Relationship column: Dealing with the long-distance dilemma
February 28, 2014
Dear Neil: For three years, I have been involved with a lady online. We have talked about living together, and I am seeking to relocate in order to be with her. Yet she keeps getting with local guys. It's as if she will fall for anyone who whispers in her ear. Why would she do this? Are women no longer loyal? What should I do?
Long Distance Relationship in Texas
Dear Long Distance: Learn this lesson: an online relationship is not as compelling or engaging as someone you can have and hold. It sounds as if she wants someone in person — not long-distance.
She may also have second thoughts about you that she is not communicating. Address this with her directly: is she having reservations about you? Is she interested in someone else? What would speed up the two of you being together full time?
I think she is saying that she is getting lonely in a long-distance relationship. The time for action may be now.
Dear Neil: A relationship with an old friend is spiraling downward. It feels to me that his thinking is lacking in rigor. I don't know everything, but I do have some sense of how to move from A through B to C. What are some steps for me to take, or would it be best for me (as well as him) to abandon this friendship of 60 years?
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Not Communicating Well in Denver
Dear Not Communicating: If this is a 60-year friendship, it may be that your friend has lost some of his mental agility through the years, and is indeed not as mentally rigorous as he has been in the past.
Rather than get into spirited intellectual discussions with your buddy, why don't you try just being his friend? How is his health, his marriage, his family, his spirit, his outlook on life, his goals or dreams for the remaining years, his regrets, his fond memories — and so on?
All of us change through the years (I am not the same person I was at 20. Most of us aren't). Perhaps it is now time to change your friendship from that of intellectual equals to simply being friends, compadres, a sounding board for each other and familiar companions.
Dear Neil: Our amazing daughter is in a relationship with someone who is a loner, emotionally distant and has a limited employment history. They are planning on buying a house together. Her down payment investment will be 6 times as much as his, as both her net worth and employment history are solid. Are there personal/legal/financial pitfalls for my daughter that she needs to be aware of?
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Dear Highlands Ranch: Clearly, your daughter sees something in her beau that you don't. If this relationship leads to a happy, long-term commitment, then perhaps you will come to see in him what she does.
In the meantime, she could cover her bases by having an attorney create a document that says that in the event of a split-up, she would be entitled to an 85 percent ownership share of the house — or from the proceeds of the house. I trust a contract (or a domestic) attorney would know what to do.
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder, Colorado. His column is in its 22nd year of publication and is syndicated around the world. You can reach him at 303-758-8777 or email him through his website: http://www.heartrelationships.com. He is not able to respond individually to queries.