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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Anxiety over long distance relationship

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Author Topic: Anxiety over long distance relationship
kellybleedinghearts
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Hiii all, Im a big fan of the site/forum and always come to it for advice and guidance so please be honest! [Smile]

I have been in a long distance relationship on and off for nearly 4 years and am very used to it, sometimes i feel like i wouldnt have it any other way.

He has just moved to a different city again (London). This is the third time in two years. The place he just left, Leicester, is where we met and I adored him living there. We have a great group of friends there to go out with and for the past year I have been planning how to move there with him and still be able to commute to my job. Then a few months before christmas he told me he needed to move to be closer to his job as he couldnt afford the commute and it was really terrible and stressful for him.

I was absolutely devastated as we had the best year in Leicester and I thought we would be moving there but he loves his job and I supported him in his decision (i still do!)

Visiting him in the new place has been fine. But I cant stop comparing it to Leicester because I loved it so much. It is also making me be a bit snappy with him and I hate it (it sounds stupid but I feel like im mourning the old city! :/ )

Also I feel I cant relax the weekends I see him in the new place as I have to get a weird train home and will face problems if I don't meet the connecting train etc so have been suffering from a lot of anxiety lately which doesnt feel healthy. My dad has made comments about me looking drained and a bit withdrawn and he has always been right about these things.

Any idea what this is/how to sort it/or should I just man up and stop complaining??

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Molias
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Hi indiekelly,

Long distance relationships can certainly be stressful, especially when an established situation gets changed up a bit. It could be that some of your anxiety and stress about the new situation is just that it *is* new, and you're adjusting to it. Even though you haven't moved to a new city, you're dealing with some of the things that come with a move, like having your schedule change and not seeing your friends and boyfriend when (or maybe as often) as you used to.

I don't know what your schedule looks like, but hopefully you can still visit your other friends in Leicester even though your boyfriend is no longer living there. If things are stressful with him, it might be extra-helpful to keep spending time with your other friends. Are you still thinking of moving to Leicester, or was that decision more to live with him than to live in that particular city?

When you're visiting your boyfriend, can you arrange your weekend to give you a lot of time to make your train? It may be that you can't have quite as much time with him as before, or you may have to spend your time differently, but there is probably a way to arrange your schedule so that you won't have to worry as much about missing your train.

Is your boyfriend willing and able to visit you as well? It may make you less anxious if you don't have to manage all of the planning for get-togethers yourself. If you've been visiting him every time without him coming to see you, and now it's farther and more complicated for you to keep up those visits, I can see how that could add a lot of additional stress to the relationship and your life in general.

The other thing I'm wondering is what else you have going on in your life - are you keeping busy outside of visiting your boyfriend? Sometimes the feeling I get in a long distance relationship is that I'm tied to the place my partner lives and to thinking about them and the logistics of the relationship enough that I start to be less connected to the rest of my life; I've found it helpful to take a minute to make sure I'm staying connected to other exciting things I have going on outside the relationship.

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kellybleedinghearts
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Hi

Thanks so so much for replying with advice. I do spend a lot of time with my friends, to the point where he sometimes feels neglected and I feel bad because he doesn’t know anyone in the new place so has no one to go out with.

I do visit Leicester without him as well. Because he moves a lot I am so weary of moving in with him as I do want to give up my job which I love for something I don’t like just to have him wanting to move again (it would be as if I gave it up for nothing kind-of-thing). So moving in at Leicester seemed so simple and right.

I like visiting him more than having him visit me but he has said he would do so not too much of an issue.

I’m just worried more about this anxiety thats randomly developed about this move, the past three i haven’t been too bad??

Thanks!

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Molias
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I know any time someone moves to a different town, especially if that's combined with changing schools or jobs, that it is usually very stressful. And even though you didn't move yourself, your boyfriend's move has changed your plans for the future, and that's certainly something you have to adjust to. So right now you've have had an upheaval you're still working through, and it's understandable that it is putting a strain on both of you. Any big change like this can certainly cause or contribute to anxiety.

Do you have a sense of exactly what you're feeling anxious about in terms of the relationship? Or is it just that your general anxiety level has increased since your boyfriend moved?

