork and take advantage of opportunities that will no doubt come your way again. I advise you to stop moping. Get involved in one or more extra-curricular activities like the gym or service clubs.

Who knows? You both may reconnect in the future, but until then, focus on your academic work, and maintain your self-respect.

 

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com; check out his work overseas on www.seekingshalom.org, e-mail powellw@seekingshalom.org.