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You Asked: Long Distance Is Hard!

Dear Sugar,
I feel like just when I have finally found a strong and stable relationship, it's all about to crumble. My boyfriend and I have been dating for six months, none of which have been easy. Since the beginning, we've been carrying on a long distance relationship and I've been driving 300 miles almost every other weekend to see him. Here is the problem: I recently started a new job which is closer to him, but still three hours away. I work almost seven days a week and my hours differ.

My boyfriend has gotten used to the situation from before and doesn't like the change. He says he understands that it's not that I don't want to see him, it's that I can't. With that said, he still constantly pesters me about visiting him when I just can't do it! I adore him, he's my rock right now, but I just have a bad feeling about this. How do I nicely tell him that he's bothering me without hurting his feelings? I don't want to lose him but I need him to be understanding and supportive. — Frustrated Franny

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Frustrated Franny,

Long distance relationships are very hard, there's no doubt about it, but if you're both willing to put forth the effort it takes, you can make it work, however I'm seeing a few red flags here. It seems like you're the only one that's putting forth that effort to see one another. Why is that? Is your boyfriend working the same long hours as you are? If not, it would be nice if he would drive to you every once in a while. Also, you've said it's been hard from the get go and you have a bad feeling. I'm a firm believer in trusting your intuition, so please don't ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Relationships are all about compromise and give and take, so if he's not pulling his weight, your one sided relationship is going to suffer.

Be honest with your boyfriend. Let him know that if you had it your way, you'd see him every day, but since your job is requiring you to work such long hours, it's just not possible right now. Yes, you might hurt his feelings, but he needs to know that his pestering is only making the distance harder. At the end of the day Franny, he's going to have to do his part in order to make this relationship work. Hopefully, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for you two and I wish you luck.


