Doctor Love: Long-distance relationships

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Dear Doctor Love,

I was in a long-term relationship (3 years) that was going smoothly until the beginning of the tourist season. That’s when I met a girl who was living here part-time because of work. She was also involved in a long-term relationship (2 years) with a guy back home. One thing led to another and before I knew it we were having dinner and that turned into something else and we were involved. I dropped my relationship and she dropped hers. We started seeing each other exclusively and we have gotten very close over the last six months.

She is very homesick, which I can understand. Her parents are alone and elderly so she goes back to see them about every two months. She told me that her ex-boyfriend has seen her on a number of occasions when she goes back. He always wants her back but she says that she isn’t even tempted.

This thing has become very serious with me. When she gets back from her current visit with her family, I want to ask her to marry me. On the other hand, I need to know that her past love life will never interfere with our lives. I know for a fact that my past love life is dead and buried but how can I be so sure about hers? After all, she does see him every two months or so. How do I know that someday he won’t be able to talk her into changing her mind?
This is something that I need to know for sure. How can I do it?
/s/ Smitten

Dr-Love

Dear Smitten,

You can’t. When it comes to affairs of the heart, there comes a time when you have to make a leap of faith. This leap of faith involves believing whole-heartedly that this other person loves you as much as you love them. Amazingly, every single relationship is built on this seemingly shaky foundation.

Remember, though that the leap of faith is just a beginning. If your relationship lasts for years, there will come a time when you will not recall ever doubting her. And, by the way, although she does not voice them, she may have the same doubts about you that you hold for her. In relationships such as marriage, time is everything. After forty years with her, your former three-year romance will pale into insignificance. Your worries about her former romance will be replaced by worries about children, careers and houses.

You must make that leap of faith and then let time take care of the rest.

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