Question for mature members on Relationship
July 27, 2013 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Would like advice from mature members here. What is your opinion on how to move forward in my situation? Do long distance relationships work? I really like this girl a lot...but she's gone. We met, the chemistry was amazing, we both fell in love. She's a very sensitive girl. Insecure. Quiet. Shy. A very sweet, and a good girl. Shortly after, knowing her for 3 weeks, she goes back home overseas. Her and her best friend were crying when they left at the airport. But she spent almost every day of her final three weeks with me (Not her friends) She made it clear that she wants a relationship.

About me:
1) I have no problem meeting girls. I enjoy meeting new people. Enjoy the company of women. But I may have to date ten women to find one that I like as much on a personal level.

2) I'd be investing my time and emotions in something with an uncertain outcome. I would stop seeing anyone else indefinitely, only to possibly be left standing there like a fool.

3) Third issue is that she's very sensitive. I bought her a toothbrush to accommodate her. She asks why I did it, if there's something wrong with her teeth.

4) She rings me everyday, messaging me all the time on Facebook. During my lunch break she's called 4 times. Calls 7 times, then pulls a complete 180 the next day, saying she wishes she never met me. She is very inexperienced with men. 25 Years old.

Thanks in advice for reading this. I normally wouldn't consider starting a long distance relationship. Don't even know how this happened. Member feedback is appreciated!
posted by Nicholas Geary to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Long-distance relationships can work when both (or all) people involved are emotionally equipped to handle the distance. From what you've written here, it doesn't sound like she is.
posted by littlegreen at 12:10 PM on July 27, 2013 [12 favorites]

But I may have to date ten women to find one that I like as much on a personal level.

Date ten women. Find a local woman with less drama.
posted by zadcat at 12:10 PM on July 27, 2013 [7 favorites]

In my experience, these things will sort of declare themselves in fairly short order. If this woman is interested in maintaining a long-distance relationship with you, she'll do the kinds of things that indicate that -- she'll initiate contact, she'll want to share information about her life back home, etc. As long as those kinds of things are happening, it can be a going concern. But if she does the slow (or fast!) fade, responding to texts and emails with one-word answers or not at all, then that's a declaration too; be prepared to gracefully let it go if that happens.
posted by KathrynT at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2013

This is a case where the head should rule the heart. The odds of this somehow working out with a happy ending are slim. Let her go. Be clear and direct with her, don't string her along.
posted by mattu at 12:21 PM on July 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, if she's only one in ten, move on. If she were at least one in a thousand I would say give it a go. But this does not sound worth it.

The LDR thing can work. I have met plenty of people who started that way and ended up married. But one in ten is really not that special, especially with her already flaking out on you.
posted by Michele in California at 12:31 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Agree. It can work, but she is already handling it poorly.
posted by Glinn at 12:33 PM on July 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Accept this as a fun short-term relationship and move on. Don't do this.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:41 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

It can work but I don't think you have been together long enough to justify it, plus she's already not handling it well. Maybe best to relegate this relationship to a fond memory but here are some things to consider if you're hesitant to do so

1) would you feel like you're missing out on other women if you continued this relationship?
2) will you have an opportunity to see her again at some point in the future that you can plan for?
3) are you willing to deal with her sensitivity and emotional volatility? it can really affect communication in LDRs and complicate things.
posted by hejrat at 12:44 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ok, I'll come out and say it... I really never felt that way being with a girl before. My friend asked me how much I like her compared to my recent ex, I responded three times as much. He told me..."You'll find a girl you like 7 times more". And just a few days later he pulls me aside and says she's a very good girl. That I shouldn't let her go. The number could be 40, and then again it could be 2 (But I'm more of an optimist) . point is I'll have to go through quite a few (And I don't mean coffee dates btw. Not counting casual conversation) I really appreciate all of your feedback.
posted by Nicholas Geary at 12:53 PM on July 27, 2013

Here is where we break out the old saw of "get therapy/journal/whatever."

I see two possibilities: Either you were okay with being crazy about her because she was leaving, so it wasn't tripping any commitment-phobia bells, or she is way more special than one in ten, actually worth the hassle of an LDR and you don't want to admit it (in which case she might be flaking because you are giving off that "you aren't that special, I can replace you in a heartbeat" vibe which is a crappy thing to do). Either way, I smell some commitment/intimacy weirdness from your end (though, hey, this is the internet, maybe I am only imagining that smell).

Take care.
posted by Michele in California at 1:00 PM on July 27, 2013

The "good girl" language is also weird. I think you should look for someone secure and mature who lives near you.
posted by salvia at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2013 [29 favorites]

Some things I would think about:
1) How often will you be able to see each other? If things go well, can one of you move in the near future? (even if not permanently).
2) Do you trust each other? Are you going to be worried about whats she's doing / feeling all the time?
3) Can you keep regular communication?

