Adapted from a recent online discussion.
After three months of dating, my boyfriend got a job in another city. It’s less than three hours away and we have been doing the middle-distance thing for about four months. Boyfriend is amazing, a wonderful kind heart, and so handsome to boot!
At first the distance wasn’t that big of a deal, but lately it’s been very hard. Both of us are busy at work right now, and it’s been difficult to see each other.
I feel like after seven months it’s time to talk about when we can close the distance. My job is more flexible, and I know I would be the one to move; I’m ok with that.
But how do I start this conversation? He tends to be a little defensive when we talk about “feelings” and has trouble expressing himself. I want this to be a positive conversation, although I realize we might not be on the same page if he hasn’t brought it up either. Any advice on how to start this conversation?
— In a Middle-Distance Relationship
Just start it. If you can’t talk without first achieving the exact planetary alignment necessary to avoid triggering his defenses, then this thing is toast. Or should be. Seriously.
There are a whole lot of variations in what people want in a relationship and what works for them and how they define “too soon,” but if you know you have to tiptoe around important subjects and you choose to stay anyway, then you’ve introduced a layer of effort and stress that will only get thicker and heavier and more obnoxious over time, especially since the typical arc of life is to hit progressively heavier stuff as you go on. With no new-love happy chemicals to float you through it.
So, talk. Find out now if your affection for each other can withstand it.
My childhood best friend got engaged. We’re in our early 20s, but have not been friends for a few years — more her decision than mine — after a falling out. Though we eventually had a peaceful discussion about the situation(s), I don’t see us resuming a close friendship in the near future.
I still miss her sometimes. Would it be appropriate to send her a card or necklace or other small token to congratulate her on her engagement? I’d like to send something more personal than a text while respecting the boundaries of our relationship. As far as I know, there is no animosity or ill will between us, so this is mostly a sentimental gesture to show I wish her well in this next stage of life. I’m not expecting an invitation to the wedding, and no hard feelings about that, either.
A note would be the most personal, though you send one at the risk of her seeing it as a bid for an invitation, because that kind of cynicism is depressingly common.
Do it right after the wedding. That takes away any (appearance of) angling for an invitation.
Of course, we have all learned here that anything can cause hurt feelings or be interpreted poorly, but we’ve also learned that we can’t control the reactions of others.
No argument here. Against myself. Thanks.
— Washington Post Writers Group