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kellybleedinghearts
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Hi Molias, thanks for your reply, im not really sure, i dont think the relationship has changed, its just general anxiety since he's moved?? it doesnt help that he asks me to move in with him constantly and i dont want to do that at the mo as he has moved to three different places in two years and i have a nice job and friends and family where I am - I feel like its a lot to give up for an uncertainty?
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Molias
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If you feel comfortable living where you do, I can definitely understand why you're reluctant to move, especially since it seems possible that your boyfriend might move again before too long. Is the uncertainty you're talking about here uncertainty as to whether he's going to stay in his current location for long, or a larger uncertainty about the relationship?

You say he's asking you to move constantly - how does he react when you say you aren't willing to move right now? Is he being respectful of that decision? If he keeps asking you when you've said no, I imagine that could make your anxiety worse. It's completely reasonable for you to say "I've told you my decision and will let you know if it changes, but please stop asking me" if it's stressing you out to have him ask you repeatedly.

Since you're noticing that your anxiety's been worse with this move, I wonder if it might be helpful for you to talk some of this through with a counselor or therapist. Does that sound like something that could be useful?

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kellybleedinghearts
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again, thanks for your reply [Smile]

im not sure about the anxiety, i have a feeling deep down im probably freaking out whether the relationship can survive this new move but I am genuinely happy when he is not pressuring me to move in.

he does stop pestering sometimes when i tell him its not what i want right now but not always. i feel like he thinks our lives will be 'right' when i move in and he wants it asap

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Molias
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I'm hearing you say he continues to pressure you about moving in with him, and that it's bothering you; it sounds to me like this is something he really needs to stop doing, for your sake and for the health of your relationship. If you ask him to stop and he doesn't, honestly that's really disrespectful. He needs to listen to and respect your boundaries around this, and to drop the issue when you ask (and then not bring it up again the next time you talk). If you need help with scripts you can use when he keeps pestering you about this, let us know and we can come up with some.

I also think your boyfriend has a bit of a skewed viewpoint in terms of what living together will do. It just isn't the case that any one change in your lives or in your relationship will make things "right." "Rightness" in a relationship isn't an end-point you can reach with a move or any one event; it's something to work towards together and what makes a relationship feel stable, safe, and right will change from person to person, and can even change for two people within one relationship as time passes.

Sometimes when we're having persistent anxiety about things, especially if it comes with a nagging worry as to what it's really about "deep down," it's for good reason. It's certainly true that worries can manifest in response to stressful situations that can be resolved, but since you mentioned that you think this might be an issue of you worrying about how your relationship can survive this move, do you want to elaborate on that? Are there other things, besides your boyfriend's focus on having you move in with him when you aren't into it, that are worrying you about the state of your relationship?

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kellybleedinghearts
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I love that passage about 'rightness' its really opened my eyes.
A big part of my anxiety is that I dont want to live in London, never have and all my boyfriend talks about are how the jobs in his field are only in London so I feel like I have to go along with that and leave everything ive worked for or loose him. He has never offically put me in this situation but obviously with long distance you have a lot of time to think?

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Heather
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When we're talking about moving in with someone, that discussion, in a relationship of equals, should include people talking about where EACH of them do and don't want to be.

If you don't feel like you have choices here, something's wrong with this picture, and you two need to talk about that and work together so that EACH of you feels like you have choices and options here, and neither of you are agreeing to live somewhere you don't want to, or live together in a way either of you aren't comfortable with.

Like Molias said, it's sounding like there's not enough room being made for you in all of this, and that you're going to need to be very clear about that with him, and insist that room gets made. And if he won't make it, then I think that's some very clear information that this person just might not be someone who is ready at all for cohabiting, since that involves constantly making that room, like that, and often involves people making compromises.

In other words, if he just won't, I'd say that's probably something that should tell you that moving in with him would probably be a really bad idea, you know?

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kellybleedinghearts
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yeh i really understand what you are both saying, its a lot clearer in my head now and when we discuss it i wont be as scared to say that i dont wanna move a certain place.

the irony is he texted me the other day saying he wants to move again because he doesnt like where he is living!!!

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Molias
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I'm glad you're feeling more confident about having this discussion with him. =)
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