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DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 461
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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Trying to keep this as short as possible. Basically about 10

Customer Question

Hi, trying to keep this as short as possible. Basically about 10 months ago i started chatting to this girl who lives 5 hours away. Long story short i fell in love with her, and she even told me she loved me too, but she can’t be with me due to the distance. Because of this i cut all ties with her, but every so often she gets back in touch with me because she misses me and cares for me, so i don’t progress in getting over her. She says she’d be with me if it wasn’t for the distance (which is manageable to an extent) and that she doesn’t want me to move on so there is something there. I just don’t know what to do anymore because i can’t be friends with her because it’s hurts too much and even if we’re not talking i don’t seem to get anywhere, and i’m positive this circle will just keep repeating itself.
Assistant: The Psychologist will know what to do. Is there anything else the Psychologist should be aware of?
Customer: i think that’s all
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 3 months ago.

Hi!
I'm Dr. Jackie, a psychotherapist, counselor, and relationship expert. And I'm very sorry you are in this apparent circle of happiness, hopefulness, then pain and back again. As a proponent of cognitive behavioral therapy, I can tell you that the brain can go back and forth like that between happiness an sadness rather easily when one thinks about all kinds of scenarios.

Before I can begin to make recommendations, I would need more information. Is it possible to talk in real time in chat here? I know we are 5 or 6 hours in different time zones. It's only a little after noon here. I will be available most of the afternoon and evening off an on. If you could give me some times of availability to chat, if that is your preference, I can pick one and try to accommodate you.

I'm curious about things like her not wanting you to move on. It sounds selfish albeit it very honest. And please understand that I'm not judging at all. But real love is indicative of both people wanting the best for the other person. Think of how a good mum loves her son or daughter. She may want her child to live at home forever (not any parents I know but that's beside the point) or at least, stay local maybe to go to university. But true parental love dictates that the mum lets the child go to wherever it most benefits the son or daughter in terms of programs of study. Does that make sense? Parents want the best for their kids even if it means missing them because real parental love is not selfish.

Relationship love is also--at least, real love. Real love wants the best for the other person, even if it ISN'T HIM or Her. So I would like to explore that besides other details such as your ages or school/university is one distance barrier or if it is jobs or a sick parent or any (other) reasons for not being able to transcend the distance.

Let me know if you want to chat in real time or if you can address a few of my questions and want me to just respond when I receive your responses.

Best,

Dr. Jackie

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi there, thank you so much for responding. I’m available to chat at any time after 4pm BST.Within regards ***** ***** curiosities, I agree that it is selfish and that her not wanting me to move on doesn’t really have my best interests at heart. I would guess that it’s because she feels/wants something between us still, and doesn’t want to abandon it, nor want me to either, but that’s only a guess. The distance barrier is mainly due to the fact that we’re both in education. I am 18 and she is 17, we’re both still studying so that takes up most of our time, although it wouldn’t be too difficult for me to see her every fortnight (i know it’s not great but it’s better than nothing for the time being) and more often during holidays.I’m free to chat at any time today on and off.Thanks again
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 3 months ago.

Thanks for the answers to my questions and for responding so quickly.

The fact that you are so young does not diminish your feelings. I know a lot of older people tend to disavow "young love." But I don't see age per se as a barrier. But school is. And of course you are familiar with the arguments that you need to go live life, explore, date a lot and "live it up" because you're only young once. I'm not really that drastic in my thinking. I tend to be very much evidence based in that I look to what research tells us. And I do know that study after study tells us that the happiest couples tend not to be the ones who "met," fell in love, and made a major commitment very quickly. They tend not to be the couples who date for years and years without making a commitment either--somewhere in between. But of course there are other factors. The most satisfied couples are those who report similar attitudes and beliefs and interests.

So I challenge you to look at your interests and beliefs and those of this girl. It sounds like you need to spend time together face to face to really know if this has a serious chance. Is that possible? Despite your hours apart, perhaps on holiday or school break, you might be able to travel to where she is. I'm thinking it would be worth the money and time investments to know if this is something that really has serious potential. I'm not convinced (maybe you can make an argument to convince me) that you can really make an informed decision of what to do without having that opportunity.

What do you think?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for again responding. I’m glad to know you don’t feel as if my problems should be belittled merely due to my age. I have been told before that i’m jumping the gun and i greatly exaggerating my feelings, but i know for sure that i’m not. This whole situation has really tried and tested me and has kept me pretty depressed for a while. I can see what you’re saying in regards to “living my life as i’m only young once” etc, but i know what i value the most, what is most important, and where my priorities lie - and that is here.I’ve proposed the idea of going to see her before, and while she says she’d love to see me, she’s not 100% committed and convinced that a relationship would work. Due to this she says she wouldn’t want me travelling only to have me let down and feeling as if i’ve wasted time and money. She is very hesitant because she feels that the idea of me being able to travel to her as frequently as i suggested is far fetched (even though i know for sure it isn’t)However, i completely acknowledge what you’re saying. She has said recently too that even though she can’t guarantee anything if i did travel to see her, it may change her perspective on things if she spent some time with me face to face.Thank you ever so much
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 3 months ago.

Then prove her wrong! I mean that in a positive way. She's 17 and you are 18. You seem to be very wise and understanding of relational communication and concepts. She may have been more "sheltered" growing up and maybe not as exposed to broader thinking about things. So yes, I do believe you will be able to make a more definitive decision if you go and physically are with her. I know she is worried about you spending money. However, you and I both realize that money is not the most important thing. And I am sure she gets that too. But it doesn't stop her from worrying. And having a more realistic idea of whether or not the two of you would be compatible is definitely worth the time, energy, and money to make a visit happen.

You don't know unless you try. I know you are in the UK. So I don't know how U.S. history you know. I always give the following example to students I teach and clients I work with--Abraham Lincoln was arguably one of the best presidents my country has ever had...most notably credited with ending the very bloody civil war we had in the 1860s. But not everyone knows he was a failure honestly at just about everything. He had at least 3 major failed businesses and went bankrupt at least 2 of those times. He ran for state offices and Congress (like your Parliament). Lost all of those elections. How a young man went from all of those failures and STILL campaigned and won the Preidency is beyond my comprehension. And by most Americans' opinions, he was one of our greatest.

So the point in all of that is that you never ever will know unless you try. Had Lincoln accepted failure as his fate, who knows what would have happened to the United States. You don't know what will happen if you don't try. And at some point, if you could rate/accept my answer, that would be great for JA. Thanks!

--Dr. Jackie

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Well, i pitched her the idea of me coming to see her and she told me no. as of Thursday, it was the only barrier, and now that i’m offering to move it, it appears there must be more. i have no doubt this isn’t the last i’ll hear from her and she’ll be back in a month or so, allowing the cycle that i mentioned in my opening paragraph to run its course yet again. Thank you so much for listening and giving me advice though, i appreciate it more than words can convey.