He Moved Back to the Country. How Do We Transition from Long Distance?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

One of my friends moved to Hungary about nine months ago. We started talking a lot and accidentally moved past the friend zone. We both apparently had crushes on each other and didn’t know it.

He just moved back to the country and spent his first two days he was free with me and even spent the night. I’ve been really anxious and self-conscious since then.

I understand he’s busy, but I almost feel like I’m adjusting to a whole new relationship dynamic.

How do we transition from long distance to being home?

-Genevieve (Illinois)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Genevieve,

Here’s what happened emotionally: Your friend moved away and was homesick. He was lucky to have you on the phone and online when he was feeling lonely and isolated.

Because you were far away, and not being a real day-to-day girlfriend, he could project all his wild fantasies on you. In his mind, you were perfect.

The same things happened for you, but when he came back to this country, reality hit.

You are a real, living, breathing person with your own needs, schedule and vulnerabilities. That’s a shocker.

While you seem to be more open to letting the long-distance fantasy convert into a real-world love, he is probably feeling more confused than anything else.

He doesn’t need you anymore to remedy his homesickness, and I’ll bet he’s wondering if he needs you at all.

My suggestion would be to talk about all the feelings both of you are having. If he can’t tolerate sensitive conversations, then he probably can’t handle an intimate relationship.

You learned a big lesson. Online and phone relationships are only real in the separate minds of each person.

But they are not real in the world and you two aren’t partners until you actually navigate life together.


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