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nayeight's avatar

Should I visit a guy I'm interested in who lives 12 hours away?

Asked by nayeight (3347points) July 4th, 2009 from iPhone

Okay, details. We were friends in high school but fell out of touch and I haven’t seen him since. He went to college near me but recently graduated and now he’s in Indiana for his phD. For the past two weeks we’ve been messaging each other and we both agree that we have a connection. Yes it’s been about two weeks, no we have not talked on the phone yet. I really like this guy and I am willing to visit him. Here’s the problem, if I want to see him before December (when he’s coming for Christmas) then it would have to be before he starts his doctorate program in August. Yes, I would have to visit him this month if I wanted to see him. Now he’s not a bad guy, he never was and judging from our conversations he’s not. But I have the worst taste in men most of the time and I always do stupid things for guys who end up being a waste of time. I am interested in starting a relationship with this person but I’m a little nervous about the long distance. He’s going to be there for 6 years (sigh) so he’s not going anywhere, it’s just those 4 months he’ll be busy just starting school.

My mother says I shouldn’t be the first one to visit him, he should visit me. My best friend says that if I really want a serious relationship with him and if he’s really worth the 12 hour drive/5 hour flight, then 4–5 months shouldn’t matter. She recommends getting to know him better on the phone, through aim, and video chatting until december.

I really want to see him but deep down, I know they are kind of right. I want to throw my inhibitions out the window and just say “Fuck this overthinking, it’s 2009, I’m going!” but I just don’t know. I know I sound stupid, I haven’t even heard his voice in 5 years. I’m really interested in him, he’s the first guy in months that Ive been about to talk(message) to all day everyday about anything and everything. What do you guys think?

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41 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Normally I would side with your mother, but since he’s from the same place as you, then he will be headed in your direction with some regularity to see family, as his finances and schedule dictates. You were friends in the past, so that makes things a little different than a complete stranger. Grad school is going to lock him into place for long time, so if a relationship is to come of this, you will have to be the one to compromise. If you can get cheaper airfare to Chicago, would he be willing to pick you up there? It’s about 2–1/2 hours from Bloomington.

I’m assuming he’s at IU-Bloomington? It’s a really fun little college town. I say go. Then you’ll have a better idea about what you want to do. Don’t overstay; 3 days should help you figure it out.

nanocat's avatar

I would go once.

laureth's avatar

Part of the whole life experience that people can look back on when they’re old and grey is the crazy stuff they did to meet someone. It’s more than seeing a guy, it’s an adventure!

Yes, if he’s worth waiting for, he’s worth waiting for. On the other hand, if he seems like a good bet (not just out for sex unless that’s also what you want, or going to hurt you, or give you a disease or something, and maybe even be into you after you leave, too), then seeing him earlier won’t hurt anything.

Just remember to take protection, and enjoy being young. ;) And when you’re REALLY OLD, you know, like FORTYsomething, you can look back and say what fun you had back in the day – even if it doesn’t work out and goes nowhere.

hug_of_war's avatar

Normally I would be like go for it. But the thing that immediately grabbed me is “phd student”. He’s going to barely have time for himself, especially the first years, much less for a relationship. I would still go, but don’t get so swept off your feet you forget this fact. When you really want something to work, sometimes we tend to ignore these things and just hope they won’t matter. Don’t forget for a second how insane going for a doctorate is.

nayeight's avatar

Ahh you guys! You’re telling me what I want to hear. My plan was to talk to him on the phone for the next two weeks and if it still feels good, go to see him for 3 days in the last week of July.

