Complications in One Month Old LDR


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  • #782343 Reply

    EssDee

    I [India,31F] and my SO [UK,29M] just completed one month together but complications are rearing their heads.

    So I’m basically posting what I’ve posted on Reddit. But haven’t received many responses. I’m looking for more perspectives before I take a decision.

    A bit of background:

    We met through online chat exactly one month back. Within the first few hours of chat, we felt attracted to each other and barely 24 hours had passed that we confessed our love to each other (I know that’s crazy and a giant red flag for most people, but it just happened for us).

    He is sweet, caring, and lovable. I have a demanding job and he’s been understanding enough to work things around my schedule. But as much as I love him and want to be with him, there are a few things that are making me clueless. I’d love for all you amazing people here on this sub to help me with your honest advice, insights and suggestions.

    1. Communication

    He is an introvert — which I initially read as being someone who takes time to open up. For the first three of weeks, he kept a wonderful pace of communication. Though I should also mention here that he’s not comfortable with phone calls (we’ve tried 3-4 times but he mostly remained silent during calls and later apologized for being shy and awkward). He is OK with video calls, though we always mute ourselves and chat via text even while on Skype.

    For the first three weeks or so, he would text me multiple times a day, staying up late at night for me, even leaving romantic messages when I’m sleeping or at work and all of that. After which, he’s slowed down to the point where I have to initiate most conversations and even then, he seems unable to communicate in anything more than one-liners.

    Now, I completely understand his need for space and alone time. So I’m wondering if this is a ‘recharge’ phase he’s going through as he might have exhausted himself in the first few weeks?

    2. His depression

    He suffers from depression. I got to know this within 10 days of meeting him when he tried to shut himself down and went into a shell, wanting to cry, feeling useless etc. But even then, he didn’t block me out completely and allowed me to help him out and make him feel better.

    Of late, after he has quietened down, I feel he broods more, keeps to himself, and even looks sad. He has problems that he doesn’t share and feels bogged down by them. I want to help but can’t do anything about it. Also because of his introversion, I don’t feel convincing him to talk is a good idea. So I try to leave him on his own and that leads to…

    3. My anxiety

    I’m a jittery and anxious person esp when it comes to personal relationships and I constantly worry and overthink things. The fact that he doesn’t share his problems with me makes me feel distanced. On telling him this, his answer was “please babe don’t worry. I’ll tell you if there’s something to worry about. Trust me please.” (sic)

    I’m not quite convinced because from his actions, it seems like something is bothering him constantly. (Or am I overthinking?)

    Sometimes I crave a conversation or just want to ask him about his day, but feel discouraged thinking that I might be stepping on his personal space where he’s seeking refuge or recharging himself. What’s making things worse is, I can’t talk to him about how I’m feeling cause that will probably make him feel worse about himself (I once cried to him about a personal problem and for the next couple of days, he was all down and feeling guilty that he can’t even hug me to make me feel better).

    Honestly, I feel extremely attracted and connected to him, love him, and truly hope we can stay together. He feels the same and even the thought of us breaking up makes him all sad and mopey. I’m a bit overwhelmed and clueless as to how to proceed (totally willing to go the extra mile) without compromising the emotional well-being of both of us.

    Please feel free to offer your honest advice.

    Tl/DR:

    In LDR with an introvert, dealing with a lack of communication and depression. Need advice on how to move forward.

    #782344 Reply

    Raven

    Honestly, you don’t…

    #782345 Reply

    Gracelyn

    #1

    This may be a possibility.

    Introverts take longer to process information. I think if/when they’re inundated with too much information they tend to withdraw a bit.

    #2

    Sounds like a good idea.

    #3

    It would make sense that you would have anxiety over it. You’ll have to work on that.

    #782350 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    My boyfriend is an introvert. Its not that he takes time to open up; introverts’ brains process social interaction differently and are more quickly drained by it. In a nutshell, extroverts are energized by social interaction, while introverts are drained by it. But it doesn’t mean they are shy, can’t be social, or can’t open up.

    I don’t think your partner’s lack of communication (brooding, refusing to tell you what’s wrong) is due to introversion. In a relationship you should be able to be comfortable asking your partner how their day was without worrying that you’re somehow inconveniencing them.

    Here’s the issue I see. You don’t know this person. You haven’t met each other in real life. In fact you don’t even speak on the phone or video chat. Yet you’re already saying you love each other, etc. Real life is completely different from online. So i think you’re setting yourself up for a major disappointment.

    What are your long term plans, how do you plan to meet? What do you hope to accomplish (marriage?)

    #782352 Reply

    EssDee

    Could his depression be a reason? I mean I’m just trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle: depression, introversion, this being a new relationship…

    #782355 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    It could be. The thing is, this is a LOT of emotional work you’re doing for someone you’ve never met, who you’ve only been involved with for a month.

