He changed his mind about long-distance

Hi Meredith,

My boyfriend of three years and I broke up before my half-year internship in another country. After I returned, feelings were mutual and we got back together. We were both in a much better place.

Unfortunately, by that time I'd already been offered and accepted a job in that country, and was due to leave in a week. Given that I was only wanting to work overseas for a maximum of a year and a half, we decided to do long-distance. Two and a half months have passed, and I've briefly returned home for visa purposes, but now, faced with the certainty of me working overseas, he's decided he's not sure about continuing with the long-distance relationship. I'm feeling incredibly hurt over this change of heart, as I'd thought everything had been going swimmingly these past two months.

We love each other a lot and get on incredibly well. He said that he needs physical presence in a relationship (being able to spend time together), and that he feels it's unfair to ask him to put his romantic life on hold for a year. I'm doing my best to try and understand because I know that long-distance is difficult and painful, but we've also talked about how we'd happily get married one day, so what gives? He's also bemoaned the fact that he feels this decision has been forced on him with little alternative. I can see why he feels that way, but it was just the poor timing of events that meant he had little say in the matter. Also, I would never have turned down the job offer for him, and he wouldn't want me to.

I'm hurt that he now seems to put so little value on our relationship that he wouldn't put up with a year or so to come back together at the end of it. I leave in two weeks, but we're currently still together because I enjoy his company. Also, he is so indecisive about the whole thing. Maybe I should be more understanding, but I'm hurt, sad, and angry, and I don't know what to do.

– Hurt

It sounds like your best option is to enjoy him for the next two weeks (while riding an emotional roller coaster), and then get on a plane ... assuming you can (things seem to be changing by the day around here). Once you get to this other country, you'll start your job, stay busy, and decide whether it feels right to stay in touch. You've done this before and managed quite well, based on what you told us about your first trip. Maybe the change of scenery will remind you what it's like to be on your own without having to worry about checking in with anyone else.

I don't want to get your hopes up, but there's no way to know what will happen over the next year and when you return. It might be like last time, where everything falls into place again when you get back. You also might find someone you like over there. Maybe your return won't be so imminent.

I'm mostly concerned about how you'll fare over the next two weeks because that sounds like a long and painful goodbye. Make sure to spend some of your hours with other people, to remind yourself he's not the only person you're leaving behind. Try to get some actual sleep. If he starts going back and forth about the whole thing, remind him that decisions don't have to be made now. You both can see how you feel after you're gone.

– Meredith

Readers? Should they table this decision?