Doctor Love: Challenges of Long Distance Relationships

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

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Dear Doctor Love,
I have been in a long-distance relationship with a man for three years. Until six months ago we talked or emailed almost every day and he planned to sell his house in Canada and join me in San Pedro. I visited him a couple times a year and he’s come to Belize many times. We had plans to spend the rest of our lives together once he retired, which was to be this year.
In the last six months it seems as though everything is falling apart. He can’t sell his house because the market in his area has taken a downturn. He says he is concerned about retiring because he loves his job. He’s self-employed, and without work he’ll have nothing to do.
He doesn’t want to talk anymore, and our phone calls have dwindled to about twice a month. He’s rejected invitations to come visit and when I ask about coming up to see him, he evades the subject and says it isn’t a good time.
If he would talk to me, we could work through these issues, but I think the real problem is that he has met someone else. Lately one woman in particular has been showing up on his social media and they seem very chummy.
I don’t want to sound like I’m accusing him of something but if he’s found someone who is making him have second thoughts, I just need to hear it from him.
Should I let him be or try to find out why we seem to be getting more distant every day?
/s/Perplexed

Dear Perplexed
Such an obvious transformation in his personality needs to be addressed because it’s very possible that he’s having a change of heart. He may be getting cold feet about selling his house and starting a new life. He’s already admitted he’s worried he’ll be bored without his job. Those issues are serious but can be worked out.
The real concern is your suspicion that he has met someone. If he has a new love interest, it’s not likely because he was looking. He had every intention of being with you, but distance is a relationship killer and some couples just can’t survive separation.
Go on the assumption that he’s not trying to hide it from you, but rather, he’s reluctant to end your relationship. Or, he’s a coward and can’t admit the truth.
Ending a relationship is better than letting it fade away with no answers. Be direct and ask him. Tell him it’s obvious something has changed, and it needs to be discussed.

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