The red flag for me in your description:
"Calls 7 times, then pulls a complete 180 the next day, saying she wishes she never met me"
This screams drama to me, and that will only be worse with distance since (IMHO) you need a level of comfort and trust to be OK with the fact that you don't have as much knowledge or involvement in their life as you would with a local woman. Occasionally worrying about the realities of an LDR is normal/fine, but that level of hot/cold would be an issue for me LDR or not, and much worse with distance.

I'm in a similar situation this year: spent 6 weeks with a woman before she went back to her country, in LDR now. But: we have already seen each other again since then and have plans to make it not an LDR in the near future, she is not doing the hot/cold thing and we have good (daily) communication, etc.

Even with all that, it's hard and stressful. I think if she (or I) was less mature, less sure, or less able to close the distance [all of those seem true in your case], it would not work.

So... yeah, it can work, but even when you have a near-perfect situation its hard.
posted by wildcrdj at 1:25 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

"knowing her for 3 weeks ....

"I bought her a toothbrush to accommodate her. She asks why I did it, if there's something wrong with her teeth."

"She rings me everyday, messaging me all the time on Facebook. During my lunch break she's called 4 times. Calls 7 times, then pulls a complete 180 the next day, saying she wishes she never met me. "

These things all concern me.

And she's 25. How old are you? You keep calling her a "girl."

I dunno. Nothing about this sounds good to me. I think you should move on.
posted by bunderful at 1:41 PM on July 27, 2013 [15 favorites]

saying she wishes she never met me.

Grant her wish.
posted by Etrigan at 2:08 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Very sensitive and insecure, plus constant messaging and phone calls followed by "I wish I'd never met you" the following day = not stable enough to handle a long distance relationship with anyone. Only start a long distance relationship with this person if you feel like you need a whole lot of drama in your life.
posted by palomar at 2:11 PM on July 27, 2013 [6 favorites]

1 in 10, 1 in 40, 1 in 2 ... 3 times better than the ex, 7 times more ... Stop with the numbers and just consider the facts as they are. You have only known her in the flush of new limerence and she was on vacation - that alone does not compare with the real world. What are the longterm possibilities - that she would live in your country, or you in hers? How long would that take and how much would it cost? Do your professional skills/credentials translate? Do you want every vacation for the rest of your life to be to visit her/your families?

Also - and this is maybe or maybe not indicative of how you view her - she is not a girl, she is a woman.
posted by headnsouth at 2:15 PM on July 27, 2013 [12 favorites]

The old expression that there are other fish in the sea must be true or there would not be any second marriages. The shy girl is unlikely to pursue you, find a more available woman.
posted by Cranberry at 2:24 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Insecure + long distance = disaster.

If you continue down this path, be prepared for her to melt down and accuse you of cheating or not loving her if you happen to be out having a pizza with some friends when she calls. Or if you fall asleep and don't text her back the same night. Or if you admit to having a conversation with another woman. Or if you don't feel like video chat one night. Or if you work late, or or or...

I'm not always down on long-distance -- I've been happily married to my own long-distance sweetie for coming up on fifteen years. Sure it's uncertain, but every relationship is uncertain. That said, for long-distance to work, you need to have a baseline level of trust and stability as your foundation, and it does not sound like you are there.
posted by Andrhia at 5:05 PM on July 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm 29, and my ex girlfriend btw is 36, she hated being called woman, and insisted on being called girl. Guess you just can't win....And compared to many women out there today, she is a "good girl". She wasn't on vacation, she came here to study during the summer.
posted by Nicholas Geary at 5:44 PM on July 27, 2013

And compared to many women out there today, she is a "good girl". She wasn't on vacation, she came here to study during the summer.

Yeah, so, you don't actually know this girl. You spent some time with her over three weeks, while she was in a foreign country and away from her day-to-day life. Since she's returned home, her contact with you indicates that she's emotionally unstable, in that she's spending one day calling and messaging you non-stop, and the next day telling you she wishes she'd never met you. You have a very narrow window into what this girl is actually like.

As for the "good" thing... What makes her "good"? Is she "good" because she does thoughtful things for others and gives her spare time to volunteer organizations and charitable groups dedicated to helping the downtrodden and making the world a better place? Or is she "good" because she's not going out to the clubs every night and talking to other men? (And if it's the latter... first off, you know "good" girls can enjoy a night out, right? And also, you know that she's home now and you don't really know what she's up to, right?)
posted by palomar at 6:03 PM on July 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

I don't know why everyone is picking on her when you sound very immature, too.

With respect...

Women are not "other" than you. They are human beings. Just like you.

Women (and fulfilling relationships with them!) are not to be evaluated like horses, real estate, or other commodities.

Again, woman are people, just like you and your judgey friend.

Culturally there is something weird going on here. No one will ever fit your "ideal" because we ALL have good points and bad points about us.

You only ask us to evaluate (judge) her. What about YOU? What strengths and weaknesses are you bringing into the situation? How are your strengths and weaknesses effecting her??