    You say you feel very “connected” to him, but at the same time he makes you feel “distanced” and “discouraged” from talking to him. Not to be harsh but maybe you should evaluate whether this relationship is truly meeting your needs. It shouldn’t be all about him, it should be about you too.

    You can’t force anyone to communicate. He has to want to meet you halfway. You shouldn’t be struggling to draw him out, especially this early on. The first months of a relationship are supposed to be the “honeymoon period” where everything feels wonderful and effortless. (This is actually a real phenomenon, look it up). Problems and reality don’t hit until later on down the road, but hopefully by that point both people have bonded with each other enough to be able to work through whatever issues arise. And you should also be thinking about when you will meet in person, and what the goal of this relationship is; surely you don’t want to do LDR forever? Is the plan to eventually live together, or at least live in the same country/city?

    #782360 Reply

    kaye

    You’ve been chatting with a guy for a month you’ve never met. Within 24 hours you were telling each other you loved each other. Yes that is CRAZY! I’m sorry, but there is no way this is going to work. How can you even be in a relationship with a man who can’t even speak to you over the phone? You do video calls but on MUTE? You text while you Skype instead of talking? Do you not understand how weird that is? That’s not an introvert that’s socially INEPT. Add to that his depression and the fact he shuts himself off wanting to cry and feeling useless and this man is not fit to carry on a relationship.

    You have just listed all the reasons this has no way of working at only a month in. Add to that the fact this lack of communication triggers your anxiety and the fact communication is KEY in any relationship but obviously more so in long distance relationships and please tell me how you see this working out?

    #782361 Reply

    Ss

    You cannot possibly be in love with each other- you are complete strangers and never even met! You’ve built up this whole back story for him based on him being an introvert that excuses him for his poor communication. Its all in your head and not real. I mean you could be right but you dont know because you don’t actually know him at all!

    Your feelings and emotions seem very overwhelming and i struggle to see how he has said he loves you when he can’t even speak to you on the phone or a video call.

    This is all a bit ridiculous and driven by fantasy in my opinion

    #782378 Reply

    Better off single

    As an introvert, I can tell you now he probably savagely criticizes himself often which causes the depression and that makes him a mentally unhealthy introvert. Unless he makes the choice to change it. He’s already triggering your anxiety so if he doesn’t fix his issue, it will only get worse and you will be constantly left unsatisfied. It’s not your job to fix it.

    The only way to know if there is a genuine connection is to actually spend time with him where it doesn’t give him time to think of a response and has to immediately respond. The only way to get a true sense of his overall personality is to spend lots of time with him. Even then, a few hours here and there isn’t going to be enough.

    Do NOT confuse infatuation with love. It’s a lie. You can be extremely fond of someone especially at first when he is trying to win you over, possibly seeing yourself falling in love in the future if he is being genuine and not using you to escape his feelings, it is not love.

    From what you wrote, it seems like he uses you to escape his feelings and boost his ego.

    #782379 Reply

    Better off single

    The fact that he is long distance and you have not met is a red flag in itself.

    #782387 Reply

    Gracelyn

    I think depression is more common in introverts because they tend to self-isolate and are stuck in their own head.

    Having said that, you’re not going to have your communication styles all figured out after a month.

    Perhaps with time you’ll gain a better understanding and he will be in a better position to express his thoughts and feelings more clearly.

    #782400 Reply

    Anon

    How hard is to meet someone?? How on Earth will you know if there’s a possibility of a relationship unless you actually meet them- introvert/extrovert/ whatever you want to call yourself. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone reading this. I think people are incredibly afraid of disappointment- they text and think yes this is a great person, text, and text- but you meet them and they are not so great and your fake bubble image is gone. Is this what we are coming to? Shaking my head.

    #788414 Reply

    Melia

    Hi EssDee,

    I wonder if you have solved your problem? Even if you had, perhaps my input may still be helpful to others hence let me share.

    Since you mentioned looking for more perspectives before deciding, I would like to share what I would do if it happened to me, please feel free to consider as well. I’m not sure if everyone agrees with putting emotions aside and thinking objectively when it comes to relationship, but for me, I’d see an emotionally unstable premarital partner as not fit to father my children. I’m usually self-sacrificial and able to adapt and tolerate when it’s just me. But when I think about our future children having to tolerate that, it helps me to be less love-blind and more objectively observe a man’s reactions to problems in his life and analyse if he would be a good leader of the family that I am about to build with him. I might break up and help him get out of depression as much as what a friend would do, but not as a wife or lover.