I guess now my question is, if I do go, how do I explain to all my friends/family who are against it. My mother is completely against it and “forbids” me to go. I’m 22, so she can bitch all she wants. My best friend will probably be a bit disappointed if I don’t take her advice, she’s the mother-type. She also said what hug_of_war was just saying about him going for his doctorate. She’s been in a similar situation where she took her time to invest in this guy and he dumped her because he was too busy with school.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@nayeight, thinking about yourself objectively, on a scale of 0 -10, how high maintenance are you, and what do have to occupy your time? Are you in school? Going to grad school yourself?

nayeight's avatar

High maintenance? I guess like a 6. I like to get a phone call once or twice a week but I don’t like to be smothered. I’m in school (graduating with a bachelors in December) and I have a part time job. I’m thinking about going to grad school in Savannah next fall.

filmfann's avatar

@nayeight You had me going until you said you’re 22 and your mom can bitch all she wants. That comment turned me around.
Are you still living at home? because your mom still has a measure of control over you if you are.
If she is aware of your poor choices in guys in the past, she may be trying to protect you. Your friends are advising against it too. Does everyone who knows you oppose this? This forum may not be the best place to get advice in this situation. People who know you have the background.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Then definitely go. Think of it as seeing a high school friend in a place where you’ve never been before. If something’s there between you, then it will become a whole lot easier to figure out what to do. What’s he getting his PhD in?

nayeight's avatar

@filmfann My mother is crazy. I think she’s going through something lately because she’s been having these “episodes” of saying no to everything. More than anything I think she’s more against who goes to see who first versus should I go see him too soon. She’s very old fashioned and said that if he sent a plane ticket in the mail, she’d have no problem with. She thinks that the man should do all the advancing. I have best friend who I haven’t gotten in touch with about it yet. One of my closest guy friends told me to visit him in August before I knew about the whole doctorate program schedule thing. And my 16 year old sister is against it because we haven’t talked on the phone yet.

nayeight's avatar

Mathematics. :)

filmfann's avatar

Wow, I think your Mom is really smart. If I could give her lurve, I would.

Judi's avatar

I would go, if you can afford a hotel. You need to have your own place to stay in case it turns out badly.

tinyfaery's avatar

You are getting advice from too many people, which is why I have 1 person in my life whose advice I seek out.

Do you like him?
Do you want to see him?
Will taking the trip to wherever be burdensome in any way?

You are young, unattached, and looking for some fun and adventure with the possibility of more. What the he’ll are you waiting for?

nmguy's avatar

There’s a saying in Spanish for this situation: El amor de lejos es pa’ los pendejos.

filmfann's avatar

Another spanish expression is “Le cogen en conducir-por.” (they fuck you at the drive-thru)

nayeight's avatar

I think I’m going to do it. I still want to think on it for another week though. How soon should I buy my ticket? I’ve never taken a trip anywhere what wasn’t 2–3 hours away by myself before. Or should I drive? 12 hours is a long time.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

That’s too long to drive on your own, unless you take a friend with you.

tinyfaery's avatar

Good lord, woman. You are a woman, right, or are you a girl? You can take a solo trip, you can make decisions for yourself, just be smart about it. If you are scared, then do not go. You might not be ready for such an adult (well, I ran away and lived in the street for a few years when I was 13–15) experience.

filmfann's avatar

Ya, and if you are living at home, and piss off Mom, you can just get kicked out and live somewhere else!

cwilbur's avatar

I don’t think there are any good reasons not to go on the trip at all. If you can afford a hotel, in case you don’t click in person, you’re all set.

Whether you want a long-distance relationship or not is another question altogether. He’s in a Ph.D. program, which will take up all of his available time, and then 20% more. He’ll be in an incredibly high-pressure environment, because saying the wrong thing to the wrong person now can kill his chances of a job interview or of tenure later on in his career.

The question I have asked myself in the past with long-distance relationships is, do I like this guy enough to move for him? If the answer to that is no, then there’s no point in continuing the relationship. If you don’t see a plausible outcome where the two of you are living together, why invest that much emotional energy in it?

chelseababyy's avatar

I think you should. I met my boyfriend online kinda crazy but whatever. He lived in Cali, and I was in Florida at the time. We talked on the phone, online and via webcam for a few months, til we decided we should meet. I flew out to Cali with a round trip plane ticket, for two weeks. We hit it off so incredibly well, I can’t even begin to explain. Anyway, he asked me to stay, and I did.. We’ve been together since January 2008 and everything is amazing! Take your chances, make sure you’ll never regret anything. Maybe it won’t work out, maybe it will. It’s worth giving it a shot.

