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Should I walk away? Should I send the note?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Breaking up, Dating, Friends, Long distance, Online dating, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (27 April 2015) 8 Answers - (Newest, 30 April 2015)
A male United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

After 4.5 years of friendship, J and I began a relationship over Xmas which has largely been conducted online, because of her employment.

I'm 32 and am plenty experienced, but this is the first time I feel I could be falling in love.

Just recently I went to visit her in the place where she works, some 6000 miles away, and we had a great time.

She is wonderful and at our happiest I can honestly say I have never been happier.

J is 29 and has told me she has got to the stage where she views every relationship as potentially the last, as the one, and I was proud as hell when she said that she wanted to give it a go despite our distance.

She returns later in the year and I was devoting much of my energies here to being in a better state financially and personally to help support her on return.

However, with the distance and the difficulty of J's job (I can't say but it is very pressuring) and few people locally that she can rely on for counsel, she takes things out on me and has ended the relationship a couple of times.

It is only when she realises that I need to break fully from her, that friendship cannot occur instantaneously, that she relents and re-opens the door. It is very frustrating.

I write because it has happened again.

She has said she feels the relationship is unfair to us both and that she can't promise to want to be with me on return.

I respect that and can't expect to change it. There is a strong chance that she will change her mind again and want to resume things, but I am sure that that will just continue the cycle.

I have written an email that states that I want to insert distance between us and end things permanently, full break with no hard feelings.

Should I send it?

Or is there a better way that I can deal with this? I feel it is important to make a bold statement but I also do not want to hurt her, nor myself.

She and I have talked and are very honest and open about the things we want, the way that we feel and I do not think that monologuing my issues with her will help, especially as she has effectively dumped me.

I am beginning to feel like a sap.

But I also feel strongly for her, and I suspect she does for me, and I have made ironclad gestures in the past that I regret.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2015):

I am very sorry. I am sure this is hard for you. But in time you will meet a new woman. Someone who loves and values you. One who can't say good bye. One who hopefully is not so far away. Every relationship we have is not by chance. They were meant to happen. This one has taught you about what you want and what will work for you and what won't. It will serve as a building block to a positive, full and happier relationship. You are now stronger and more sure about yourself.

I am glad you did not send the email. I was one of those who advised against it.

This way you spoke openly to each other and now you know the truth honestly. No misconceptions. No second guessing. No back and forth. And no regrets.

Now you can move on finally. And not have the worry about the turmoil of this yo-yo relationship hanging over your head anymore. It must also be a great sigh of relief, although incredibly difficult I am sure. I am sorry you are going through this.

It will get better. You have a whole life ahead of you and so much to look forward to!

Hugs to you.

You handled it the right way. You should be proud of yourself.


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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2015):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I'm just writing to provide a follow-up to the responses given, and then there's an update at the end.

My question was probably a bit long-winded and as such I think some of the details in the backstory have gained a little too much focus. This isn't an 'online relationship' as such: we met in real life and had a long friendship before beginning a relationship that we planned to resume in real life. One of the break-ups was in real life. This is a temporary relocation to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime work opportunity. For some advice this doesn't matter, but I feel it is crucial to correct.

I was also probably a bit raw when I wrote this question out and I am glad some of you advised me against sending an email. We spoke, as forthright as ever, and I think it was the best course to pursue. I had mapped out a schematic of what to do in case of a number of scenarios and I held firm to it.

As it turns out, I read the tea-leaves incorrectly. This third time of flip-flopping is for keeps. She doesn't feel the same about me as she once did and intends to keep this break-up permanent and the relationship will not resume on her return.

It ended without acrimony or recriminations. There was a light post-mortem, some generic compliments and wishes of good fortune and then I bid adieu, hung up, deleted her contacts on social media and went to bed for hours in a darkened room in the afternoon.

Thanks for your help, champs.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (28 April 2015):

Tisha-1 agony aunt"I was devoting much of my energies here to being in a better state financially and personally to help support her on return."

I think it would make more sense and be healthier that you be in your best state financially and personally for yourself. Not for her. For yourself. Do you see the difference?

"she takes things out on me and has ended the relationship a couple of times.

"It is only when she realises that I need to break fully from her, that friendship cannot occur instantaneously, that she relents and re-opens the door. It is very frustrating.

"I write because it has happened again."

Take this golden opportunity to end the relationship completely and move one. You are being presented with a lesson to learn and instead of absorbing it yourself you are hoping she'll learn something.

Yes, send the email ending the relationship and then block this person permanently from your social sites, email access, etc.

Watch "Catfish" online for some eye-opening life lessons.

Best wishes.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (28 April 2015):

Honeypie agony auntSome long distance relationships works - because there is a PLAN to BE together geographically.

My husband and I were in a LDR for 18 months before our "plan" could be put into action. But once we formulated a plan of action we BOTH worked our BUTTS off to make it happen (and it did) THAT was 19 years ago.

6,000 miles is FAR AWAY when you want to just come home and get a hug, a glass of "whine" and tell your partner about a shitty day. For many people that distance becomes THE hindrance.

I see you talk about love and caring, but I don't see EITHER of you mentioning moving here or there so it can WORK in "reality" outside of the Internet.

