January 17, 2014 - submitted by Luke, United Kingdom

After previously having a long distant relationship (to some success) for 3 years I've always been extra cautious about falling in love again and forced myself not to get too close to someone to avoid the pain should, most likely, things come to an end.
Last year many great things happened including meeting a new girl in the last quarter, who for the first time in over two years I felt I could actually get close to. The problems were, although she's from my hometown she lives currently at the other end of the country on her work-placement year until April, after that she'll return to uni for another year, 3 hours away from me. Her Dad died when she was just 6 & she was once pregnant with her ex, he ran away & she lost the baby during her pregnancy. Traumatising experiences for anyone and she still hadn't recovered emotionally from the latter. She's still emotionally attached to her ex & what they once had. Even though he wants nothing to do with her and it has an effect on us. It seems to stand in the way of us moving forward or together & my friends and family recommend I give up on her as I'm "wasting my time" & that things shouldn't be this hard at the start of a relationship.
I fear she, like I once was, is scared to get closer as she's been hurt badly from a past relationship and clearly still has love for her ex. Yet when we're together things are great. There's just too much time apart during the week & too much time for her to think about it all when she's alone.
What do I do? Do I listen to the people who care the most about me? What would you do? Continue or accept that maybe it just isn't right & maybe won't work out?

The Oracle replies:

It's natural to feel cautious but you have to be open to let love in. However, you and your girlfriend are not on the same page. You are further ahead in your recovery from past experiences and she seems to have a long way to go yet.
I can't comment too much on what may be best for her given she hasn't written and as you say, she has been through a lot. I'm going to focus - as you should - on YOU.
I'm assuming you've spoken to her about this? It's great you've been patient and supportive but for this relationship to work, there can only be two of you in it and it sounds like there's currently three.
You said "...not to get too close to someone to avoid the pain should, most likely, things come to an end". That tells me you are expecting the worst to happen and that’s not a healthy place to be. That's understandable when you've been through painful break-ups but as I said, you have to be open. There is never a guarantee that things will work out but as we've heard, "if you never try, you'll never know".
But... I have to say I agree with your friends to some extent. I'm not saying this relationship will never work but perhaps not right now.
Following your heart sometimes makes you do things you wouldn't do if using rational thought. Love is sometimes worth taking that risk. That said, I really feel you should listen to your gut in this case.
Over to you.

It's very, very hard for a girl to start a new relationship when her last boyfriend ran away, and leaves her behind with her baby. I think she still feels hope for her ex. What you should do, is giving her a new hope. Go live nearby, if necessary. Be there for her. Maybe then she will see what you can be for her. If she doesn't, tell her you love her really, really much. And tell her you'll be there for her, and you can together have what she and the ex had once. If she then still rejects you, I'm afraid you have to give up.
If you can do it, I wish you and your girlfriend a wonderful relationship. If not, I hope luck and love will be with you with someone else.

I don't mean to be rude but: talk to her! That's what you should do. Tell her about the things that concern you about the relationship and ask her how she feels about everything. It's always good to listen to the advice your loved ones have to offer, but in the end it's your decision whether you want to continue this relationship or not. She's been through some very traumatising things, so if you want to stay together, you should both be prepared to fight for your relationship, because it won't always be easy. Good luck. Amanda.

I don't know what is the right thing to do but if I were u b4 u make a decision ask here if she is willing 2 forget her ex and give u a chance. Then trust ur instinct bcoz being n a relationship w/love is not just about feelings it's also a decision. Shed.

It's nice seeing a young person move on with the past. There is no worth in thinking about the past, the more you think about the past the more it becomes your future. If you take my advice, I would say, go for it. Long-distance relationships hard, but if it is meant to be, it will. The girl really had a traumatising past, but how could people know that you will be the one who can help her get over? Maybe at first, she would spend times thinking about her ex, but by time she will be thinking about you. And if not, I am sure it is worth a shot. Better once than never. The worse thing is looking at past and thinking: 'What if?'. If things end up bad, you will look at the past and say: 'I did what I can', and move on with no second thoughts.
I hope I managed to help you, but remember a person knows what is best for him or her. Best of luck, Mina.

First of all, I’d like to say that every situation is different, and you can’t know what’s going to happen in the future, so even if you make the right choice (if there’s even one), it may be different in some years. You always have to be aware of that. However, here’s my advice for you: as far as I’m concerned, the fact that she is still emotionaly attached to her ex-boyfriend is what actually is holding your relationship back, if you truly love her. This is my opinion. I believe that, if you love someone unconditionally, and she loves you back, there’s no distance that changes that. It’s hard, and you probably know it due to your past experience, but have you already compared the both situations? Do you think that, if she didn’t had the “ex-boyfriend issue”, your relationship would be stronger or weaker than the first one? And if stronger, would it be true enough to handle the distance? If so, than here’s your answer: she is not emotionally ready to that, yet. My advice? Wait for her, if you’re willing to. Help her, slowly, to get through her traumatic experience. Make her forget her problems. Have the mission to, everyday, put a smile on her face. By doing that, my friend, you will build the most important things in a relationship: friendship, trust and true love. And, hopefully, you both will be able to handle the distance. Best wishes! Love, Ana, from Portugal.

You seem to have a realistic view and understanding for this problematic situation. Still you focus the most important issue, when you say things are great being together. A long distance relationship is to handle with. I’m sure you will keep contact during the week, so she does know you care for her and against her loneliness. You are together for less than one year now? Things have much room to develop. I think your friends and family who seem to know so very well how relationships have to start are a bit hasty with their judgement. You are knowing about her feelings and later this shaky beginning could turn much more in a solid partnership than any other flash in the pan.
Why do you think your friends and family care the most about you? Do you think your girlfriend could never do this in a same way?
If you are still happy with her then it is “right”. Only your own feeling can tell you how to go on. Otherwise you won’t feel good and won’t be happy if you feel treated like a substitute for her ex. Try to work it out with her with love and patience, I think the both of you stand a good chance. L.Q.

Maybe it's not for your friends - or us - to decide. I think you two need to sit down and talk about how you can make it work, assuming you both want to. The distance shouldn't be a problem but the other issues clearly are and it's those you need to work on. Good luck. Dee.

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