I’m a freshman and I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend, who lives across the country, since the beginning of the semester. We’ve been dating for three years, and we’re what you’d describe as “high school sweethearts.” I can’t imagine my life without my girlfriend.
But lately she’s not putting in an equal amount of effort. At first, I thought it was because she’s super busy – she’s in a lot of clubs and takes six classes – but even when she is available to talk, the conversation is slowly growing short and dull.
My friends suggested I surprise her by showing up at her dorm next month, but I’m not sure. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’m afraid I might show up and find something I don’t like. What if she’s seeing someone else? What if I’m being cheated on and don’t even know it? Please help.
Dear Worried William,
You have two different problems here: keeping a long-distance relationship alive when both partners are busy, and trust.
Are you a fan of trampolines? Because you’re jumping to conclusions here. Your girlfriend has six classes and a bunch of extracurriculars. So if that’s the case, why would you immediately assume she’s cheating?
Relationships, especially long-distance ones, need to be built on trust. If you can’t trust your partner, you’re going to drive yourself crazy wondering if she’s cheating and what she’s doing every night.
Odds are, she’s curled up in bed binge-watching Netflix and you’re worrying over nothing. Plus, she might even wonder the same about you.
If you can’t muster up the guts to be serious and ask what’s up, it might be time to cut the cord. You’ve got four long years ahead of you filled with distractions, temptations and loneliness.
Do you really want to spend these next four years Skyping, texting and Snapchatting, choosing FaceTime over actual face-to-face time?
That’s not to discourage you if you’re certain this is the real thing. But from how panicked and paranoid your message is, I doubt you’re 100 percent sure your girlfriend is your soulmate.
However, if you’re set on making things work, it might do your relationship good to pull a crazy romantic gesture like your friends suggest. Girls eat that stuff up, and she’ll be reminded of how lucky she is to have a boyfriend who puts in effort.
If things don’t get back in the groove, call it quits. But, if communication returns, then consider this lapse nothing more than what it probably is: a college student balancing a busy schedule.
Good luck, and don’t forget to earn those frequent flyer miles.