The Llama Sutra: Long-Distance Relationships

Dear Llama Sutra,

I’ve been in a relationship for several months and I really care about my partner. I am anxious though, about what will happen when she leaves Simon’s Rock. The distance won’t be too far but I don’t know if she wants to be in a long distance relationship. I really like her, and I don’t want this to end, but I feel like she’s reluctant to stay together. What can I do?

It’s really great that you have found someone you connect with and care about. That’s always a wonderful feeling and it can be really fun. I will say though that long-distance relationships can be tricky and her reluctance is understandable. However, this doesn’t mean an attempt to have a long-distance relationship will necessarily be a bad experience for the two of you.

If each of you makes an effort to keep in touch through email, phone, frequent visits and such, the distance doesn’t have to be a problem. Some sort of schedule will probably be a good idea so that neither of you is ever waiting around hoping you will get a chance to talk. That is never a fun position to be in. Also if, as you say, you won’t be very far apart, you can try to arrange frequent weekend visits.

Don’t move too quickly though. Try to let things fall the way they may, since you can’t know how each of you will feel in the future. You (or she) may change your mind later, but for now try to find a way to be comfortable in your situation. Focus on the time you can still spend together and enjoy it. As time goes by, your relationship will progress and it will become more and more clear if you really want to be committed to a long-distance relationship with her.

Don’t be afraid to talk to her about it. It can be hard to decide what you want to do in a situation like this, so remember that your partner may be feeling the same way. If you do decide to talk about it, be sure you both have time to sit down without any other distractions. This will help keep the conversation open and relaxed.

Also, remember that things don’t always happen the way you expect them to or think they should. Sometimes they turn out better than you could have expected. It is best not to assume the worst, especially because worrying about it takes away from your enjoyment of the relationship. But don’t write off your feelings either. If you’re feeling something, it is valid and should be addressed. If talking to your partner isn’t what you want to do right now, try talking to someone else you know well, like a friend or family member. Or, if you feel uncomfortable with the whole situation, talking to a counselor or therapist can be a beneficial experience.

You are not the only person having these feelings and many people have already gone through similar situations and made it through them happily. Any time of transition and transformation in our lives can be highly stressful and unnerving. Make sure to acknowledge this and, most importantly, make sure you have things that make you feel happy, unstressed and satisfied in your life.