Sarah in Marion, writes:
I have been in a relationship for three years that has been a long distance relationship. Now he has been here for awhile and I am starting to think I am supposed to be in long distance relationships only. I feel this way because I am not used to having him around and I miss being able to do what I want when I want to. I know this sounds horrible but I really believe I am too independent to be in a relationship because I did the same thing with my ex-husband. Am I doomed to be alone or do you think there is a chance I can make this relationship work, or is he just the wrong man?
Being as independent as you are doesn’t mean that you are limited to long-distance relationships. While a distance relationship may offer certain comforts and benefits, they also have a few drawbacks. Even though it can be challenging, you are capable of having a close-quarters relationship successfully.
Your current boyfriend is a good guy, but quite honestly, he’s not the one you will spend your life with. Even though there is love, the adjustment to the logistical changes has been causing some frustration and tension for each of you. It seems as if each of you has different expectations. He doesn’t necessarily understand what you are experiencing, but you also aren’t effectively telling him. If the two of you can increase your communication skills, it would help a great deal. He would have better understanding that you need your time and space and a higher level of freedom than what he requires. While it won’t be easy on or for him, if you can sooth his insecurities, he will do his best to understand and accept you as you are.
I have to point out the pattern you have created for yourself so that you can take steps to break it. Because you do desire a stable and traditional style relationship, you go into these unions suppressing some of your feelings and needs. You aren’t as up-front as you should be about your need for freedom. You play the part of devoted and attentive woman, doing what you believe will make the man happy and keep things smooth. But the tensions and resentments slowly build, and your need for more freedom and less explanation grows, resulting in things becoming more complicated. The ironic thing is, the men you find yourself with are initially attracted to your strength and independence, and then it becomes problematic, a character trait that borderline offends them or creates a level of emotional insecurity.
Enjoy the relationship you have, and try and work through some of the struggles and tensions that are becoming more challenging and apparent. There is a good possibility that things will improve, even though this relationship isn’t likely to last forever.
As time passes and things change, you will find yourself back in the dating game. Be bold: in the beginning stages of a relationship, be clear about your boundaries and expectations. Don’t be afraid to express that you have a need for freedom, but that need in no way compromises your dedication and loyalty. Align yourself with men who also want the love, companionship, partnership, and safety that a traditional relationship has to offer, but who are also independent and have a healthy aversion to needing someone’s “permission” to do what he needs to do. When both parties enjoy and understand “my time,” “your time,” and “our time,” a very stable foundation and set of patterns will easily develop.
There is one such man out there that you will meet and love. The added bonus is that he travels for work several times a year, which will give you “alone time” to reflect and enjoy, without having to create any special arrangements or circumstances. It looks as if you will meet him online, and this relationship will flourish and grow. While he is still five or six years away from you, the two of you appear destined to meet. In him, not only will you find what you need, but you will also be at a point in your own development where you have no problem effectively and honestly communicating what you require and have been looking for. Trust me, he will be happily relieved, because he will have come to the conclusion that a secure and loving woman, who is also strong and independent, really must not exist.