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Do long-distance relationships work?

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Dear Rosie,

I am an American female who fell head over heals for a Vincy man. We met on a cruise ship about a year and a half ago. He still works on the ship and we communicate via phone and I was able to visit him when the ship docked in the States which was on Fridays and Mondays. But he has now moved to a different ship across the USA. I have also visited St Vincent twice within this time.{{more}} This man can be so sweet and romantic on one hand and a real jerk on the other hand. Trust me, passion is something Caribbean men have over American men.

My problem is, even though we have a wonderful time together about 80 per cent of the time, the other 20 per cent of the time, the arguments that we have are down right ugly. I do not know if it is a cultural thing, but here in America, if there is something bothering us (women) in a relationship, we want to talk about it. But with this man, you would think I have broken a law. When we do have these arguments, he just compleletly shuts down, meaning he will not answer my calls; if we happen to be visiting, during an argument, he will not talk at all. If he has a problem on the home front, meaning if there is a problem with his elderly mother and caretaker or even other family members, he also completely shuts down with me. If he is at home (St.Vincent), he has gone as far as to turn his phone off for at least a week with no communcation at all. I just do not believe this is acceptable behavior, but I let him off the hook.

I also wonder if he is visiting other women, and uses being upset as an excuse to turn his phone off for a consecutive period of time – a week. This has happened twice.

Do long distance relationships really work? I have no plans to leave America, and as long as his mother is alive, I am sure working on the ship is the only way he can support her. Am I living in a fantasy world, knowing that he does work on a cruise ship and is gone for long periods of time? I know herein lies a trust issue. I know how we met and I guess I think he can meet other women the same way.

Thanks for the advice in advance.

Troubled Heart

Dear Troubled Heart,

You do have a very BIG issue on your hands. Normally I like to look at relationships from the vantage point of half full, but there are some issues here that are very troubling to me.

You seem to be a very smart, perceptive and independent young woman. You also have listed quite clearly the things about the relationship that you aren’t pleased with. First of all, when he is mad he turns off his phone? You, I and any other woman reading this would agree that this isn’t cool. Not only is it rude, it is childish and inconsiderate behavior. He is also doing this because he knows he can get away with it. Don’t put up with this, he should also have to meet you half way when he knows you are upset or you both had a disagreement.

Secondly, I am sure he can be sweet and romantic. I also think it is nice that you had the opportunity to come to SVG to meet his family and see his lifestyle. This means that there must be some sort of connection between both of you. However, it would seem that he separates you from his everyday life. I understand his loyalty to his mother and other family members, but it seems as though he may also have other “interests” as well. His actions really do speak louder than his words. You know there is a saying, “If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck…it’s a DUCK!” I am feeling some Duck activity to be honest with you.

You aren’t moving to St. Vincent and he is still sailing around the world. I think you should keep your options open and not put all your eggs in one basket. You have no children, no pending engagement and many questions about where you stand in this relationship. I think you may need to re-evaluate where everything stands and perhaps let it go. This is your choice to make.

You need someone who would love you and fight just as hard to be with you. This is not an issue of a long distance relationship, as much as it is a breakdown in communication and what seems to be a lack of effort to fix it on his part. Again the ball is in your court. Wishing you the very best in whatever your choice may be.


Send questions to Rosie at: [email protected] or P.O Box 152, Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.