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Mina
Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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Hello. Me and my girlfriend have been together for 2 months,

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Hello. Me and my girlfriend have been together for 2 months, and I know that is not long enough to call it a relationship, just yet. We met each other last summer, and spent most of it together, but now are in a long-distance relationship. For the first couple of weeks after we physically separated, she was quite affectionate towards me, telling me how she misses me and so on. Following this though, she has stopped, and I always think to myself (I naturally think too much), whether she's having second thoughts about this. I know that she cares about me, and so do I. I'm also naturally a very expressive and affectionate person, but I've tried to show a lot of reservation in how I express myself, as I've learnt from personal experience that too much, too soon is a catastrophic combination, especially for new relationships. We're gonnna see each other in 6 days, and spend the week together, and while I choose to be optimistic, there is a niggling thought in my mind that anything could happen. To make matters even more complicated, she genuinely doesn't like/is scared of communicating about her thoughts and especially her feelings towards me and our relationship, but in any case, I've gotten accustomed to that. Last night, while talking each other, out of the blue, she told me that she thinks I resent her, and I have no idea where that came from, as I know that it couldn't be farther from the truth. I think about her very often and I have a whole vault of affection and care that I want to shower her with, but, as previously mentioned, reserve myself from doing. What do you think I should be doing? As far as I'm concerned, most new relationships, even long distance ones, should be all about butterflies in the stomach and flying around clouds, not complicated thoughts like these...
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mina replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I have read your post and I feel that I understand how you must be feeling. I liked your comment at the end about how relationships should not have complicated thoughts like the ones you have...This would be ideal. Having straightforward relationships that you know where you stand, you know how you feel and how the other person feels. However, we are all very complicated beings and we bring all these complexities to our relationships. At this point, you said that you are reserved because you feel that she is reserved. How would she know though about your feelings if you are hiding them from her?I understand that you are probably doing this to protect yourself but at the end of the day, the best chances for you to know how she feels it would be for you to be clear and express your true feelings to her. The you would have at least a basis that would help you understand better where things are going.
Her difficulty expressing herself undoubtedly makes you feel insecure and raises an issue of trust between you. Now, long distance relationships can only work if they are based on trust, good communication and mutual understanding, I am sure you understand this. At this point, as it is the beginning of your relationship, you have not been able to develop these elements fully, either of you. Apart from that, it is too soon for you to know her personality, her previous experiences, if she can trust people, how she expresses her feelings and many other things about her. The same goes for you too on her behalf. So having only met for a few months and being physically separated makes it even harder for the both of you to get to know eachother, trust eachother and allow your feelings to develop as you are both guarded and trying to protect yourselves.
Communication is the key here. I feel that if you want to see this relationship develop, you would both need to work hard on this. You would need to talk about all these things mentioned here and take things slow. You would need to work hard on your communication and lower your guards a bit in an effort to be genuine and truthful. You both obviously need to be on board on this. So I would suggest that when you meet her, try to encourage her to talk about all these thoughts I have written here, get to know eachother and take it from there a step at a time. Long distance relationships can work but only if both people are committed and work hard to protect and preserve it.

Please feel free to share any feedback on these thoughts

I hope this helps

All the best
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for your response, which has given me some valuable insight on things, especially some of which I have barely considered. Having said this, I've already tried to communicate with her on several occasions, and the reason why I'm reserved with her, is not to protect myself - I'm more than willing to do whatever it takes and I'm the last person I think of in these things - but rather, to curtail and streamline the parameters of the relationship to what she feels she currently has the comfort to be a part of, without forcing myself to be ''a slave'' of sorts to an enforced relationship. Quite the contrary, I'm learning a lot about myself through her, what we have, and how I deal with the challenges at hand - which, no matter what, I relish tackling head-on and winning at the end of the day. I'm fairly certain that, taking into account the fact that we will be together for only a week, and will have to spend another month apart, we will want to spend as much as time together as possible, without stifling each other, meaning a very healthy balance of fun, not TOO much communication unfortunately, and discovering each other. I've been in 2 long distance relationships before and know how I should behave in one, whereas she hasn't, and we're both from different countries, so there could be an issue of different mentalities as well. Nevertheless, I dearly want to make this work, as I see this girl as a person I can truly fall in love with.
Expert:  Mina replied 2 years ago.
I hear what you are saying and I think that you have very good points there - not forcing her, finding the balance and the possible difference in mentalities- and you sound quite insightful. It sounds like she is a very young lady:) However, I would also like to make a comment - If I may- that you need to be a bit careful with not doing all the thinking yourself and therefore all the work yourself. Insightful people can fall into the trap of trying too much and overanalysing things in an effort to be preventative but this sometimes can lead to this person's needs (you in this case) remaining unfulfilled and unmet.
Since you have the previous experiences and the knowledge then you are aware of how different these sort of relationships can be as it takes considerably longer for the two people to get to know eachother and also the distance creates a lot of projections (meaning you see what you want to see versus what the reality is) and also there is the element of being lonely and needy and longing the other person's company to the point where some things may be overlooked.
I would suggest that when you meet, you try and talk somethings through to the point where you feel there has been some progress and of course make the best of the time you are together as people can get to know eachother through fun as well.

Hope this helps

All the best

Mina
Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience: Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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