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‘Can my relationship survive a long-distance separation?’

‘Can my relationship survive a long-distance separation?’

Mike and Shannon met while they were in graduate school. They moved in together, but soon broke up due to what they say was “stress.” Despite these difficulties, they remained in love and got back together. Now, they have graduated, moved to New York, and are living an hour away from each other. Shannon finds it inconvenient making the journey to see Mike, and he is feeling hurt by this and is wondering how they can move their situation forward.

My advice:

Something doesn’t sound right! You love each other and have been together for three years. You’re not opposed to living together, yet you’re not. Not only this, but you’re not willing to make the effort to travel to see one another either. I just don’t get it. Do you want to take this relationship to the next level or not?

Shannon, it sounds to me like you’re afraid to live with Mike because you’ve been traumatized from your last break up with him. I’m sure his smoking habit isn’t helping things either. You think that if you tell him what you want, he’ll think you’re nagging and you two will start fighting again, and the distance and inconsistent sex will lead to another break up.

Mike, you have a woman who loves you. She stayed with you for three years despite a lot of hang-ups … including your smoking habit. I’m sure you’re aware of how bad smoking is for your lungs, but I’ll bet you don’t know how bad cigarette smoking is for your sex life. Most of the time, you’re told not to smoke because it’s bad for your heart, but what’s bad for the heart is bad for the penis … and the vagina. Both of these organs depend on healthy blood flow. Not only that, Mike, but remember that your smoking will directly hurt Shannon’s health. Second-hand smoke can cause an echo of the same kinds of physical responses and physical harms that the primary smoker experiences. So I suggest that if you want this relationship to work, you’ve really got to man up and say ‘I’m going to quit,’ and mean it.

Shannon, if you want this relationship to work, you’ll need to commit to making that trip up to Mike’s. It’s really not that complicated. A healthy sex life is crucial to a healthy relationship, and you’re not going to be able to have a good sex life if you’re not seeing each other as often as you can. This will help things in the short term, and hopefully you’ll be able to move closer to one another soon. Getting over your anxieties by talking honestly and openly, and getting some bad habits under control are crucial to getting things back on track and building a future life together.

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