I should have visited her during this pandemic

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Hi Meredith,

I've been in a relationship with this woman since mid-March. Maybe I can call her my girlfriend; we never knew how to define our relationship. We were friends/acquaintances. We just started messaging each other more in March and both knew we had this connection. We eventually outed our mutual crushes on each other. We decided to commit to each other because neither of us believed seeing or talking to multiple people – and then came COVID-19. We were now in different places – I was in Massachusetts and she was in Texas.

We talked every day, would do FaceTime dates, fall asleep with another on those calls several times. She kept wanting me to visit I said maybe in April, but with everything going on, I didn't feel comfortable flying. Come May, she traveled back to NYC to move out of her apartment and I stayed where I was because again, I just wasn't comfortable traveling even though I wanted to see her so much and she wanted to see me.

End of June came and I could tell she was drifting away. We talked and she said she wanted to have an open relationship because what we had was only online. We also are eight years apart in age and at different points in our life. I understand we are far from each other and that it’s a weird time, but it hurt because she said our relationship is just infatuation, and she said we shouldn't talk for a while. It's been three weeks and maybe we'll talk again at the end of the month. I know there are still feelings there, even though I'm pretty sure she is seeing someone else now. I should have made more an effort to see her and I know can't use the pandemic as the only excuse.

– Different places

To be fair, the pandemic has been a pretty good reason not to see someone. At the start of the spike, it wasn't easy to feel good about hopping on a plane to Texas. I'm not sure it would feel much better now.

That said, the trip to New York might have been a little easier, if you had access to a car. Maybe with an invite, she could have come to you. I have to wonder whether you were tentative about seeing her at that point because she was engaging with the world, and you felt you'd be putting yourself at risk by being in her presence. That makes sense, but it's telling that you didn’t have a discussion with her about how to make a visit happen. As in, "How can we get to the same place without increasing our risk of exposure?" Many couples have figured it out. I want you to think about why you weren't coming up with a plan.

Basically I’m wondering whether this was ever more than a crush. Maybe you were satisfied with FaceTimes and messages.

I guess you can talk at the end of the month. But if she’s seeing someone else and you wouldn’t make an effort to be with her now, give yourself a break and allow yourself to let go of whatever you had six months ago. You don’t want an open relationship (right?). I'm not convinced you want anything more than someone to talk to – someone to look forward to seeing eventually. She's not the person for that. She wants something now. You're in two different places in your pandemic lives.

– Meredith

Readers? Why didn't this visit happen? Should they be in a relationship at all?