Leaving to work abroad. Will a LDR work?
July 31, 2012 9:18 PM Subscribe
I'm leaving the country soon to work abroad. Will a LDR work?
posted by syanora to human relations (10 answers total)
I'm a gay man in my late twenties. For the past 5 years I was involved with several emotionally unavailable, narcissistic, and oftentimes emotionally abusive men which led to drama filled relationships that were draining, I lost my sense of self, and my life was turned upside down. During that time I went through intensive therapy, did a lot of introspection to analyze my behaviors and patterns in my childhood that I acted out in my adult relationships, and worked towards becoming an emotionally healthy person. It was a lot of hard work, but I think I made some great progress and I'm ready for a serious, long-term relationship. I haven't dated anyone seriously in about 2 years.
Two months ago, I met a recent college graduate. We are similar Myers-Briggs type (INTP). We've been dating non-exclusively (to my best knowledge), we enjoy solitary pursuits, have similar interests etc. Unfortunately, before we met I made the decision to relocate out of the United States for at least 1 year for work. Prior to this, I relocated 6 times in the past two years and I am getting exhausted from finding new friends and dates in every new location. If we had been dating for a little bit longer, I probably would skip the job abroad and find something local because I'd like to settle down.
Currently, there are many good signs of a potential for healthy, long-term relationship and this is a great change in pace from my previous dating history. We've traveled together, worked through a difficult conflict, and enjoy each others company. However, there have been some red flags: he mentions that others have criticized him for being cold, emotionless, and distant. He claims it's based on how he related to his parents and that there might be something wrong with him in order to have a romantic relationship. Also, given his age I'm concerned that he should be free to play the field, date around, and gain more life experience before settling into a relationship.
We've discussed all of these issues, but I am at a loss as how to deal with the issue of moving away and considering dating long-distance. We've talked about the idea of traveling to see each other on a semi-regular basis, and he is supportive regarding my job abroad. My emotions are saying to give it a shot, but reason is saying to enjoy the remaining time we have together and suggest we put everything on hold and be friends. I see a lot of potential here, but I don't want to be too pushy and desperate to force something that hasn't matured enough to survive long-distance and ask him to commit to continuing our dating relationship through emails and expensive flights. I'd counter that if I were in his position I would make the commitment to make things work (because I'm ready to commit to a serious LTR at this stage of my life), but I just don't think he's there yet.
Of course, the best approach is to have a discussion about this. But I want to approach the situation knowing what my goals are, while not pushing things too fast and appearing desperate for a relationship.