Manners Matter: Long Distance Relationship

Dear Mary Pat,

I’m starting my senior year in college and worked in Door County at a hotel all summer. I started dating one of my co-workers early in the season and we just spent our last couple of days together before I left for school. His school doesn’t start for another couple of weeks since he is European and is here on a J-1 visa. It was really hard to say goodbye since I’m not sure if or when I’ll get to see him again. He lives thousands of miles away and we are both going to be busy with school.  I don’t know how realistic a long-distance relationship is. I don’t want to date anyone else and I don’t want him to date anyone else, but I know the distance will present challenges. He is more optimistic about continuing on. I’ll take any advice you have to spare.


Forlorn and Far Away

Madison, Wis.


Dear Forlorn and Far Away,

No one knows what the future holds, but that’s what makes it more exciting.  It sounds like you’ve been dating for a few months and are committed to each other. Why don’t you just take it as it comes? Time will tell if you are both cut out for a long-distance relationship. You need to communicate your expectations and make sure you are on the same page. Are you going to video chat once a week?  Twice a week? Every day? There is a time difference involved so that’s something that needs to be considered as well. You also have to be upfront and direct with each other. If it just isn’t working after a point, be honest about it and part ways. If it is working well after a few months, then you can start to think down the road a bit. Maybe he could fly back for a short vacation during the holidays or you could go visit him in his country.  If you are meant to stay together, you’ll figure it out.

Good luck,

Mary Pat


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