Does He Want a Long-Distance Relationship? How to Find Out
Mary has been on three great dates with an amazing guy. The only problem? He’s moving away. She wants to try a long-distance relationship but doesn’t know where he stands. Should she bring it up, and if so, how? I answer this tricky question in this week’s episode of LOVELife...
Welcome everybody to LOVE Life here with Matthew Hussy, we have a caller on the line today. Mary tell me what you wanted to know today.
Mary: So I’ve been seeing this guy for about a week now and we’ve hung out three times in the last week, but he moved to Montana for a 3 month work contract and I want to know if now is the right time to start a relationship being long-distance… and I know he’s coming back so I just would like your advice on how to proceed and what to say and do.
Matt: When does he leave or is he already gone?
Mary: He left on Saturday
Matt: He left on Saturday and have you been speaking to him since?
Mary: Yes, I spoke with him on Sunday just to check up and make sure that he arrived there safely and we spoke for a brief moment, but I kind of cut it short so he could spend some time with his family and friends since he’s been gone for so long.
Matt: Well, you seem very sweet and thoughtful. Has he tried to reach out to you since then?
Mary: No, he hasn’t. He told me to text him or keep in contact with him. He did let me know he was going to be very busy with his family and friends the next couple days.
Matt: Okay, so here’s what I would do … the simple answer to your question: “should you have a long distance relationship with somebody that maybe you’ve been on three dates within a week?”
I think you can. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that especially if he’s going for four months, it’s not a long period of time in that sense.
If you felt like he was a really great guy and you wanted to see where it went and he felt the same way about you, there’s nothing wrong with pursuing that, but of course you want to make sure you’re both in the same place because the real danger of any situation like this is where one person is operating under a misapprehension… so if you on your side are waiting for him to come back, you’re being monogamous, you’re considering yourself exclusive, but he’s not on his side, then that’s something that has the potential to cause you pain down the line especially if you haven’t discussed it with him.
It’s really dangerous to assume that the person is doing the same things you are.
Mary: Yeah, we made plans to meet up in the end of July since I’ll be there for work and so we made plans meet up that we would talk about it and I assumed that we would keep in contact.
Matt: So, what do you want? Do you want to be exclusive with this guy?
Mary: Yes, I do
Matt: Okay, you do. Now how much would it affect you to hold on and wait to see what happens when you see him in July verses make clear to him that its exclusive now or at least have that conversation now?
Mary: So yeah that’s what I want to know. I’ve already prepared myself emotionally knowing that he was going to leave a week before we start hanging out. I told myself I have to stay unattached, to be okay with whatever the outcome was going to be.
I just want to know how to initiate a conversation without scaring him off… or understand he he’s feeling.
Matt: So, why don’t you ask him?
Mary: Uhhh. I’m afraid of the answer.
Matt: Right. So now, will you be more afraid if you find out his answer now or if he comes back in July and you find out that he’s been with other people in between?
Mary: Probably then.
Matt: You’ll be more hurt if you find out later on that he’s been with other people?
Mary: Yeah, because I’d have invested so much of my time and thought into it to find out that he didn’t see anything.
Matt: Right, so even though it’s uncomfortable, it’s probably less painful to just figure it out now.
Matt: But the problem is –and this is the hard part. I understand where you’re coming from– if you’ve only been on three dates, you don’t want to feel like you’re pressuring him in him into a decision that’s premature, right?
So you don’t want him to feel like, “God well it’s only been three days and she’s already asking me to be in a relationship and we don’t even know each other that well and this is all a bit much.”
So the reality of the situation is that it’s a little difficult.
That’s okay. Many relationships are difficult or slightly complex, but maybe you have the conversation with him and you say to him “listen, I like you from the three dates that we had. I wanted to know what you felt whether you felt like this had the potential to go anywhere.” Obviously it’s difficult with you being away, but I wanted to see if you feel the same way, if you feel like this has the potential to kind of go somewhere and is worth pursuing.”
Matt: And see what he says.
You’re not immediately hitting him with “I think we should not see anyone else. I think we should be exclusive. “
I would get a read on where he’s at because, you know, often if a guy likes you and he’s had a great time with you, he equally won’t want you seeing other people.
So by the way, when he comes back to you –and I wouldn’t do this by email or anything– I would I would actually say this to him when you speak to him on skype or however you speak– just be like “you know, I had a great time with you on our on out dates together. I know it’s kind of a tricky situation because I don’t really know if you feel like this is going somewhere and I don’t want to assume. So I wanted to know what your thoughts were.” And then, let him let him speak.
Matt: Now, if he comes back and says, “well you know, I’m not really sure either, and it’s kind of tough with me being away right now” and so on… say “that’s fine, the reason I ask is because I have people asking me out and it’s tough to know what to say because I don’t want to disrespect something that might be developing with you.”
That’s a very, very elegant way of communicating that you are not someone who’s disloyal, you’re someone who does like him, but you’re someone who is also in demand and has options. And there may also be a price for him to pay if he decides he wants to be very casual.
Mary: Okay, yeah does that make sense. Yeah, with him being so far away and the nature of both our jobs, I’ve been so busy. Is there a right amount of time to wait to contact him? How often should I do that?
