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Dear Mark,

Long distance relationships are hard. I’ve been seeing this woman I’ll call Jill for the past six months. We met in Fort Lauderdale over the Winter Party festivities. She was down from FSU visiting her family who live in Jupiter. I’ve been living at home again temporarily in Boca with my family.

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Dear Mark,

Long distance relationships are hard. I’ve been seeing this woman I’ll call Jill for the past six months. We met in Fort Lauderdale over the Winter Party festivities. She was down from FSU visiting her family who live in Jupiter. I’ve been living at home again temporarily in Boca with my family. We met at a friend of a friend’s party and hit it off instantly. We spent all evening together. Actually we spent the whole night together. It was amazing and passionate. We have both had girlfriends in the past but (and I can only speak for me) this was the first time I had ever felt this strongly for another person. Since that weekend we have kept dating. She has come to see me down here but mostly I’ve driven up there to see her as she is stuck with classes during the week and my schedule is more flexible.

All this has been fine up until last week. I went out to a bar with some friends just to let some steam off. I ended up meeting this completely beautiful woman named Terry. She’s a lifeguard down here and was just hot. She came on to me and asked me to dance. A few too many tequila shots later and we were making out on the dance floor. Since then, she has been texting me every day asking to see me. Honestly, I kind of want to see her. I feel strongly about Jill but we only get to see each other once a month at best. Terry is local and interested in a relationship…which is what I really want.

I’m not sure how I should handle all of this.

Signed, Amy, Boca Raton

Dear Amy,

You didn’t mention your age but I’m guessing somewhere in the late teens/early twenties range. Honestly long distance is hard at any age, but especially when you are young. It sounds like you have found a genuine connection with Jill in Tallahassee. What are the conditions? How much longer will she be in school? Is she planning on moving back to South Florida after? If the time frame is manageable, maybe you two could come up with a short term agreement? More trips to see each other? Meeting half way to save you both time and money?

You moving to Tallahassee? Dating other people? All viable options. The only thing that doesn’t work is not being honest with her. If you’ve had this agreement for six months, it’s not okay to change the terms without discussing it with her first. This is an uncomfortable choice but something that must be done if you want to stay in integrity with her. She may be upset but it’s the only way you both can have the opportunity to see what you want to do next. You never know, she may be feeling some of the same frustrations about the distance. I would suggest you tell Terry that you need to work things out with Jill before you start anything with her. Trust me, everyone will appreciate this act of responsibility in the end. Good luck.

 

Best,

Mark Rutherford LCSW

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