Join The Conversation
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Meike, me too. My LDR is between west coast Canada and freaking Norway - that's a minimum of THREE flights, and at least 24 hours in transit if you factor in the stopovers. Three hours is NOTHING! I would give anything for it to be just three hours. That said, I still very much identify with the original poster. My ex-boyfriend lived on the outskirts of the city and in traffic the drive could take over two hours. Still, every week I faithfully got in my car and drove to see him (he didn't have a car, claimed he couldn't afford one). This is while I went to school full-time and worked part-time from fall to spring, and then in the summer I worked either one full-time job or two part-time jobs. My boyfriend worked one job more or less full-time from home and could basically pick his own hours... yet I was the one making all the sacrifices. It took a while, but after a few years of me doing all the commuting to keep our relationship together, I started to feel resentful towards him. I'd try to tell him how I felt, but he was either too thick or didn't care enough to get it. It soon became clear that this was just one symptom (a major one, albeit) of a doomed, one-sided relationship and that it would always be like this with me putting all the effort in and him laying back and reaping all the rewards. Either your boyfriend needs to get a kick in the pants and do a complete 180, or you'll never be happy in this relationship. Trust me, the relationship will always be tainted by resentment as long as it keeps going like this. Three hours can hardly be considered long distance - and let me tell you, if your boyfriend manages to make THREE HOURS into an obstacle in your relationship, then he's not worth any more of your time. An LDR is HARD, but it can be done with the right person. Even though I only see my boyfriend for a couple of months out of the year and I miss him so much that it hurts, I have absolutely no doubts that this is what I want. If I ever start to feel neglected, I tell him right away and he acknowledges it and tries his best to give me support and reassurance - and that's the only way it can work. Constant communication and complete understanding. So unless your guy is willing to work this out with you, there's little hope of it lasting.
Jims_Bella Jims_Bella 9 years
I can hardly count 3 hours as a long distance relationship - used to take me 2 hours to commute to work on a daily basis! And I was in a long distance relationship - me on the western side of the world and he was in Europe. For 1 year we would visit each other every 3 months. Now I live in Europe, we are married and expecting a baby. First of all, if he can't be happy that your career is progressing - then he's not really someone that can be considered your rock. If he can't take the time to visit you if you are working so many hours, he's just not worth it. And if all he's worried about is not seeing you and getting a booty call - then he really needs to grow up. Love is hard but it doesn't have to be. Find someone who will support your career choices and who will make an effort to come to you once in a while. Even if he is next door or 1/2 way round the world. Relationships are 50/50 - give and take - he's just doing all the taking. Good luck.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
I don't understand why he's not making any effort to see you. Maybe you should compromise, where he comes down for dinner once or twice a week, and you visit him for dinner once or twice a week. Having set dates (i.e. dinner Saturday night) always helps the other person feel like they have something to look forward to, and it might make him stop whining about how rarely you're seeing each other.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
This sounds one-way, which is NOT going to work. Of course you think it's hard! It doesn't seem like he's meeting you halfway at all.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
ooooh dear god, we did long distance (toronto/chicago) and it was frustrating to say the least. just speak to him about it, cuz he might be feeling like u dont want to see him as much as he wants to see u. and u need to talk to him about making some effort too. =) good luck
mswhimmed mswhimmed 9 years
maybe you're not really ready for a relationship. it doesn't seem you have room in your life to take one seriously. that's ok, but perhaps you should reevaluate your priorities, and if a relationship is what you really want out of life right now, you should design your life to allow that to happen in a full and healthy way. and then find the guy that is as dedicated to that as you are - which means one that is about giving of himself and his time to make it work rather than expecting all the give to come from you!
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
You should definitely tell your boyfriend that he should put in some effort as well - why are you so concerned about hurting his feelings? He's clearly not meeting your needs if you do all the work in this relationship, so speak up! I was in a long distance relationship for 5 months (my bf in LA and me in Singapore) and it was tough, but we made it work. He even told me that he doesn't believe in LDR's but changed his mind for me. He made sure to visit me, to send me emails every day, to call me, and to text me. Does your boyfriend do that, besides whining? I get that he might be afraid you'll forget about him with your new working hours but you just need to reassure him that you won't. And then also mention that you'd appreciate it if you guys can alternate visits - you go there one weekend, he comes up to see you the next.
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Agree with Meike, my husband and I did ldr for years between Chicago and Cancun and it was a 50/50 effort. Thats the only way it works.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
yeah, that's a little strange that he won't visit. My boyfriend & I have been long-distance for a year and 9 months--between Chicago and DC. It's annoying, but the only reason it works is that we both put in a lot of effort. We each visit each other once a month. If I were the only one who ever went to visit, we would not still be together.
DCRoamer DCRoamer 9 years
I hate to say it, but unless he has a damned good reason, he should be driving to see you too. If he doesn't have a good reason, you might want to let this one go.
MonaNomura MonaNomura 9 years
I've been an LDR nay-sayer but my current boyfriend completely changed my mind. He and I have been in an LDR for over six months (been together about 10 months total). It's been a strange situation to say the least (international then now NYC and SF) but we've both compromised to make it work. If you feel as if the effort is one sided, it will never last. (no offense) Either way, good luck =/
Meike Meike 9 years
Wow, some people really have a loose concept of long-distance. 3 hours away only? And, he can't visit you on his own? I'm really amused by this situation considering I'm currently in an international long-distance relationship. Nearly 12 hours and several thousand miles by plane. Your boyfriend should be so grateful.
Leanne1078 Leanne1078 9 years
I'm in a dreaded LDR right now myself, and I will tell you straight up that if you don't think this guy is "the one" or at least completely worth all the struggle, it won't work. If you are already kind of doubting it, that is probably just going to grow and grow. I love my man with all my heart, I want to be with him forever--but there is so much struggle in this situation that our relationship has become a much harder thing to maintain than it was when we were together. We've been trying to find the right way to do it for 3 months now, and I feel like we are finally making some progress. It might just take a while to adjust but maybe you will both get used to it.
sofi sofi 9 years
Wow- what is he doing in this relationship- besides whining? You are the one driving to him AND working a lot BUT he is the one who can't deal with this change? You need to step back and figure out what makes it worth driving to see him all the time. I have seen a lot of friends try and make relationships work just so they aren't lonely- it's better to have someone to be with occasionally than all by yourself? It sounds like you have your issues but if this was me, I would test this and see if he figures out a way to come see you since you are obviously too busy. If he doesn't recognize how busy you are, that is just selfish. I would expect a man who was into me to stop the whining, get in the car and surprise me with a visit. Too much of the responsibility has been put on you- it's like you have to go visit your sick mom or something? It is time for him to step up or it is so not worth it and you need to stop wasting your obviously precious time. Sorry, harsh but hate to see you wasting your time :)
melizzle melizzle 9 years
Long distance relationships require compromise, understanding and working together. If you don't have those things, it will never work.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
If anything, long distance relationships cannot be one sided! He should be happy about your new job, not selfish and whiney about it.
kaenai kaenai 9 years
I agree with Dear on this one; does he not have access to a car? I mean, if he doesn't, I understand, but if he does, or if he's able to rent or borrow one once in a while, maybe he should. It would be a huge help if he'd take the opportunity to make your life a little easier, and get a chance to spend time with you in the process.
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