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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Boyfriend Got a Scholarship but I’m Not Happy

Dear Stavroula,

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about six months. I am very much in love with him and he told me the same. A few days ago, he got a scholarship for a master’s degree abroad and since then I am about to go crazy. He is ecstatic and that crushes me even more. I feel that he does not love me as much as I love him, that he does not care that we will be living so far away from each other. When I tell him, he replies that distance does not mean anything if there is love. But I cannot imagine that months will pass without us being together. We are here in the same city and when we are not together I count the hours until I see him. Ever since he told me I keep thinking that maybe it’s better to break up now, I cannot get into the process of waiting for him to call, thinking about what he’s doing, who he is with, etc. On the other hand, of course, I have friends who live far away from their boyfriends and they are fine. I would like your opinion on long distance relationships.

 

Maria

 

Dear Maria,

 

We all need relationships of love and companionship to feel calm and satisfied. These relationships, when healthy, when they are based on respect, trust, and love, push us to become the best version of ourselves, and help us feel emotionally complete.

But when these relationships fail then they cease to be a source of joy and happiness and pain, anxiety, fear of abandonment prevail.

One factor that can lead a relationship to a dead end is the dependence of personal happiness on the partner. In this case, one feels ‘empty’ away from her man, does not get along well with other social interactions, feels that she suffers until she is with him again.

Maybe something similar seems to be happening in your case. From what you write, it seems that the absence of your boyfriend causes you intense, unpleasant feelings. You feel the need to be with him constantly and the fact that you will need to stay away from him for a while, creates insecurity and fear.

It might help to think about what causes this insecurity in your relationship. Why, when living far away from him, will you worry about what he does and who he might be with? Do you feel that way because of your partner’s behavior? Is he the type of man who flirts, disappears for no reason, who has given you reason to suspect that he might have a relationship on the side?

If the answer is yes, it would help to understand why you have chosen such a partner, what your needs are, and what you may find familiar or attractive in his behavior. Have you chosen other partners in the past who behaved similarly?

But if the answer is no, then maybe it would be good to try to understand what is behind these unpleasant feelings for you. Why do you feel that your partner might leave you if you are not close to him to control the situation. For what reasons are you afraid that he might choose someone else. Did you feel that way in other relationships in the past?

Try talking about how you feel with someone you trust or with someone who knows you as a couple. In what matters does he agree with you? Is there anything that either if you finds excessive in your own or your partner’s behavior?

In any case, it would be beneficial to communicate with a mental health professional. It would help you to better understand and manage these intense and unpleasant emotions.

Your partner has won a scholarship abroad. Apparently he struggled to earn it, which may have taken years to achieve. And, of course, he will be happy for this success, which may have been a dream come true. How would you feel in his place? And most importantly, what would you expect from the person who loves you? To rejoice in your joy, to celebrate with you, or to feel unhappy and be thinking of leaving you?

Relationships are not destroyed by distance, if it is necessary for a while – some even become even stronger. Relationships are destroyed when there is dependence, manipulation, and lack of trust and respect.

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