I think it's run it's course. The fact that she will pull back and want to end it SEVERAL times, means she WANTS to end it. She isn't feeling FULFILLED. Neither are you.

And I agree with WiseOwlE - When you end it, DO so over the phone. And then block & remove and MOVE on.

And next time? Date someone geographically closer.

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (28 April 2015):

Sageoldguy1465 agony aunt"I write because it has happened again."

Be smart... make THIS the LAST TIME... and stick to your guns.... This girl will play you indefinitely, if you don't watch out for yourself.

Good luck..

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (28 April 2015):

[EDIT] "If you're going to breakup with someone long-distance; at least have the balls to call her do it. Then block and remove her from her social contacts."


"If you're going to breakup with someone long-distance; at least have the balls to call her and do it. Then block and remove her from your social contacts."

Sorry for the typos.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (28 April 2015):

The breaks and pauses between you, could be times she is seeing someone else.

Maybe she just gets tired of the online-relationship, and just needs a break. She may be simultaneously dating other people, and keeping her options open. From what you describe, she is moody and indecisive. Such instability is not conducive to fulfilling or sustaining a mature relationship. Her feelings seem to be all over the place. The distance makes it even less worth all the trouble. I have to admit, all you've described is very symptomatic and typical of most long-distance relationships.

The fact you've written for advice, is an indication you've pretty much had enough of it. Don't feel guilty for that. The point of sharing a romantic-relationship is to fulfill your needs; and the relationship should evolve from one level to the next. If you see no growth after considerable effort, you wisely end it. In an affable and mature way.

You have to use logic when your emotions won't allow you to make the decisions that are best for you. You say you're falling in love? But you need consistency and reciprocal effort on her end; when you are trying your best to be exclusive and faithful, in spite of the distance between you.

If she has too many problems to handle a relationship and her job, do you both a favor. Let her go. The pressure of a long-distance romance may be too stressful for her. It just may not be enough. Sounds like she has already given-up before, and you're just catching up with her. You're indecisive too!

Don't send a cowardly impersonal e-mail. If you're going to breakup with someone long-distance; at least have the balls to call her do it. Then block and remove her from her social contacts. Delete her number, and go no contact; so you won't return to the same old cycle of connecting and disconnecting. That's adolescent-behavior, you're an adult now. Stop playing a constant game of breakup and make up. That's tiresome and frustrating.

You're wasting precious time.

Fly solo for a while. Be single and independent. Work on your faults and flaws. Introspect and do some self-improvement. Seek spiritual enlightenment. Try and date local available women in "real-time" to stay in practice. In-person dating keeps your interactive and romantic-skills fresh and personal. End your device-dependency, and lower your stress.

Time-off will allow you the opportunity to get-over her, and to get your emotional-bearings. It will alleviate any undue pressure she is experiencing; as a result of holding on, in spite of the distance between you. She may blame it on her job, but I think it's the stress of you being too far away. She's tired of it. You both need something more personal in your lives.

You have to let maturity and logic takeover now; because your emotions are holding you hostage to this situation. No matter what, be respectful and kind to her. Give her the courtesy and closure of a call. Explain what has led you to your decision. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Then cut-off all contact. Time to move on.

It isn't always like it is in the movies. It isn't always a matter of whether it is true love. Sometimes it is whether what you have is practical and are you both on the same page. She has admitted to the strain.

I think you both are missing the fulfillment of face-to-face dating, and all this has taken its toll on you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 April 2015):

What is unfortunate about your situation is the physical distance between you.

It has a detrimental affect on your relationship. It weakens it. It is nobody's fault. Just the way it is. But having said that, I do feel that some long distance relationships do survive when both people truly love one another and are committed to making the relationship work. If only one is willing to make compromises and work for it and the other isn't there is nothing to do but to exit gracefully. You cannot live your life this way. As if you are a yo yo. It is very emotionally draining. And exhaustive.

It does seem you both have some differences in goals and where you would like to be in life. Perhaps you are not on the same page? You need to both know exactly what you want out of the relationship and where it is headed and what you both want at this point in life.

I wonder why is it that she keeps breaking it off and then resuming? What are her reasons? What is she afraid of? What causes her to back off and then come back again? She seems to be trying to work through some uncertainties. Can you help her with these uncertainties?

Have you had an open, honest, at length discussion? Face to face? Laying it all on the line?

Because if you really DO love her, maybe you should just tell her how you feel, no holds barred. See if she is on the same page? If not, then move on. But give it all you got. Love is worth it. It doesn't always come around. Some people search their whole life for it. So don't be so quick to throw it away.

I do not think you should send the email. It is drastic and impersonal. Also when words are said, they cannot be taken back. Remember this. It is better to talk things through. You don't want to have any regrets because what is done is usually done.

Just make sure you really talk to each other first. Give it one last shot. Your best. Her best. See if you can make it work somehow.

And if not, you can move on knowing you did all you can. And not regret that you sent an email that you were not sure of and said things you might have wanted to take back.

Is there any way you can bridge the distance? Move out there? Could she move closer to you? Are there any COMPROMISES you can both make?

Exhaust the possibilities.

True love, if it is, you only know, is worth every effort. Give it that.

Then see what happens.

But the fact you are here asking if you should send that email means you are not sure of that decision.

If you are unsure, don't do it.

I hope this helps.

Let us know how it goes.

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