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Real Live College Guy Dale: Is the Distance Pulling Us Apart?

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We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.

I have liked this one guy for a few months now. We have several mutual friends, and I considered us friends before I started liking him. After a few weeks, I told him how I felt at a party we both were at. We left together from the party back to his fraternity house and had sex. The next morning, we talked about our personal lives for quite a few hours after waking up, and it got quite deep. We kept texting afterwards, and I went to his fraternity on my birthday a few days later to hang out with him and some friends. The next day, I left for summer and I hugged him goodbye. It's been about two weeks since I saw him, and we really haven't communicated at all except a few messages here and there. I can't tell if it's just the distance or if something else is going on. What do I do? – Summertime Sadness at Syracuse

Syracuse,

Distance is super fickle. On one hand, as I’m sure you’ve heard, “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” And sure, that’s definitely possible. Being apart from someone gives you the chance to miss that person. On the other hand, distance can also complicate matters, especially when it comes to communication.

You’d think that in this era of texting and instant messages (email, even), keeping in touch with someone wouldn’t be that difficult. Type a few letters, hit send, wait for reply — it seems simple enough, right? And yet physical distance can also make us feel emotionally distant somehow. You can’t actually hear a person’s laugh in “lol,” and you can’t actually see a person’s smile in an emoji.

I think it’s safe to say that the distance itself may be causing the strain you’re feeling. Distance makes things difficult, and figuring out how to make things work over the miles can be even more difficult. You go from hooking up, having deep talks and hanging out to being however many miles away from each other, and suddenly you aren’t sure how to get things going again.

My advice to you is go beyond a simple text or Facebook message and give this guy a call. Messages are great for when you’re busy or just sending something simple, but if you want to have an actual conversation with him — if you really want to make sure things are okay between the two of you — you’re going to need to pick up the phone and tell him what’s on your mind. If you aren’t certain about what’s going on, you owe it to yourself to clear the air.

I wouldn’t advise opening a conversation with questions like, “What are we?” or, “What’s going on between us?” but you might try easing into those areas by asking him how his summer is going, asking if he wants to see you or just telling him something you saw that reminded you of him and made you want to talk to him. 


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