Dear Harriette:

I’ve known the man who I am currently “seeing” for three years. We’ve never been in a relationship before — we’ve always just been long-distance friends. It is almost as if we are pen pals. We met through social media.

My friend has always lived in a different state, and it wasn’t until the end of last year that we finally got to meet in person. It was so wonderful, but he told me that even though he loved and enjoyed our time together, he’s been in a long-distance relationship before and it did not go well, so he doesn’t want to be in a long-distance relationship with me. Despite this, we speak much more frequently now and have basically continued on with a relationship without actually having the titles of boyfriend or girlfriend. I feel that I’ve made up my mind that this is who I want to be with, but he still has reservations about being with me. Do you think that I’m wasting my time?

— Long Distance

Dear Long Distance: If you want this relationship to be different, you have to request it and be willing to walk away if you can’t have it. Tell this man that you want more than talking; you want him to be your partner. Talk about what that might look like.

How often can you see each other? Would either of you ever consider moving to the other’s town? Find out what he wants and if you are part of that plan.

If you are unwilling to keep doing what you are doing, you may have to stop talking to him for a while. Perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder, and he will come around to trying to figure out with you if you can be together.

If not, let him go and create space for someone who wants to be more than a modern-day pen pal.

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