Matt: Well, I think firstly you have to give a little bit, right, because sometimes the mistake women make is they hold back too much. They say, “Well I’m just waiting for him to call and text me I’m not going to be the first one to do it.”
And you know, sometimes that can be a little childish because it takes two people. But, you also don’t want to run the risk of over investing and being the one calling and texting all the time so it’s fine to call him even if he doesn’t answer and he sees on his phone as a missed call. Even seeing someone’s number as a missed call gives you a sign, “Oh, they were trying to reach out, that is really sweet.”
But, what you don’t want to be doing is getting into the trap that you’re the one who always initiates contact.
Mary: Yeah, that’s my concern.
Matt: Yeah, so you can call him. You know, if you feel like calling him, give him a call. And be chill about it. Be casual. “Hey, I wanted to see how you were and how it’s going on over there.”
Be sweet about it, you know, you want him to see your sweet side, but at the same time, you know, don’t then, the next day, be the one to pick up the phone again.
Let him. Then let’s see how much he invests in return and if you find that day after day after day consistently he’s not investing, then it gives you some sense of where his priorities are right now.
Don’t be afraid reaching out to him, but at the same time, make it balanced and make sure to have that conversation with him where you find out where his head’s at because for guys it’s very easy to just ignore a situation if you don’t bring it up, but if you bring up very often, you’ll get the truth.
Mary: Yeah, okay. Thank you so much.
Matt: And Mary, don’t be don’t be too afraid of the answer. Okay? Remember, you’ve been on a couple dates with a guy who you like. There are more of those out there. There are more guys out there that you will go on three dates with and like and think it might be able to go somewhere with. He’s not the only one, so if it goes somewhere with this guy, that’s wonderful, that’s fantastic. I wish you both all the luck in the world. If it doesn’t, don’t worry.
There are more out there and you can have this feeling again –maybe one week from now, maybe a month from now, but you will feel it again.
Mary: In your opinion, does it make any difference if it didn’t start out as a date, at all. It was just simply two people hanging out on an adventure and then it kind of happened on the last night and we were like, “Uh, okay” We realized we’d liked each other and it was just unspoken of. Does that make a difference?
Matt: In what did you decide you liked each other? Did you kiss….or?
Mary: Yeah, he kissed me and he hugged me and kind of just held me in his arms for a while.
Matt: Its… it’s very, very tough because the reality is: it may be something. You know, sometimes things happen that way. You don’t call it a date, but you find that the two have you have a connection and something that was just you hanging out casually becomes something more.
But, you also have to be very careful. Sometimes when someone is leaving, it creates a sense of romance about something that wouldn’t be there if someone was staying.
You know– I’ve had many of these experiences in my life –where the fact that you’re leaving creates drama in a situation that makes it exciting and romantic, but that’s not the same as having a real connection. That’s the drama and the excitement created by circumstance. You know what I mean?
Matt: So, you know the Romeo and Juliet story?
Matt: What was it that? There was the two camps with the Capulets and Montagues, is that right?
Mary: I’m not exactly sure I think…
Matt: I think so, I think it was the Capulets and Montagues, but anyway two different camps.
The whole Romeo and Juliet story is about two people who really are striving to be together, but are not supposed to be together because they’re part of two opposing groups of people. The real test of how in love they are is: could they be in the same camp where there’s no drama and where there’s no hurdle to overcome and still want to be together and spend their time together you know?
Would Romeo and Juliet have been just as in love and just as romantic with each other if everyone said, “Yeah this is a really good idea, you should be together.”[Laughing] Then you’ll know.
So, someone leaving can create a sense of excitement and drama– by the way, don’t get me wrong. It can be a lot of fun to feel like: someone’s leaving we must make the most of this moment! — But it doesn’t always equal the same level of romance and connection in love when the hurdles aren’t there.
So, be very careful not to glorify or glamorize the situation. Instead, look at it with a sober head. Say, “Is he investing in me? Is he giving me the signs of somebody who likes me and wants to pursue something?”
If he’s not, ya know, I need to watch out for the red flags that show if he’s in. You know I need to watch out for the red flags that show “I’m kind of glamorizing this. I’m actually not getting the response of someone who is really interested in pursuing this in a bigger way.”
So that’s why I say: Have the conversation with him, get his thoughts, and when you reach out to him –don’t be afraid to reach out to him, don’t play the game “I’m never going to reach out to him and see if he comes to me”–be prepared to reach out to him but do not do more than your share.
See if he comes back and if consistently you find out the you’re reaching out to him and he’s not reaching out back, then that’s a major red flag and I think you should be continuing the search to go out there and meet other interesting people… even if you think it might be fun to me up with him when he gets back.
Mary: Okay, thank you so much Matthew.
Matt: You’re so welcome and thank you for being so honest with me, I really appreciate it and I know that so many women will have benefited from this. So call us again sometime okay?
Mary: Great, thank you so much. Have a wonderful day
Matt: Yeah, you too Mary. And thank you to everyone listening out there. I know that many of you have questions just like Mary’s.
I don’t care what they are, I don’t care if they relate you love life, your personal life, your health, social life, whatever it is, call in and I will do my best. I might not be able to answer everything but I will absolutely do my best.