Should I Break Up My Long Distance Relationship?

by - 6:30 PM


Q.

Dear Dr. Gilda,
I have been with my current girlfriend for the past 4 years. We have had issues now and then and even came close to splitting a couple of times, but we never did. We moved nearer to each other and even had some couples counseling. Recently, she took a new job out of State. I am still at my current job and will have to stay here for the next year or so, but she knew that. We had discussions about being apart and we figured that we could get through it.

She visited me for the weekend and things were going well, but she didn't seem as excited to see me, as I was to see her. After she confessed her feelings, this bothered both of us. She went back home, but since she left, I have found myself falling for someone here. The new person recently broke up with her boyfriend of 3 years, but it had been going downhill for a while. Since she broke up with him, we have been hanging out more and becoming closer, and I find myself falling for her. Everything missing from my current relationship is what the new person has. I have told her about the problems with my current relationship. 
My questions are: 1) If I decide to pursue this woman, what would be the best way to end it with the current person (which would be hard because we have been together for so long and are long-distance), 2) What would be the best way to start with the new person (making sure she doesn't still have feelings for her old flame), and 3) How can I make sure this would work?  I am getting older now, and I would only want to be with the new person if I knew for sure it would be long-term. Otherwise, I would stay in my current relationship because of how much I have already invested there.  I would love to hear your advice.

Betwixt and Between

A.

Dear Betwixt and Between,
Let me answer your email with this email I received from a 16-year-old girl:

Dear Dr. Gilda,
I have a boyfriend named Danny. We have been dating for less than a month, and everything is good. I just recently met his friend, LJ, and I really like him a lot. LJ and I talk on the phone, on the computer, everything. We both are attracted to each other. LJ is in a relationship though. I want Danny to be my boyfriend, but at the same time, I want to hang out with LJ and kiss him and hug him and all that stuff. 
Danny doesn't know, and neither does LJ's girlfriend. I don't want to tell Danny because he would get upset and break up with me, which I don’t want. Am I selfish for wanting 2 guys? Is cheating bad? 
I see people cheat all the time and they don't get caught. I mean, it's not like Danny and I are contemplating marriage. We're both only 16. Can you please guide me on what the right thing to do is? I don't want to forget about either of them. 
Thanks,
Confused Girl

Hey, Betwixt and Between, 
While Confused Girl is only 16, and you have years on her, what difference is there between both your questions?  Both of you want what you want—with guarantees.  Neither of you is willing to admit your self-absorption. The way to make sure any relationship works is to be emotionally present for your mate.  
If you’re looking, however, for your mate to just fill a void so you’re not alone, your story is only about you, not your partner.  The 16-year-old “Confused Girl” figures that as long as she doesn’t get caught, what’s the harm in cheating?  Obviously, you agree with that. 
I don’t believe you should be involved with anyone at this time.  Your lack of giving would eventually derail whatever you think you currently have.  I suggest you learn how it feels to be alone right now, because that’s the condition you’ll be in once your new girlfriend discovers you are not really there for her anyway. 
Dr. Gilda

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