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Help in understanding LDR situation

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  • #346684
    jwhy
    Participant

    Hello,

    I am a 33 year old guy and I am in a long distance relationship with a 27 year old girl. We met while working in office a couple of years back. She is interested in a life in the country side and quit the job last April to work in a remote village in the mountains. I visited her last August for a few days when I confessed my feelings for her, to which she initially said she was not sure since we would be separated. Later though, we started texting and calling almost every day and we got closer. We usually write letters to each her, and I send her things that she would mention/hint at in our calls to make her happy. In the past 4 or 5 months though, she has mentioned that the physical separation was getting to her, and asked me to move to the mountains with her. I work as an engineer and my work cannot be done remotely. Her job is till April of next year, and she doesn’t want to move back to a city. I tried to reason with her saying moving to the countryside can be a goal we can work towards in (say) 3 years time, but we need sufficient resources to do that, plus it gives us the chance to do things we wanted (visit latin america for example).

    She’s not a person who likes to text much, so she usually goes quiet is something is bothering her, and I need to get it out of her. We were going through this quiet phase for the last couple of days and I texted her saying this was bothering me. She replied today essentially saying that she tried to make the long distance work, but she’s not been able to. She apologized for putting me in this uncertain situation for the last few months.

    I love this girl a lot. She has, through the way she lives her life, inspired me strive to do better in every aspect of my own life.  She’s kind, resourceful, hard working, tries to live sustainably,  and is very beautiful. My plan was to visit her every month this year to make up for the distance, but the damn corona virus has screwed it up (I’m in India, where there’s a complete lockdown). I’ve always felt that any guy who has her in his life is lucky. But I worry that I may not be that guy. I think she’s a bit hasty in calling it off, since I need some more time to figure out a way to be with her. I worry that I’ll regret later in life that I didn’t do enough.

    This is my first serious relationship, so I don’t have any perspective other than this. I need some help on what I can do, what we can do now, etc. I am bummed that we couldn’t even meet and talk, and this had to happen over the phone. What do you guys think?

    -jy

     

    #346764
    anita
    Participant

    Dear  jwhy:

    You met her in a work setting two years ago. A year later, April 2019, she quit her job and moved to a remove village in the mountains. Four months later, you visited her in her new home for a few days, and “confessed (your) feelings for her”. She told you that she was not sure about having a long distance relationship with you, but after you returned to your home, for a few months, the two of you texted and called almost every day, as well as send letters to each other, and the two of you”got closer”, before she told you that “the physical separation was getting to her”. She asked you to move to the mountains with her.

    If you moved to live with her, you will have to give up your job as an engineer, a job that cannot be done from a remote location. She on the other hand, does not want to move to your city, or any city. You told her that you are willing to have moving to the countryside a goal to work toward in about 3 years time, gathering sufficient resources before such a move.

    She didn’t find your suggestion attractive and told you that “she tried to make the long distance work, but she’s unable to”, and apologized.

    My thoughts: you spent no time with her in-person, as a boyfriend-girlfriend, as I understand it. The two of you got close over texts, phone calls and letters, but not as a result of spending time together in person. This concerns me if I am to think of you giving up your job, moving to her village.. and the two of you<i> getting to know each other in close proximity for the first time</i>. It might not be good experience for her and/ or for you, and you will end up without a job and without a relationship.

    What do you think?

    anita

     

    #346856
    jwhy
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Thank your for your response. You’ve got most of the story right. However, a couple of points :

    – Throughout the 2 years that we knew each other at office, we used to meet often, have lunch together, go for events and walks etc, and I think we got to know each other quite well. I hinted that I was interested in her last Jan, and from what I can tell, she sensed it too, but I didn’t come out and tell her openly. One of the reasons I didn’t tell her was that I figured her going away was a way for me to see if this was something real for me. That’s the reason I waited till I met her in August last year to let her know how I felt. So, our closeness was not only though calls, texts and letters – that happened when she went away – but we spent a lot of time together at office, and on weekends, with the time together increasing in the few months before she left. However, as you rightly pointed out, I don’t think both of us were in the boyfriend-girlfriend mindset when spending time (although I was in the last few months leading upto her leaving the job).