Jack79's avatar

yes, visit him

nayeight's avatar

Even if we haven’t talked on the phone once yet?

Judi's avatar

call him first and make sure it’s really the same guy you remember! What if he’s just posing! sorry, the mama bear instincts just ascended.

filmfann's avatar

Okay, wait… You haven’t talked on the phone yet? That might be a more sensable next step.

chelseababyy's avatar

Most definitely talk on the phone.

nayeight's avatar

We’ve been talking on the phone everyday so far and we definitely have a connection. I’m going to visit him at the end of the month and I’m staying in a hotel. My mother has decided to “let” me go (haha) but only if I send her a copy of his drivers license and his parents’ phone numbers, which I agreed to. I’m super excited about everything so wish me luck! I’ve also decided not to have sex with him, if we hit it off then we’ll just have to wait until December. sigh

chelseababyy's avatar

@nayeight I’m excited for you.

nayeight's avatar

Thanks chelseababyy!

Clair's avatar

HA! I love your mom with the drivers license thing! HAHA!
You should consider taking someone with you though. That’s a long way to go solo.

chelseababyy's avatar

@nayeight My grandma did something similar to that. Before I went to Cali to meet the guy I was going to see (my current boyfriend of over a year :D ) I was at work, she GOT HIS NUMBER FROM MY ADDRESS BOOK AND CALLED HIM. I didn’t really mind though, plus it made her feel better that I was flying from FL to CA to meet someone I met online.

nayeight's avatar

So here’s the update. I went to Indiana. I left on Saturday and got back on Tuesday. We had lots of fun, I felt like there was al lot of chemistry and I like him a lot. I also LOVE the town he lives in (Bloomington), it was really beautiful and the people there were very nice. We listened to music, watched a movie, talked, ate, went out to a comedy show, went to the county fair, and had lots of sex. All of these things were amazing and I’m thinking my next step should be to establish a relationship. BTW, we are now communicating by phone (mostly), aim, and facebook. Our next step is to start web chatting.

Any pointers on how to have the “I want to be your official girlfriend now” talk?

cwilbur's avatar

I think it’s batshit crazy to declare yourself a girlfriend to someone who lives 12 hours away and that you’ve spent one good weekend with. Especially if you have no prospect of seeing him except once every four months or so, and have no plans to move to where he is.

Do you like him enough to pack up and move to Bloomington for him? If the answer to that is “no,” give up now, because if he’s in a Ph.D. program his choices for the next decade are going to be dictated by his career, and there’s little to no choice he’ll move to you. If the answer to that is “yes,” start making plans to move now, and when you arrive in Bloomington, have the talk then.

filmfann's avatar

Maybe ask him before you have lots of sex…

nayeight's avatar

Wow, thanks for the helpful answers guys…...I really appreciate them. :/

cwilbur's avatar

It’s not the answer you want, but it’s still helpful. Long-distance relationships are a trainwreck waiting to happen. You’re not falling in love with him—because you have very little experience of him to base your feelings on—but with your image of him.

You’re on track for a disaster. Would you rather be warned, or told what you want to hear?

chelseababyy's avatar

@cwilbur Not all long distance relationships are that way.

cwilbur's avatar

@chelseababyy: No, some of them haven’t ended yet, because the people involved are still deluding themselves.

chelseababyy's avatar

@cwilbur Hm. Whatever you think is true then. I know you’re wrong tho :]

Clair's avatar

Only you can decide that. There are so many details left out here that are important to the entire situation.
Not all long distance is a trainwreck as some people say ^^^ But it will be difficult. Think about how serious you are and if it’s worth it. Get your ducks in a row and make sure you know exactly how you feel and how he feels.

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