'I love my BF but long-distance relationships are hard'

'I love my BF but long-distance relationships are hard'

Dear Thelma,

I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years. He's three years younger than me. We met during college when we were classmates. We started as friends since we had a lot in common.

We love guitars and the arts. We began to exchange text messages and phone calls. At first I was worried because I'm older. I didn't believe it when he said he loved me.

My friends told me it would be difficult to commit to someone serving in the church. But it's actually harder because I don't have enough time to be with him as I'm working.

He always makes an effort for our relationship, and I know he feels disappointed. But he doesn't want to upset me and so he says he understands my situation.

I've since left the country as my contract in Malaysia was only for two years. I hadn't the time to meet with him before I left. The last time we saw each other was in 2013; it's been a year.

We now have a long distance relationship and we communicate mostly through Facebook and Skype. I've told him that if he wants to see someone new, it's fine by me.

But it hurts every time I tell him that. I love him and I don't want to let him go. I don't know what I'll do if I lose him. If he should find someone new, should I still accept his feelings if he wants to continue our relationship? - Far Away

Dear Far Away,

Long distance relationships are hard. It is made harder when the relationship is still young and the people involved are still getting to know each other. The complications you have expressed are mainly the physical distance between the two of you.

All the other factors which you have mentioned - that he is younger than you, or that he is involved in church - are non-issues. Or, at least, they are issues which you can work out, given enough time and proper channels of communication.

Though you may be separated by distance, you are still talking to each other. That is important. Regardless of whether it is via Facebook, Skype or e-mail, what's more important is that the communication continues.

This means the two of you will be able to still get to know each other better. That is the basis of a strong foundation for a long-lasting and stable relationship.

The thing about communication is that it is not just about telling your partner what you did during your day. It is about conveying to them your thoughts, dreams and desires, without fear of rejection.

It is about creating a safe and open space to discuss anything, even though there may be disagreements.

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