    – The idea of looking at moving to the country side in a few year’s time was something we discussed a few months back during one of those phases where she was unhappy with the distance. Over the next few days, she had agreed that this is something she was willing to do. However, things changed in the past few weeks when she again went through one of her quiet periods, which led to this situation.

    As an update, in our call yesterday, she felt that we haven’t spent enough time with each other for her to be sure. After reading your response, I am interpreting this as – she felt we haven’t spent enough time with each her – acting and spending time together as a couple – for her to be sure.

    Is there anything I can do now? or is she gone for good?

    I am glad that you’ve got the gist of the story. I appreciate your help.

    -jy

    #346890
    anita
    Participant

    Dear jwhy:

    You are very welcome.

    I will retell your story based on your two posts (it helps me process information better when I do that):

    You, at about 31, met this woman, 25 in the office where the two of you worked. For a few months before  she quit her job a year ago, April 2019,  “to work in a remote village in the mountains”, the two of you spent lots of time together, going “for events and walks etc.,” during workdays and on weekends, getting “to  know each other quite well”.

    In Jan 2019, you hinted to her that you were interested in her. After April 2019, you continued to communicate with her through calls, texts and letters. In August 2019, you visited her for a few days where she now lives, in a remote village in the mountains, and you told her directly that you are interested in a love relationship with her.

    Her reactions to your clearly expressed interest in her: at first she said “she was not sure” because of the distance. Later, when you were back to where you live, you communicated a lot and “got closer”. Next, she told you that “the physical separation was getting to her”, and she asked you to move to the mountains with her.

    You wrote about her that she is “kind, resourceful, hard working, tries to live sustainably, and is very beautiful”, and that “any guy who has her in his life is lucky”-

    I am ready to give you my input: any guy would be lucky to be with her perhaps, except for one thing: “she usually goes quiet if something is bothering her, and I need to get it out of her… this quiet phase”-

    This means that she does not share with you her thoughts and feelings whenever she is troubled. She thinks and feels what she thinks and feels, but keeps it quiet, not voicing it to you. When “she usually goes quiet”, her thoughts are noisy- but you don’t get to know what they are. You are left guessing.

    Her most recent positions that she did voice to you were “essentially saying that she tried to make the long distance work, but she’s not been able to. She apologized for putting me in this uncertain situation for the last few months”, and that “she felt that we haven’t spent enough time with each other for her to be sure”- this is what she chose to tell you after contemplation. This information here is a part of the truth that she chose to tell you. You don’t have the whole truth. There are probably reasons and considerations in her mind that you need to know if you were to quit your job and move to a remote location with her!

    A healthy relationship requires open and honest communication, especially when either party is troubled. The fact that she goes quiet when she is troubled blocks you from crucial information, leaves you guessing, assuming what may not be true at all and making choices based on wrong assumptions.

    Being married to a woman who goes quiet like that, repeatedly, as a pattern of behavior, makes any man who ends up with her, an unlucky man.

    My suggestion: I don’t think that you have anything to lose if you ask her for more of what she thinks and feels, for more of the truth of what is going on in her mind and heart. You need her to be open and honest with you. Ask her.

    anita

     

    #347000
    jwhy
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Thank your for your response. I want to begin by saying that sadly, the call I referred to in my second post was where we decided to call it off. I am very hurt, but having this conversation with you is helping me a lot in making sense of what has happened.

    To the point of she becoming quiet : In person, she’s not like this at all. She’s forthright, honest and voices her view with consideration. However, this has not been the case in our LDR during the quiet periods. When she is living in a place with almost not internet, we are left with calls and messages, and when those stop, I have been at a loss to find out what has happened.

