Relationship problems from temporary distance

Starting early May, I had to leave Pennsylvania (where I go to college with my SO) to stay with my parents for the summer in Korea until August. Since then we’ve had more fights than good conversations and every little thing ignites jealousy and insecurities for both of us. We’ve come very close to ending our year and a half relationship because of this. The time zone difference certainly doesn’t help things.
I don’t know what to do. A part of me says the relationship isn’t worth all the pain it’s bringing us both, but another part says we just need to wait it out. When I think about her, sometimes I feel a longing for her, but other times I just feel jealous rage, often followed by depression.
This summer has been emotionally exhausting for both of us and I think things are going to get worse before they get better.

You may be having problems just because the whole distance thing is new. Long distance is hard, especially the first few months. If you’re going to be seperated much longer, I suggest sitting down with her, talking things through and discussing the situation. Find out how you both feel, and what you both want.

Good luck.

Is there any way you guys can just put things on hold for the time being? I saw this same thing a lot when I was in the military, when a spouse/SO would be deployed and things usually worked themselves out when they returned. How long are you gone for?

The key is trust, which of course is a fundamental thing in any relationship, but here it´s completely essential. Try to work towards developing the trust you need to avoid those jealous fits, talk it over with her. Just tell her that you´ll wait for her, that´s all you can do, if she can´t give the same in return, well…
The time difference is (should) not be a problem, you have to get used to it, soon you´ll think in both times, local and over-yonder time.
Ale, which has his half heart 16.547 Km away. I know a thing or two about this

Agree that this is most about trust. I recently spent a year away from my boyfriend (I was in the UK, he was in Australia), and my hints about how we got through this:

We both talked seriously about what we wanted - this included discussing fully the option of breaking up and seeing what happened, a choice which we both eventually decided against. We talked about what would happen if either of us met someone else, and how neither of us wanted this, but that it might be a reality. Once I had moved, we kept in regular contact - texting daily about mundane stuff - what we were cooking for dinner, the weather, a song one of us had heard, all the normal stuff that made each of us feel that we were still part of each other’s day to day life. Skype is your friend…

And be honest about how you feel about things - feeling bottled up tend to simmer, and it’s better and easier to say, ‘I’m worried I might lose you’ and let them know this is a worry for you than to say nothing.

And the first month is the hardest, so don’t let this make you feel the whole thing is not worth it. If it’s going to last and be worth it, it will. If it doesn’t, it’s probably for a good reason, and you need to open your mind to this.

But here to tell you that a couple of months over the summer is much less than a year, and it’s definately doable. Good luck!

If you don’t have plans to take the relationship to the next step (engagment or whatever) you should both be free to date others during a prolonged separation. If this is the real deal, this relatively short separation shouldn’t be a big deal. Are you planning on spending the rest of your lives with each other?

Shouldn’t be and isn’t aren’t always the same thing. It’s one thing to say the seperation is relatively short, but to a lot of people, 3-4 months without seeing their SO at all is a big deal. Most strong relationships can survive it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck at the time.

r4nd0mNumb3rs, I would second what others have said about trust and communication. VoIP and IM are great things for keeping in touch, but it is important to remember that when you’re communicating by them, you’re not getting the extra information you usually get from facial expression, body language and (for IM) tone of voice. That can make a big difference, and it’s important for you both to be extra clear about your feelings, since they may not come over the way they would if you were in the same room.

Girl From Mars is right about the first month being hardest. You don’t stop missing the or feeling sad about that, but you do adapt (to a certain extent) to living without them.

In terms of your problems with jealousies and insecurities, perhaps you could (metaphorically) sit down and talk about why you both feel this way and ways you can help each other through it rather than fighting. Discussing why certain things trigger your jealousies and how you can possibly avoid those triggers or not react to them in the same way might help. I don’t think I would reccommend agreeing to see other people, it’s only likely to make the jealousy and insecurity worse for both of you.

Good luck. I know from experience how badly this sucks and I hope you get through.

I was in a situation somewhat similar to yours. I graduated college a year before my SO and moved to NYC while he stayed behind to finish school. I thought about staying and waiting for him, but there was nothing besides him for me in that town. I thought I was smart getting a headstart on finding a job and apartment.

I grew more and more dissatisfied with the relationship the longer we were apart. I was making new friends, doing new things… and he would get jealous about everything. We wouldn’t talk but once a week. Emails were a joke.

Eventually, I told him that I was unhappy and that I thought we should talk about what to do with our present situation. Everything I said was met with “But it’s only for another xx months!” This didn’t change my feelings, and I just felt unlistened to, like my unhappiness should just take a backseat.

We went on a break. And then officially broke up.

I am not dooming every long distance relationship to the same fate. I do advise open communication. Don’t push problems under the rug, just because you’re only apart for a short time. Make sure to stay part of each other’s daily lives… that’s what got me the most.

This is the tricky part. When it’s good, we talk as if we’re going to be together forever, planning our future and whatnot. But I think we’re both afraid to fully commit ourselves. I know I am, at least. And I am almost certain she feels similarly. But seeing other people isn’t even really an option, since we’re both fiercely jealous and if one of us met other men/women during the break, I doubt we’ll be able to get back together.

Thanks for the advice everyone. Most of the replies tend to indicate that trust and communication is key to surviving the break. Thankfully things have gotten better, and I feel more confident that we’ll be able to survive until August.