DEAR AMY: My guy and I live in different countries. We have only seen each other one time since COVID hit, and I just feel like we are falling apart. We used to see each other one or two times a month. It has been four months since we've gotten together, and we really don't know when we will again. We talk three times a day, and text a bit during the week, but then weekends come, and he goes quiet all day and we talk maybe one time the entire weekend. I get this gut feeling that he is pulling away. He won't reply to texts for hours (and sometimes he never replies, unless I ask). Our phone calls are sometimes limited to a minute or two to touch base. He won't comment on my Facebook posts. He used to leave cute little comments, but that has stopped. Should I continue to try, or just give up? We used to be such a strong couple. I was sure we would end up together but now I just feel like he doesn't really care. We have been together for five years, now. I have tried not to ask for much and not to text too much. I want to respect his space when he gets quiet, but I'm not sure what he needs anymore. Just when I think it's time to end it and I question him on it, he will send something sweet or tell me that he sees a future. When will I know for sure whether to end it, or whether to just give him space on the weekends?
Lost in Love
DEAR LOST: The wonderful thing about being in a long-distance relationship is how the anticipation and rhythm of meetings fuels the romance. You are either planning to meet, or parting with sweet sorrow while you anticipate the next meetup.
Everything else about a long-distance relationship is the worst, and trying to maintain a long-distance relationship during a global pandemic is the worst-worst, mainly because you are being denied not only the ability to see one another, but — because of the uncertain nature of everything right now — you can't even plan for the future. Add to this the stress of job and health insecurity and other family pressures, and you have a multitude of large and small strains on your relationship.
The only answer here is to talk about it. Does he want to emotionally distance himself until there is more clarity about the possibility of seeing one another again?
DEAR AMY: Like other readers, I'd like to add my voice to "Smoke Free," and share my story about quitting smoking. I was a smoker for almost 50 years from when I tried my first cigarette behind the garage until I finally quit, one day at a time. The day I quit was two years and 65 days ago and I can tell because I have made an entry in a spreadsheet every single day since I quit. I have also estimated my savings, which to date are over $14,000 (based on my previous smoking amount and the cost of cigarettes when I quit). Every day, one day at a time, my savings go up and one more day is recorded.
One Day at a Time in Canada
DEAR ONE DAY AT A TIME: I am enjoying these inspiring tales from former smokers, along with the helpful tips people share about how they have done it.
It is absolutely amazing to me that you spent so much money each year on cigarettes, and yet when I do the math I realize that any daily consumable (be it my daily donut or a $10 pack of cigarettes) adds up!
Tracking your progress each day after quitting is a genius idea. This is not only an important part of your one-day-at-a-time practice, but it is a positive daily reminder of your savings over time. Way to go!
DEAR AMY: I was deeply disturbed by your response to "Making Change," who accused her teacher of initiating a racist game in middle school. First of all, playing a game called "Underground Railroad" is not racist. Secondly, you should not encourage someone to participate in "cancel culture." Making Change could get this person fired!
DEAR UPSET: I think it is entirely appropriate to contact the school to reflect on an experience this person had there.
I do not think it is appropriate to try to get a teacher fired over this, as I said in my answer.