Dear Captain Awkward,
I started dating a woman late last year, but shortly afterward economic circumstances forced me to move to a town a couple hours away. We’ve been doing the long distance thing ever since, and it’s been going quite splendidly, actually. She tells me that she loves me and misses me and all that, but when the rare opportunity comes up for me to travel to my former city and visit her, she usually says she’s too busy. Which is fine, I respect that. But on a recent Saturday I had an opportunity to see her for a couple hours in the late morning, and she said she’d love to but would have to see about it. When I asked again a couple days later, she said she’d be busy the whole day. I accepted this and moved on.
The problem was that when that Saturday rolled around, she showed up on Twitter at about noon saying she’d just woken up. Again, I don’t care about that on its own. I understand that it’s none of my business if she wants to sleep till noon. But should it at least bother me that a) she’d rather sleep than see me, and b) she felt the need to lie about that? I’m just not certain how personally I should be taking this. Thanks for any advice you have to give.
This must be the week to talk about long distance relationships that aren’t actually relationships.
Taking the most generous possible view of your girlfriend’s behavior, like a view from space with the earth looking remote and blue and peaceful below us: She has a very busy life (is she a filmmaker, by any chance?) and needs a lot of notice to schedule time to hang out with you when you visit, and is sort of setting a boundary about that by not making herself immediately available. Has she said this before in those words, like, “I want to see you but my schedule is very packed and inflexible and when you come at the last minute it stresses me out, so I need a ton of notice? ” Or, “I’m working nights all week, and while Sunday morning is *technically* free, that’s my one chance to catch up on sleep”?
No? Even if she has fully articulated her needs about scheduling, how is that working for you? You use words like “fine” and “splendidly!” but…um…really? It’s going well and all your needs are being met? All of them? The ones you have “down there”? When was the last time she visited you where you live? What’s your plan for living in the same place eventually?
Moving down to the surface of the earth, I’d say, yeah, you can take this one pretty personally. Despite her protestations of love, you are penpals who are never in the same place at the same time, and when you make the time to visit, she finds a way to not be in the same room with you. This is what we call a red flag.
Time to ask your
girlfriend penpal what’s up, and be prepared to let go of this one.