Dear Thelma: Can I trust my boyfriend in our long-distance relationship?

  • Family
  • Sunday, 09 Jun 2019

This week, we combine three letters on long-distance relationships.

Letter 1:

My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship and we’ve been dating for the past six months. My boyfriend lives abroad and the first few months of our relationship were amazing.

We texted each other very single day and talked for hours every other day despite our busy schedules.

But the thing is, I haven’t heard a word from him and it’s been three months since we spoke.

I texted him last month but he just replied saying he was very tired and he would text me if he found some time, but he never got back to me.

I’m not sure what to do. Both of us have our final exams coming up and I’m not able to concentrate. I really love him and I want him to talk to me.

How do I go about this? What should I do? Please help me.


Letter 2:

I have been in a long-distance relationship for over three years now. My girlfriend and I are from the same country but I had to move to Vietnam with my family because my mum got a job there.

Things were great for the first two years, but then it started to get rocky on the third. She started lying to me about her whereabouts and why her phone was off sometimes. I’d forgive her and take her back.

She said the distance between us was too much for her and although the relationship itself was great, she missed my presence. We’ve only been able to see each other three times since I left in 2015.

Both of us are engaged and so she doesn’t want to end the relationship. This means the only option left is for me to go home before my family and try to make things work.

My only fear is that moving home will only lead to uncovering a lot of other secret affairs and being disappointed further. Please help.


Letter 3:

My partner and I live in the same building now and we have been dating for seven months. However, we are soon going to be in a long-distance relationship.

We are both worried because although there is no problem of trust between us, we will not be able to meet each other as frequently as we do now.

We are not concerned about the physical contact. It’s just that I am worried that some other girl will come between us and similarly he is also worried that a boy will harass me.

We don’t want to live without each other but on the other hand, we are also happy that we are making progress in our lives. I will also go to Australia after three years, once I complete my Bachelor’s degree in India, while he is going now.

The thought of being in a long-distance relationship is terrifying for both of us. I trust my partner very much and he has promised me that nobody would ever come between us.

But how can I be sure that everything will be fine? Kindly help me find out a solution to this problem. 


Relationships depend on intertwining your life with that of your partner’s. When you live separate lives, the connection dwindles. Long-distance relationships are therefore a problem and very often a death knell.

We all know the difficulties, but when circumstances change, we tend to hang on because we have invested in the relationship. It seems awful to throw away a perfectly good partner!

The question is, when do you try to keep it going and when do you draw a line under it? From my own experience, I think you need to ask, “Is this my life partner, the one I will marry?”

If the answer is yes, and you’re setting a date within the next 18 months, then it may be tough but the commitment should see you through it.

If the answer is no, or perhaps in the distant future, then I strongly suggest that you consider moving on because the odds are you won’t make it.

It sounds tough but when the risks are very high that you’re simply putting off a breakup for a year or two, it’s practical advice.

As for the individual letters, here are my thoughts:

For the first girl: my dear, he’s already gone and he was too cowardly to break up with you. Move on, ace those exams, and find someone who deserves you.

For the man in Vietnam: I can’t figure out if you’re engaged to each other or to other people, but I would say this: if you don’t have a basis of trust and mutual understanding, you’re not going to be happy.

You clearly don’t trust her, so there’s very little point in continuing the relationship.

For the apartment kids: the problem of distance is compounded by the fact that you’re very young. Also, with respect, you two don’t trust each other. If you did, you wouldn’t be focusing all that energy on the question of being faithful.

Celebrate your happy seven months and kiss him goodbye. Focus on getting your degree and when that’s done, you have another massive move to Australia.

By the time you’ve done all that, you will be a very different person than you are today. At that point, think about what you want from a relationship and look for a life partner who will suit the grown-up you.

Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Thelma is here to help.  Email or write to Dear Thelma, c/o StarLifestyle, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Please include your full name and address, and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

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