    I tolerated my ex boyfriend for many years (he was emotionally unstable too), trying to stick with him eventhough he did not fulfill some of my core requirements for a life partner, because I thought love is tolerating, selfless, unconditional, supportive (but it was actually misguidance by the romanticism painted in novels and movies); because I thought I might not be able to find another guy who not only is at least equally good as my ex but also likes me; because what if all the next guys are worse? One day I found him not suitable to become a father figure and I just snapped, I don’t want to walk on eggshells for the rest of my life, I listed my partner requirements clearly, and then screened the next guy that we mutually liked before we got together. I did screen my ex, but I only kept looking at his good and subconsciously forgiving his flaws.

    I’m happier now. I’ve decided that I should be more careful about giving out affection at early stages and be tolerating, selfless, and supportive only after a guy marries me, before that I shall closely observe for flaws and end with the most satisfying decision/life partner. I think love requires some objectivity, we have to objectively analyse if a potential partner is worth investing with our lifetime, next generation, time and money.

    Sorry, I’m talkative.

    Melia

    #788417 Reply

    Just Passing Through

    I am an introvert and I can tell you that we thrive in one-to-one and small group settings. I in particular tend to lead and dominate in these situations.

    Now he may well be an introvert but I think that he is hiding something that is why he doesn’t want to talk but prefers texting on Skype. He maybe afraid that he is going to blurt out something, and at least with texting you can always read over and check you haven’t revealed anything you don’t want revealed.
    I wouldn’t take anything than men say at face value as men have a tendency to agree with anything women say to them.
    For example, you say:’I really don’t want children.’ and he’ll totally agree. however if you say you want children he’ll say:’oh so do I the more the merrier’. Most men have no idea one way or the other if they want children.
    have you considered that you maybe asking him too much and he feels that you are prying albeit unconsciously? I don’t think that his level of communication will change for the better. Men are not romantic. or at least not romantic to the frequency and degree that women expect/demand.

    #795341 Reply

    EssDee

    Hi Everyone,

    So, here’s the update.

    I’m happy to report that we’re still together and things have gotten significantly better between us. In fact, it’s just getting better and better (touchwood). Turns out he was still trying to process the whole idea of being with someone after staying single for nearly 2 years post-breakup from a 7-year long relationship. He clarified this during a night-long chat we had a day after I posted my original post.

    I was at fault here too ’cause I should have communicated my fears and doubts to him in a direct way (“men can be dense sometimes”, in his own words). My overthinking was at play and an anxiety-riddled mind can often lead you to interpret words and actions way differently than a calm and composed mind. I spoke to my therapist and they helped me understand the pattern and encouraged me to speak frankly and directly with him. And after I did, it lifted a great deal of weight off my chest, which was pretty self-imposed tbh. He convinced me that I should be direct with him henceforth and communicate my needs.

    Since then, we have worked together to figure out the sweet spot of communication, which meets both our needs. He has always been a good listener for me; now, he checks in with me regularly to make sure I’m okay and we’re on the same page.

    He has started opening up his life to me. Over the past months, I’ve become the first one he comes to when he wants to talk about almost anything — from new game releases, TV shows, culture talks to office problems, family issues, etc. He’s just happy that I can lend a non-judgmental ear. We’re about to celebrate our six months’ anniversary next week and though, we haven’t talked about closing the distance, I feel that’s the next chapter we’re going to start soon.

    It hasn’t been an overnight job and we’re still learning about each other every day. But we’re thankful to be able to call each our place of calm and comfort.

    I thank every one of you for taking the time to comment and light up my path, at least to some extent, when I needed it.

    Cheers!

    #795349 Reply

    Newbie

    Whats next? From what i get, you have never met. Are there plans? Is this how you want to start a family? An online one?
    You both are waisting your time and hiding from real life.
    Are you scared of life? Of rejection? Because it looks like that if you have a 6 month celebration with a guy you never looked into his eyes even

    #795365 Reply

    EssDee

    Are you sure you’re capable enough to offer any kind of constructive view in an LDR advice column?

    I mean, sure, you have the freedom to as long as you have a keyboard to stomp on. But do you have the sensitivity, understanding, and empathy to even listen, let alone provide insightful and practical guidance?

    I clearly mentioned that even if we haven’t met, talking about closing the distance is on the cards. As it is, the pandemic has thrown a wrench in the plans of thousand’s of LD couples and even non-LD ones. So, even if we want to meet, this is not the right time.

    I generally don’t engage in any kind of negativity thrown my way but decided to comment not just for you but for any other troll who might want to follow your suit — your ilk is growing by the day, you know.

    Get well soon!

