Torn about pursuing long-distance relationship

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I met my boyfriend seven months ago. He works for the federal government. He has two young kids that he takes care of full time and a demanding job. He's been divorced for two years. We were dreaming about growing old together. This summer I had to go out of the country for six weeks. While I was away, he got a promotion and was asked to move to a different city. He had to move before my return. My initial reaction was just to let him go so he would have one less thing in his life to deal with. With the passage of time, I miss him more. I contacted him again. He misses me, too. I need to decide whether to stay in a long-distance relationship or quit. I also have two children. I own a house and have a job here. He didn't ask me to move with him. We didn't even have a chance to discuss our options or say goodbye. How do people decide in situations like these?

-- Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: You met this man seven months ago. During that time you two were separated for several weeks. It is quite premature to engage in "all or nothing" thinking.

Long-distance relationships are challenging (especially with kids involved), but in your case it could help you to slow down, learn to communicate, and over time clarify your intentions.

Your guy relocated quickly and suddenly while you were away; unless you get definite signals from him, assume he is not interested in pursuing this.


DEAR AMY: I agree with your response to "Caught in Middle Colorado," the parent who thought his daughter could "do better" than to be with a budding writer who had been admitted to a master of fine arts program. It would be different if he were just sitting around staring at his computer screen and looking to the bottle for inspiration, but that doesn't seem to be the issue here.

-- Jennifer

DEAR JENNIFER: In my (biased) opinion, there are definitely worse fates than being with a writer.