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Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 454
Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
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I'm in a distance relationship (250 miles apart#. We talk by

Customer Question

I'm in a long distance relationship (250 miles apart#. We talk by telephone nearly every night #he calls me 99% of the time# ***** rarely spend time together in person. #less than 7 days in over 8 months#.
He has been divorced for six years and has two children #freshman in college and first year law school student#. Both live in their own apartments in the cities where they are in college/law school. Also, he is currently building a new home and that, along with job demands, is consuming nearly all of his free time.
I've been divorced more than 10 years and have no children. I am an only child #as is he# ***** parents who are 86 years old and live an hour away from me. I spend at least one day every other weekend #and, periodically, every weekend# ***** them to help with bills, housecleaning, shopping, etc.
We were introduced by a mutual relative #his mother’s sister; my aunt by marriage). We laugh a lot, care for each other, share worries and disappointments with each oth
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kristin replied 6 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JA,

Can you tell me what specifically your question is in regards ***** ***** relationship?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

How do I know if it's time to leave or put different boundaries on this relationship?

Is it reasonable to suggest to him things that he could occasionally do such as flowers at work?

Expert:  Kristin replied 6 years ago.

Okay, I see what you are asking.

Less than 7 days of seeing one another in 8 months is not any kind of commitment to the relationship really, even if it is long distance. At 250 miles apart, you could certainly be seeing each other much more often. So, it sounds like you are not satisfied with this arrangement and I could certainly understand why.

It's very reasonable and in fact it's mandatory that you tell him what your needs are. If flowers at work would mean something to you, then yes let him know. If he cares, he will respond to your requests. And flowers on occasion is not much to ask for.

You can also set boundaries such as saying "I would really like to see you more, or make plans for when we will actually live closer, or get engaged etc. (whatever you would like to see happen). And then see what he says. It's okay to say, in the next few months I need to be closer, or I will move on to seek out a relationship where I can actually be with that person, make a life, etc.

Don't be afraid to state what you want, and have a discussion with him about this. Otherwise, things could go on like this, indefinitely.... Please click ACCEPT button for this answer, so I'm credited for my help today. Feel free to ask me anything else, even after clicking ACCEPT. Thank you...

Kristin and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the quick and thoughtful response.

Composing the email and reading through your answer has also helped me clarify an issue that I "own": what do I have the right to ask for myself?

I grew up in a household where my role was to keep my dad "happy" by being very compliant with his rules and meeting his expectations. Failure to do so resulted in his withdrawing all interaction....very frightening for me since my mother had died (breast cancer) when I was 8 years old.

I'm realizing that I'm afraid to "need" things for fear I'll lose people in my life who are important to me. Consequently, I usually over-accomodate their needs or abruptly end the relationship with no further contact.

I don't want to do either in this relationship and am finding it scary ( don't trust my own judgement) and, also, don't want to risk losing whatever I do have in a relationship.

Thank you again for helping to clarify what I already knew....I need to be aware of what I need, willing to appropriately ask for it and make decisions based on those factors.

When new questions or issues arise, is it possible to request a specific counselor?

Expert:  Kristin replied 6 years ago.

Hello again, and I'm impressed with your insight and clarity into the issue.

Yes, you are overaccomodating and as a child (you had to) because you really needed your father to survive, etc. But now, as an adult you have other resources, etc that you can draw from, so while the fear may still be there, the consequence is dramatically different. So, keep that in mind. It was wrong for your father to do that, by the way.

So, take some small steps and ask for what you need and then see how it feels, and practice it more and more. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing approach from the get go, but what you will find is that you will choose relationships that are more mutual and you will allow the ones, that depend on you to be overaccomodating to perhaps fade away. But that will be okay, b.c you can then find others who also want to be in a reciprocal and mutual relationship.

When you have a question here, just put To Kristin in front of the post and I will be happy to answer you directly. Thank you! p.s. keep in mind, that without you saying what you need and want, people often will not know, so go ahead and just say it...