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    Love Letters

    Keeping our relationship going after college has been tough

    Now that we’ve graduated, he seems to be putting distance between us. Can love last at 22?

    Submit your questions for Meredith here.

    Q. I have been going out with this guy for a year now. We went to the same university, and it was great because we saw each other every day. Since graduation, there is more distance between us as we set up our lives. We see each other most weeks, but when we’re not in front of each other, he goes cold. He won’t quickly reply to texts or Facebook messages. Sometimes he calls on the phone.

    I recently booked a trip for a long weekend and asked if he wanted to join me. He said he doesn’t like making that kind of plan. Three weeks ago, he got cold feet about the relationship, saying, “I love you and you are all I want, but I am 22 and not sure if this is what I want forever.” But then we went to his mother’s for a few days and had a lovely time. He told me he was glad he didn’t end it when he got scared.

    But now it’s been a few weeks apart again, and he is mostly silent. I really love this relationship and want it to work, but we are just not in the same geographical space right now, and when we’re not, there are issues. — Issues

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    A. The two of you could benefit from a talk about expectations. You’re constantly disappointed because you have high hopes for his Facebook messages and texts. But if he explained his messaging style — how he communicates with other people — you might be less frustrated. Maybe he calls because hearing your voice is more like seeing you in person.

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    Also talk about how you make plans. He doesn’t have to commit to long weekends if they stress him out, but he should be respectful of your schedule. You don’t want to have to chase him for dates. Again, ask him what he wants to offer. Then think about whether it’s enough.

    It’ll help to let go of any comparisons to the life you shared at your university. College is its own thing. Not only were you next to the guy you liked, you were also removed from much of the rest of the world. It’s easier to focus on a significant other when you’ve been given permission to be all about yourself. After school, the world gets bigger, and so do other responsibilities. You can’t expect him to be the same.

    This doesn’t have to be a big, serious, stressful discussion. You should be able to ask simple questions. He should want to answer them — so that everyone can relax. — Meredith

    READERS RESPOND

    You’re his girlfriend when he wants you to be his girlfriend. When he doesn’t feel like having a girlfriend, you’re somebody that texts him too much.  -RICH1273-

    Go out and enjoy your life. If he wants to be part of the fun that you create for yourself, he’ll call. If not, then you’ll have a fun life and meet someone who does want to share it. HARRISBLACKWOODSTONE

    Some things die in a fury. Others just dissipate like air out of a balloon. Yours is the latter. You have two choices: End it now or ride it out until it is completely dead. Either way the end result will be the same. BZZNLIKE-CRAZYMAN

    Social media and smartphones. I weep for this generation. FZAPPA

    Meredith Goldstein is in her ninth year of writing Love Letters for The Boston Globe.