Temporary Long Distance Relationship - Need Advice, Please

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Temporary Long Distance Relationship - Need Advice, Please
3
Mon, 02-11-2013 - 7:42pm

Good morning. I could use some third party opinions on an issue that I am dealing with. Here's the "short" story.

My girlfriend and I started dating in April of last year, so it's been about 10 months now. We live in Virginia and in early January, she went away to school in Missouri. We're both big into animal welfare and she is going to school for professional dog training. The school is 20 weeks long and she will be back in May.

Well, I was and am very supportive of this school, it's very well regarded and she will excel at it. We talked before she left and agreed to continue dating and agreed that we both definitely wanted to make it work and give our best efforts to stay together and see what happened when she was done (i.e. could we start a life together in earnest).

The problem is, she is so consumed with school now that it's making things extremely difficult. They go to school from about 8am to 6pm and then train until 10pm-11pm at night. I know this to be true as I know several people who have gone to the school and they all said the same, that it is all consuming and students essentially wake up and train or they don't pass. There's a very low pass rate and only the most dedicated students pass. There are plenty of other guys there, but honestly, I don't really have a worry that there is something else going on. She's not the type to do that and I can pretty much tell she is all consumed with training.

My issue is that I am feeling really left out. We text back and forth during the day on and off and we have talked on the phone or on Skype a handful of times (used to be every 2 days), but it's getting tougher. I no longer get texts at night before we go to bed (3 days in a row without), we haven't Skyped/phone talked in 3 days and she just seems too busy to really have any significant engagement. She also won't let anyone (me, her mom, her dad, her cousins) come and visit her at least until she is further in the program as she says she can't spare the time and will get behind with training.

In the end, I know she cares, but I know training and school have become her #1 priority and I am a waaaaaaaay distant #2. I'm not in her shoes, but it seems to be that if she really cared and missed me, she could take 5 seconds to text goodnight before she goes to bed (lots of times she says she just passes out when she is home - I can see the bags in her eyes on Skype - before she can) and would find some way to see me if even for a day. I just feel like I am not worth the few seconds some little gestures would take. We've discussed it and she knows how I feel and has made efforts to communicate more which helped, she just gets caught up in school and they tend to fade.

I love this girl to pieces but we've got about 4 months left to go and every day is torture waiting on her to contact me. I don't think I can go on like this and am about ready to break up but not sure I will feel any better knowing she is there by herself and is now single with a bunch of guys. She is the perfect girl for me in so many ways, unlike any other I have met. We have so much in common and get along so well, I really believe we could have a great future if we could get through with this. I'm just not sure we can.

Thoughts?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

IF she is as great a girl as you say, then I think you need to suck it up for a few months and find something else to do with your time so you aren't just thinking about when she is going to call you.  You know for a fact that she is constantly studying & training and she's dead tired--right now she needs to make this training her priority and you should be supporting her.  It's like it would be if you were dating someone in the military & they were doing basic training or a new doctor/intern.  If you look at 6 months compared to the rest of your life, it's a drop in the bucket.  Now is your chance to support her & I'm sure if you stay together there will be times that you need her to support you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009

As an update, we had a really long text conversation on Valentine's Day (of all days). I had sent her some flowers and I could tell she was lukewarm about them. None of the typical language we use when we are talking happily. I said something about it and she apologized for "being this way". She said she feels disconnected to everything outside of the school because the school is all consuming (again, I know it is from multiple sources). She said the best way to put it is she honestly has not had time to think about us or miss me and if she does, she blocks it out because she doesn't have time to dwell on emotions, she needs to spend 100% of her energy focusing on school (there's like a 30% graduation rate and only the people who really bust ass make it). She was very apologetic and suggested we put things on hold until she is done with school and that we can still communicate during the time she is there, she just doesn't want the stress of "maintaining the relationship on a daily basis" like is expected with a long term relationship. She said that when she can't text or call me, she knows I am hurt and it hurts her to know she is hurting me because she can't find the time and that takes her focus away from training. I asked her if it was about someone else and she said no and I believe her. I looked back through old emails and the message she is telling me is consistent for the last 3 weeks. I really do believe she just feels like she is too busy and needs 100% focus on her schoolwork and I have to wait. I can understand that for the most part, but it's very hard to swallow that she doesn't miss me enough or think about me to make me a tiny, tiny sliver of her daily life. She has her own dog there and a new puppy she is training and lives in a house with 4 other people (3 women and a fresh out of high school guy, so no threats there) so I know she has a lot going on and deep down, I know her story is true. I guess it just hurts that I don't feel important enough for her to think about with fondness (she now says thinking about me makes her sad because she knows I am hurting). So, I guess I'll hang in there as long as I can and appreciate the sporadic texts I may get from her. Visiting her to the comment above is not possible. Not for me, her mom, dad, etc. She is not going to let anyone visit. She has laser focus on school.

Oh, well. Thanks for letting me ramble.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Well you know it's hard to wait but hopefully when she is done with school and comes back you can start up with your relationship.  Now you have also learned something about her--she doesn't seem that good at multi-tasking, so what would happen if she had a very demanding job at home or had to work & take care of kids (like most people do)?  Would she push aside her relationships?