Hi there Doc.
I’ve been in a steady, loving and deeply fulfilling relationship with my girlfriend for 10 months. Initially, I had some minor trust issues stemming from…details in her background that didn’t quite match up (please keep in mind that I was raised as a man in a deeply chauvinistic and misogynistic latin american society, it doesn’t excuse me but it’s hard to shake off): she claimed (unprompted, over and over again) that she wasn’t really that much into sex (until I “cured her of that” after a month of dating) and that she had been with 2, 3 men at tops. However, many cliched “signs” that seemed to contradict this were pointed out to me by a specially sexist friend of mine; she smokes, she’s inked, she drinks like a sailor, smokes weed, I met her on Tinder, she’s extremely outgoing and has a ton of male friends in the art and music world, she’s had bisexual experiences, she’s a model, aaand she’s “made out with” or “had crushes or flings” with a not-insignifcant number of our mutual acquaintances, including two very close friends. Many of these things I actually really liked about her, as I like independent women, but like I said, misogynist friend (however he was the one to suggest that I should make her my serious GF). I honestly don’t think I’d have a problem if she were to outright tell me that she hasn’t had an exactly sexless past; after all, she’s with me now, right? However, the seeming contradiction between her words and my prejudices did irk me a bit for what I thought had been only a while…
I mentioned to her about how when I’m in a serious relationship I’m deeply committed and don’t tolerate infidelity, and she agreed saying that she’s the same. This was early on during our history when out of the blue she asked me what were my thoughts on open relationships (I told her that they don’t work 99% of the time). Things were really good, and after some very, very, VERY minor skerfuffles over my doubts at the start things were going swimmingly well. “We’re gonna have fucking babies” (literal quote) level well.
Fast forward 6 great months into the future. Ever since the start of our relationship I had been clear about my plans to study in a foreign country (I’m an MD looking to enter a medical residency); as time went on and I saw how well things were going, I pledged to her that I’d be taking her along with me, as I REALLY want to. Well, 6 months in, I had to start an intensive 4 month training course for my residency exam with an extremely heavy study load. I was clear to my GF that I wouldn’t be able to do much during that time period and that I’d be seeing a lot less of her; however she insisted on seeing me on a nearly daily basis, to the point that at one point she had practically moved in with me into my parent’s house. This did irk me a bit; like I said, I was practically isolated during this time period, I wanted her to have fun and go out with her friends so as to not strain the relationship and besides I did need my space for study matters. I told her we should dial it down a bit, but we still went on seeing each other in a slightly less regular basis. Needless to say, moods were occasionally ranked due to the situation.
During this stressful 4 month period, an opportunity for her to take a 2 month course in a college campus in India (a timezone 12 hours apart) suddenly came up at her work. I insisted she should take it as at the very least it’d be a great travel opportunity, I even helped her filling out some paper work. Her departure date was coincidentally the same as the date I’d be leaving to take my exam…things seemed to be going well, the day before we left we went on a date, exchanged hand crafted letters (hers, beautiful, mine crappy looking in comparison but not for lack of trying and yes we’re both 29) and we agreed on staying in touch via Skype or Facetime or whatever as much as possible during our time apart.
Things were going alright for the first couple of weeks (when I was in the aforementioned foreign country); communication was hard because I had to use wi-fi hotspots to stay in touch and I spent my entire day running errands in a city, but there was effort on her part (lots of missed calls) and hence, we managed to stay in touch. This gradually tapered off, (and I was a bit vocal about my displeasure) but I chalked it down to the problems with internet access we were both dealing with and was sure things would pick up when I went back to my country and my GF got her hands on a SIM card as she told me she would.
As you’ve probably guessed, this didn’t exactly happen. It’s been little over a week, we both have round the clock internet and it’s just harder and harder to communicate. I’ve told her about this, to the point that I feel like a nag, but she doesn’t seem to care. We text sporadically, but forget about phone calls (which we only make at about 1-3 AM when she shows up at her dorm, and then I have to practically beg her to call me) and it’s just excuse after excuse for her not fielding said calls or cutting them abruptly short (her roommate is there, she’s too tired to talk at 12 AM even though she’s constantly going to sleep at 3-4 AM even during weekdays, etc.); forget about Skype or anything else.
To add to my paranoia, she constantly keeps mentioning a cool new foreign musician friend of hers, with whom she apparently goes everywhere with. I was fine with this, and I was fine when she posted an innocent looking picture of her and him on a certain social media platform, but then I saw him macking on her in the comments (one heart smiley laden one where he said she “was sssooo beatiful and soooo nice” and another one where the guy’s mother (!) and him posted a series of heart smileys) and I lost it. I asked her what was up with that and she said that the guys is probably gay and his being so complimentary is simply cultural…
Now, I’m not gonna lie and said that I’ve never felt tempted by another woman during my relationship, but even during my recent trip I didn’t act on it (even though I had my chances) because I care more about what we’re supposedly building with my GF. This is where those supposedly buried trust issues came bubbling back…
I realize the fact that I’m in a bit of a void right now (I spent my last 4 months pushing friends and family away pretty much, I’m broke due to travel expenses, I have no job currently and most of my friends are abroad anyway) and the additional fact that I didn’t do as well in the exam as I needed to might be making me really needy and vulnerable, but do you think my feelings of consternation are completely unfounded? Or am I simply a prude that’s just not fit for “modern relationships” where time apart seems to be a green pass for screwing around?
Long Distance Lost