    #795366 Reply

    Newbie

    Im in a ldr myself for 5 years now, with my eyes open. So Yeah i know what im talking about. You clearly dont want to hear my opinion, i get it, but i can tell you one thing: im 51 now, so im not in it to start a family. If i were i would have never stayed with my american (im european) man because of the big cultural differences. I know many things would have created issues simply because of different views. The gap between Indian and european culture is even bigger. Yes you can close it, but you two have never met. What you have is a penpal without real intentions of meeting. If it does happen good for you, but i really wouldnt count on it. I would strongly advice you to consider yourself single for now. In case some nice guy asks you out

    #795367 Reply

    Newbie

    Why do you even dare to call me a troll? I took the time to respond. Just because i think you are doing yourself a big disservice doesnt make me a troll.

    #795368 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Newbie is far from a troll. She’s one of the most sensible commenters on this site. She can be blunt and plain spoken but she’s never hurtful or bad intentioned.

    She’s just trying to help. You aren’t looking at things realistically. The fact is you and this man live on different continents and come from very different cultures. There are other barriers to this situation too. Are you still doing video calls on mute, or is he able to speak to you now? How do you think you’ll meet & have a conversation in person if he can’t even speak to you over a call?

    If you’re really determined to stick with this my advice to you is to meet this guy as soon as possible. I know Covid screwed everything up. But you should at least meet this guy and spend time together in person before you make any further relationship plans. The truth is you don’t know each other. Online relationships are not real life.

    #795369 Reply

    Newbie

    Thanks liz. I also wanted to add one thing. If you are having a 6 months anniversary you consider each other bf/gf right? So you can ask your bf everything. Ask two questions: when are you planning to meet me and how do you see the two of us in the future? When he is vague without real intent you can wrote him off as a e-tetherer. At least take some steps to make sure he has real intentions of meeting

    #795370 Reply

    EssDee

    Thank you Liz for commenting. Yes, we do talk normally now. We do video calls as well as voice calls 2-3 times a week (that pace of communication works just fine for me as I have a fairly demanding job schedule). He has shown me around his place a couple of times and I did the same. We stay in touch over texts throughout the day, every day. I have spoken to his sister and his little niece, they seem to be quite fond of me.

    And yes, I’m not the one to take a one-way flight and get settled with a man I’ve never met. We were making plans for me to visit him in October when we have a big holiday here. But we’re honestly not hopeful about that happening thanks to COVID. Maybe we’ll try again for December.

    We, more than anyone, want to spend time with each other IRL. And, I particularly, want to do it a few times before we decide to eventually close the distance. I’m not in a hurry to build a family, and neither is he. As far as key relationship goals as concerned, we’re on the same page.

    #795371 Reply

    EssDee

    Sorry, if my response offended you, Newbie. The intention behind your comment was good but the way you put it forth was rather offensive, to be honest.

    “You both are waisting your time and hiding from real life. Are you scared of life? Of rejection?”

    I can take and appreciate a blunt and honest opinion. But I feel the apparent rudeness emanated by those quoted lines was unnecessary and could have been avoided. It might not come across as rude to some, but to me it did. To each their own, I guess.

    Again, I get your intentions, and thanks for commenting.

    #795373 Reply

    Newbie

    Yeah i know i was blunt and could have said it friendlier, but i was shocked you were still in the same position after 6 months of hollow talk. And still in full denial. While i bet all my money that you are probably a gorgious 31 year old woman with a good job like you said and if you want kids probably ready to try to start a family with lots of suitors who would want you. But you pick the other continent bloke who at first even couldnt call you. This chatterboxes usually are some kind of emotionally unavailable and he gave you clues about that already suffering from depressing for example. They like the idea of a far away gf who cant demand anything real.
    Guys that are in, would have met you already. They would have done anything. And the fact you are flying to him is also a bad sign. I hope he is flipping the bill at least. I really dont want to rain on your parade, but since i am in ldr and at first hesitated about what i wanted, i did extensive research on the matter. This really all looks bad and is keeping you in prison. While there are many other more logical options for you. I feel very sorry for that. Im also amazed your therapist doesnt tell you this either. At least consider this. Thats what i did with my partner. I broke it off and wanted to be just friends. So find out what i really wanted. And later on we got back together for real.

    #795376 Reply

    EssDee

    One could say I have rose-tinted glasses on but I strongly believe I don’t. We have been through a couple of fairly trying situations. After a devastating cyclone here where I live a couple of months back, we were left with no internet or electricity for 3 days. The lockdown prevented us from moving out either. He was the one to order food delivery for us over those three days — something he did of his own accord.

    Recently, his dad was laid off from his job and a lot of stress ensued in his family. I’ve been (and continue to be) the pillar of support (emotional and not financial) for him through this time.

    I did not mention these things in my update ’cause I felt they are pretty extraneous to the post.

    And yes, with regards to our plan of me flying to him, we would be splitting the expense of the whole trip between us.

    I won’t say he’s “the one” or “my soulmate,” but he’s someone I can clearly see my future with.

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