Questions for Tuffinski can be emailinskied to [email protected] and shoop.
Dear Tuffy Luv,
My boyfriend has recently gone on a study abroad trip for the rest of the summer. He’s only been gone a week, and already I’ve noticed how drastically our relationship has changed. For the first half of the summer, he always called many times a day and we visited each other every few weeks because we live in different states. But now that he’s overseas, between the time difference and his busy schedule, there is no time for me! The trip he is on is with a huge group of his friends and is very party-oriented and it’s hard for me not to get jealous.
A big problem is that his phone does not work overseas so the only way for us to talk is for him to send me an email saying that he’s available to Skype, which goes to my Blackberry, and then I rush to a computer. So I’m totally powerless to get in touch with him. I end up getting really upset all the time just waiting to hear from him… which has only even happened once!! I really love him and when we’re together we never have problems and are very happy. But I don’t know what to do! Please help! Should I just wait it out and be miserable for the next month? I don’t want to send him anymore nagging emails about it because he says it makes him feel guilty and I can tell it’s not helping.
What should I do?
— Abandoned in the Eastern Time Zone
Okay, I gotta be honest, I got red flags all up and down my spine reading this. But Tuffy is a suspicious beast, so let’s come back to my concerns.
I can answer the surface part of your problem in two words: Phone date.
He can’t be reached, right? And then you’re totally at his whim?! No way, rosé!!! You guys just need a schedule.
Set times that will fit both your needs. He wants to go out partying with his friends at night? Great! Phone dates can be set for lunch breaks, or for breakfast time, or for whenever. Make sure you set enough phone dates a week so that you feel satisfied (let’s say, at least 4) and not so many that he feels stifled (um, no more than 7, please).
This doesn’t mean you can’t call each other at other times. By all means, if he’s available and feels like talking, he should give a call! But the phone dates are times that you are OBLIGATED to be available to one other. Think of it exactly as you would a regular date. Standing the other person up is really not an option and is actually quite shoopy.
So, phone dates. That’s pretty easy, right?
But Tuffy Luv gots her some concerns, too.
Why has he only called you once? I understand that he’s busy and having fun and all that, but ONCE?! That seems like an awful small number.
I don’t think it’s anything to get alarmed about. But if he puts up resistance to the phone date idea, I’d have a little talk with him if I were you. You’re being so considerate of his feelings. The least he could do is be a little considerate of yours. Still, judging from your letter, I have a feeling he’ll come around. Something tells Aunt Tuffy your boy just got a little caught up in the fun. He just gots to remember–you’re fun too!
Hearts & Skulls,