    I started thinking about your point of there being more truth than what she chose to express. I need to add some more information for a picture to emerge here. When I expressed my feelings for her in Aug last year, one of the first things she said was that she was sorry for having led me on and she was aware of her tendency to do that. During our last call too, she said that she should have told me earlier about this not working for her. At a point during the call, I told her that we can plan future scenarios together, but each of us need to answer the fundamental question of – do you see a future together? I told her that any answer other than an emphatic yes was a no, and the answer from my side was yes. But she said her answer was not an emphatic yes. So, from all this, the picture that emerges points to the underlying truth – she did not seem to have a sustained romantic connection with me at all. She may have had moments and phases where she felt so (probably due to us getting close from calls, texts and letters), but every so often, she was questioning herself if this was something real for her. The quiet periods seem to be where she was in this mode. Another thing she told me during the call was that she was half-heartedly going along with the LDR thinking that my sincere affection will break it through, but she has realized that that was not enough.

    She has also told a few times that she feels I am sensitive, and she feels the needs to be cautious of what she says to me.  Hence, as you alluded to an underlying truth, the distance reason may well be a proxy for letting me know gently that she’s not feeling a strong enough romantic connection towards me.

    Finally, her motive for asking me to move to the mountains may have been to assess the strength of her romantic interest towards me, and it may not have turned out the way I would have hoped. My view of moving to the mountains, in contrast, was to commit to a life with her, not as a test of my interest in her. I think this is what you meant when you said –

    There are probably reasons and considerations in her mind that you need to know if you were to quit your job and move to a remote location with her!    and

    The fact that she goes quiet when she is troubled blocks you from crucial information, leaves you guessing, assuming what may not be true at all and making choices based on wrong assumptions.

    I don’t know when (whether) we’ll get in touch again. 🙁  When we do, I would like to ask her about this. I am hurt, and sad at the dissipating vision of a person I could have become with her by my side. I will miss the sense of joy and adventure she brought into my life.

    As I said in my first post, this was my first serious relationship (and from what it looks now, it was one-sided). Your answers have been illuminating and have helped (and will continue to help) me to understand what went wrong in what looked (to me atleast) something very special. I appreciate your time and effort very much.

    -jy

    #347032
    anita
    Participant

    Dear jwhy:

    You are welcome. I am sorry that you are hurt and sad, that the relationship (long-distance since April 2019) was called off. I wish you had her love back during this time of global crisis.

    From your recent post I learned that in her place in the mountains, she had “almost no internet”, and that “In person, she’s.. forthright, honest and voices her view with consideration”. But you also wrote earlier: “she usually goes quiet if something is bothering her, and I need to get it out of her”, which means she has the tendency to go quiet when bothered, independently from internet accessibility.

    In Jan 2019, after a few months of spending time with her in-person, you hinted to her that you were romantically interested in her, but she didn’t express back to you, at that time, that she had a romantic interest in you back (did she?), and she proceeded with her plan to quit her job April last year, and moving to a remote location in the mountains.

    When you visited her there August 2019, and confessed to her your feelings, she said “she was not sure”, and that “she was sorry for having led me on and she was aware of her tendency to do that”. During a recent phone call, she told you that she does not have “an emphatic yes” for you.

    Overall, I agree with your analysis in your recent post, regrettably: she lacked a clear, or strong romantic interest in you, and when she asked you to move to the mountains with her, “her motive for asking me to move to the mountains may have been to assess the strength of her romantic interest towards me… My view of moving to the mountains, in contrast, was to commit to a life with her, not as a test of my interest in her”.

    In relationships between people, particularly in romantic relationships, it is the exception, not the rule, that there is complete honesty and transparency between the two parties, even when the two  parties are otherwise honest people. Complete honesty on her part would have been if when she asked you to move to the mountains with her, she would  have told you that her motivation was to test her feelings.

