Dear Fox Foxerson,
Any suggestions about how to change a long-term, long distance relationship into a long-term friendship? We first had sex in my apartment in the U.S. early on, continuing the relationship, meeting in different cities, then by phone, text, email…for years, no longer with hope of meeting physically again. He is in Canada and I am in the United States. Although he has had other relationships, I have been faithful. There’s only so much one can do long distance. I feel this arrangement is past its peak. I need to move on, but I really cherish our friendship. He is a rare and good friend. Am I asking too much? Help!
There IS only so much one can do long distance. It seems as though both of you have been giving it the good ol’ college try. Email? How does that work? I could see Zoom, maybe. Anyway, thank you for leaving out explicit details.
You say that he has had other relationships. Perhaps this fact makes your situation less romantic, and more of a friendship with benefits. In that case, I would say that you’re closer to your goal than you think. It is your turn to make the next move. Why don’t you try to date other people—if you want? I think that’s what you mean about moving on. If you are done with the benefits part of your Canadian friendship, he deserves a heads up. You could start by saying, “Remember the time we sexted? It was really neat, but I need more, so I’m going to move on to live-action dating.” You might also list some of his qualities you treasure and reassure him you are committed to keeping him in your life. You could ask him to do the same. It’s important you share an understanding of what your relationship is. So best to ask him where he’s at, too.
You say the Canadian is a rare and good friend. If this is true, and he is not a jealous, possessive ass, he should welcome your stories and support you while you are enjoying yourself in the wide world of dating. But just because a friendship is old does not mean that it is healthy. If you find your guy is actually a jerk, maybe it is time to reassess what benefits you are receiving from those international calls.