You should date closer to home because this sounds like it will just screw with both of your psyches. It's not mature or stable and you should shut it down, end it.

Do not leave the possibility of any kind of future meeting, either. She deserves finality so she can sort out her emotions and move on.

Only leave open the possibility of future involvement if you are keen on hurting yourself and her.
posted by jbenben at 6:10 PM on July 27, 2013 [6 favorites]

How would being on vacation, instead of a student, make her into a bad person?

Think more deeply about how you judge others, because your current views appear to be stunted and unrealistic.
posted by jbenben at 6:14 PM on July 27, 2013 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I would like to thank all of you that responded constructively! I appreciate your feedback. I am/have been considering breaking it off. I like her more than any girl I've met. Not sex. Not looks. And not desperation. But it's just given the circumstances and knowing her a short time. She seems to be very inexperienced with men. Which may be part of the issue.
posted by Nicholas Geary at 7:23 PM on July 27, 2013

She seems to be very inexperienced with men.

Inexperience is many times a positive, not a negative. Many men (and women) totally get the concept of a "good girl" just like a "good man." So, don't be embarrassed by others putting you down for using such a description.

If she is who you think she is, such partners are hard to find so stick with it unless she is truly incompatible with you. Good luck.
posted by Kruger5 at 8:36 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Honestly, she sounds very, very young and immature. It may be age or it may be cultural but she has problems. If she lived in the same town as you and communicated this way would you still find her attractive? Be nice to her if you decide to let her go. But don't let her drag it out. Good luck.
posted by cairnoflore at 2:47 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you took distance out of the equation, I still think it might not be a good idea to have a relationship with her. It's not just that she's insecure and worried, but also that you feel responsible for how she feels.

At three weeks, you don't know each other nearly well enough to commit to an long-distance relationship of unspecified duration.
posted by wryly at 4:57 PM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]

4) She rings me everyday, messaging me all the time on Facebook. During my lunch break she's called 4 times. Calls 7 times, then pulls a complete 180 the next day, saying she wishes she never met me.

Your question is all about the way you feel about her, but clearly she is having huge doubts about you, because she's telling you things like this.
posted by inertia at 7:53 PM on July 28, 2013

Response by poster: Inexperience may be a positive thing in some respects, only the distance compounds the negatives. I like her a lot. Like talking to her. If she were with me, next to me, many of the issues would be put to rest quickly right then and there. It is not a question of judging her, it's a question of an appropriate response.

I just talked with a female friend for an hour or so, 15 minutes of the conversation was talking about this. Her perspective, I should explain how much I enjoyed time with her, appreciate her, and that if she ever comes back we can pick it up from there. That on both ends, in the mean time, we should be free to date other people. I'm weighing my options. I really don't want to let her go...don't feel the same way about other girls I meet.

As for her regret:
The first night she came to my place she expressed regret, as in omg what am I doing here. The fact that she became emotionally invested, knowing she is leaving the country could be the reason she feels that way. That's what she told me. I mean, she said that while she was here, then insisted on a relationship, and spent her last day/night here with me, not her best friend. And they're very close.
posted by Nicholas Geary at 10:05 PM on July 28, 2013

I don't see anyone addressing the logistics the logistics involved should the best case happen.

1) Does she want to live if the US if given the chance? If not, are you willing to move to her native country?
2) Does she have a clean criminal and immigration record? Any expensive health conditions? US immigration laws are very draconian. There are many grounds of inadmissibility, and waivers are expensive and hard to come by (if possible at all). If she has ever worked without the proper visa or overstayed, then her chances of being able to stay with you long term in the US (even in marriage) are slim to none. Do your research on the pain and expense involved in sponsoring someone to see whether she's worth it before going any further.
3) Do you have a stable income and pay taxes? If you don't then it's also a nonstarter as it's a legal requirement to sponsor someone.
4) Are you two legally and financially able to visit each other? LDRs are even harder if you can't visit one another.
5) Where is she from? How's her English? Do you share the same religious beliefs? It's unfair but USCIS does treat people from certain places with a degree of suspicion. Are you two able to stand the heat? (It's no picnic even if you're both caucasian and she lives in Canada). If you don't share the same language, it'll be doubly difficult. Also it is a very good idea to do lot of research about her cultural background. Do you have any myths about her culture are true (especially the ones about that she'll be homely and will cook for you) Are there any cultural customs and beliefs that you can't live with? Now's the time to find out.
6) How's her social and financial situation in her native country? Does she have many siblings? Could she be using you as a conduit to obtain a green card? Also in many cultures, you not just marrying her, you'll also be marrying her family. If she comes from a war torn or poverty stricken area you'll also certainly be pressured to sponsoring her parents and relatives as well.

In short, know and understand what's involved in sponsoring somebody before you go much further.
posted by magic_skyjuice at 2:43 AM on July 30, 2013

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