Dearly Beloved, This Long Distance Is Killing Me

Dearly Beloved, This Long Distance Is Killing Me

In this week’s Dearly Beloved, the advice column from author Michael Arceneaux, our dear reader wants advice on how to handle a long distance relationship — namely whether or not to just end it now or keep stringing him along in the hopes that it will all work out. Yeah, that doesn’t make much sense, but fret not, totally going to get to that.

If you want Michael’s advice, just email him at [email protected] with your question. Just be sure to include SPECIFICS, and don’t forget to start your letter with Dearly Beloved!

It’s a thing.

 

Dearly Beloved,

I am writing to you for advice on a long distance relationship I am currently in. We are both very much in love, but we live on opposite sides of the Atlantic (!).

I met this Canadian guy on a dating app in Italy 2 years ago. We had a one night fling and a couple weeks later he came to stay with me in England on his way back to Montreal. He is one of the most kind hearted people that I’ve ever met, gets me as a person more than anyone I’ve ever met, and he’s a med student studying pediatrics so very smart and driven too.

We talked loads and met up in England a few times as he often had layovers there on his travels. Last year we made it more serious when I went to visit him in Canada for 10 days and we also went to Berlin for two weeks this summer. We are very much in love, though he is definitely more into me than vice versa, probably as I’m his first love whereas I have more experience with relationships and am much more cautious about catching feelings.

The dilemma is that whilst we can afford to do the odd holiday and see each other maybe 3-4 times a year, I would not consider moving to Canada and he has at least 2 years left of Med School before he can consider moving to the UK, which he is considering.

I didn’t mean for this to get so serious and I couldn’t break his heart, especially if it would affect his studies. Should I keep with this in the hope we can one day live in the same country, or have I made a mistake that I shouldn’t prolong?

Yours sincerely,

James

Dear James,

You know what you need to do.

I am sure of it after reading this: “We are very much in love, though he is definitely more into me than vice versa, probably as I’m his first love whereas I have more experience with relationships and am much more cautious about catching feelings.”

I understand your concern about not wanting to potentially impact his studies with a breakup, but you have acknowledged that you didn’t intend for it to get serious. But here we are. You caught feelings, too, only not as strongly as he has. Don’t feel guilty about that. You two clearly have a connection and it was worth exploring. And if circumstances were better, it sounds like you two would be in a relationship. But they aren’t and y’all aren’t, so what good is it to string him along?

He’s head over heels while you have a strong affinity but can seemingly manage without it. He’s thinking of changing his entire life to be in a relationship but you are entertaining keeping him around because maybe it will work out eventually. That’s not fair to either of you. Long distance relationships can be difficult, but they only work if the each person in the relationship is as committed as the other. That’s not the case here. The internal debate needs to end already.

It’s time to speak up, playboy. Be gentle, be thoughtful, and be considerate — but be honest already. He deserves that. So do you.

Signed,

Beloved!


Michael Arceneaux

Michael Arceneaux writes the “Dearly Beloved” advice column at INTO. He is the New York Times bestselling author of the newly released I Can't Date Jesus from 37 Ink/Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.