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Want To Do Long-Distance? Well, You’re Probably Not Ready

In this week's Hola Papi!, the advice column by writer, Twitterer, and prolific Grindr user John Paul Brammer, a reader writes in with a story that sounds like it was ripped from some movie you saw in a theater once.

An American boy came to his home in Argentina and they fell right into a romantic relationship. However, as he realized that the American would one day have to go back to the US our dear reader pressed ‘eject’ on the relationship.

And now with only a few days left with him in Argentina, he’s confused about everything. So, of course, he’s writing into our Hola Papi who has some words for him.

If you want his advice, just email him at [email protected] with your question. Just be sure to include SPECIFICS, and don’t forget to start out your letter with Hola Papi!

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Hola Papi!

So last year, I started dating an American guy who came to my country to work (I live in Buenos Aires) and it was awesome for a while (I knew he was supposed to be back in the States the next year, so we just tried to go with the flow).

After a few months, we got more serious and became exclusive. We always avoided the elephant in the room: “What will happen after you leave?”

For me, the option of a long distance relationship was off the table because, honestly, even if you try to see each other often, it’s still a miserable situation. I’ve done it before and it made me incredibly unhappy.

Months passed and it was incredible until I started getting very anxious about the fact of him leaving and theidea of just being a part of his adventure in a foreign country. I explained it to him, and we decided to call it off (against his will).

It was very hard for both of us knowing that he was still in town and we were nottogether, so we decided to be friends. It didn’t work out well, because we were constantly jealous and suspicious about what the other one was doing so we were fighting a lot.

I even deleted him on Facebook and blocked him on Instagram for my own mental health’s sake.

Now we are finally getting along a bit better (I’m still jealous about what he might be doing but I have to say, I’m a pro at hiding it by now). I have him back on IG and we speak often but lately, he sort of reads my texts and answers them hours later! How should I handle that? Should I care less, or give him a taste of his own medicine?

He only has a couple more days in town so I don’t know how to handle it properly. I obviously want to be with him, but I really don’t want to hurt afterwards.

P.S. I started dating someone else the past month and I think it’s going in a serious direction! But I still want to be able to say proper goodbyes with my American guy.

This timing sucks!

Signed,

Cry For Me, Argentina

Hi, Argentina!

For starters, let’s get the hard part out of the way. This might sting a bit, so prepárate.

You have no room to be giving him “a taste of his own medicine” for leaving you on read, because you broke up with him. You framed it as “we decided to call it off,” but then immediately clarified: “against his will.”

There is no “we decided against his will.” There is only “I decided” in that situation, and your decision was to break up with him because you, understandably, are not a person who does long-distance relationships. That’s valid! That is a move you can make.

But you can’t tailor his response to you breaking up with him to suit your wants. The slow texting thing is the kind of request you could log with a boyfriend, and he is no longer your boyfriend. The circumstances really do suck. I’m with you there. But that’s what happens when we go with the flow. Sometimes, it goes off a cliff.

So you have nothing to be jealous about. Jealousy can be an involuntary reaction, sure, and I’m sensitive to what you’re feeling. But I think it stems from a sense of unjustified possessiveness over this guy that you need to let go of, which is why I too am in favor of you figuring out how to properly tell him goodbye, even if it’s just to yourself.

Are we clear that we’re on the same team? Good! Because we are. I want you to feel better. That involves you exploring the possibility that you’re being selfish here.

It’s going to be hard while he’s still in town. I’m not going to lie. It sounds like a really sad gay indie movie, probably one that makes liberal use of a sepia camera filter. But saying goodbye can take many forms. I’m not saying block him and completely cut him off with no notice. Expressing yourself and communication would be a good thing here.

But it needs to end in a finite place. Don’t make it the kind of goodbye that creates new loose ends. Tell him openly and honestly how you feel, and wish him well so you can continue with this new guy you’re with. That would be fair to both.

Rip the Band-Aid off, girl! And don’t go searching for him on social media again until the prospect of seeing him with someone else doesn’t bug you so much anymore. Because he deserves someone else. Just like what you’ve got.

Signed,

Papi!


JP Brammer

John Paul Brammer writes the Hola Papi! advice column at INTO. His work has appeared in NBC News, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, and more. He is working on his first novel.

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