    Although that would be very selfish on her part, to have you quit your job and move to a remote location, so to test her feelings.

    I suppose one lesson to learn from this is to not proceed with a woman if she doesn’t match your romantic interest in her, to not proceed when the romantic interest is not two- sided.

    Please do post here any time you would like to post, if you do, as long as it is of any benefit to you. You read like an honest, appreciative, gracious, kind, patient, intelligent and rational man, and I imagine that the woman who will end up with you, will be a very fortunate woman.

    anita

     

    #347212
    jwhy
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Thank you, you are very kind.

    About her tendency to go quiet : Well, I have noticed this tendency of hers in person too, though not always. I’ve asked her about it and she said that she used to say things when she was bothered that had hurt people and that she later regretted. So she figured this was a way to not cause unnecessary pain by saying things in the heat of the moment. I view this tendency as a good thing in general, and I do that too. But, given the LDR situation we found ourselves in, it becomes important to not prolong these quiet periods and communicate, since not doing so causes unnecessary pain too, defeating the purpose of being quiet.

    In Jan 2019, when I told her that she was my favorite person over a text, she said ‘thank you’ and that ‘this would be high on the list of her personal accomplishments’. I figured that was a no from her. But in hindsight, the mistake I made was not asking her explicitly what she meant by that and then not taking it further if my interpretation had been right.

    I am only guessing as to what her motive might have been when she asked me to move to the mountains. Since she had already told me she felt we didn’t spend enough time together (as a couple) for her to be sure, I think I should have gone the next step and asked her what she thought would have happened had I done so. I think that was a mistake on my part.

    I don’t want to portray her as a person who simply led me on and wasn’t forthright. I don’t believe that at all. She is, as I said earlier – kind, hard working, resourceful, lives sustainably and very beautiful. I think the truth may lie closer to what you said in an other thread about a LDR :

    I think that for most people, a long distance relationship is a lost cause because people .. need people in their presence, not far, far away. Reads like she enjoyed your company very much when you were in her physical presence, but away from you.. maybe she missed you but was tired of missing you, so she got involved in her daily life and let go of wanting you

    You treated her very well, but not enough to make up for the long distance, I am guessing

    I feel bad that we could not meet and try to find a way together. It’ll be really sad if we realize later that we gave up something special due to something beyond our control like the corona virus lockdown.

    Again, I really appreciate your replies to mine, and to many other threads on this forum. You are doing a lot of good. Do keep up your great work.

    -jy

    #347236
    anita
    Participant

    Dear jwhy:

    You are welcome and thank you for your kind words!

    About her tendency to go quiet- it is a good thing, if the purpose is not to say anything “in the heat of the moment”, so “to not cause unnecessary pain”. But like you said, her going quiet in the context of a LDR caused you unnecessary pain, so it defeats the purpose, doing the opposite of preventing pain.

    In Jan 2019, you texted her that she was your favorite person, and you interpreted her response (“this would be high on the list of her personal accomplishments”) to mean a No to a romantic relationship. I agree: you made a quick, untested assumption, and you should have asked her what she meant by it. I also agree that you “should have gone the next step and asked her what she thought would happen had I done so” (moved to the mountains with her).

    The best way to avoid basing your choices on wrong assumptions is to test your assumptions by asking questions and evaluating the answers you receive. (A non- answer is an answer. An indirect answer is also an answer, it gives you valuable information, even if it is a dishonest answer).

    It reads to me that she had some romantic interest in you, but that interest was not strong enough to stop her from moving to the mountains; not strong enough for her to consider moving back to your city, or any city; and not strong enough to give it more long-distance time (so that you move to the mountains with her later).

    It would have had to be a very strong romantic interest for an intelligent, independent woman to change her plans to move to where she wants to move to; to live where she doesn’t to live.. all to accommodate a romance. So it doesn’t surprise me that her interest was not that strong.

    anita

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