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Tell Me About It: Time for the ‘next-level’ relationship talk

By Carolyn Hax, Washington Post

Time for the Ďnext-levelí relationship talk

After three months of dating, my boyfriend got a job in another city. Itís less than three hours away and we have been doing the middle-distance thing for about four months.

At first the distance wasnít that big of a deal, but lately itís been very hard.

I feel like after seven months itís time to talk about when we can close the distance.

But how do I start this conversation? He tends to be a little defensive when we talk about "feelings" and has trouble expressing himself.

In a Middle-Distance Relationship

A: Just start it. If you canít talk without first achieving the exact planetary alignment necessary to avoid triggering his defenses, then this thing is toast. Or should be.

There are a whole lot of variations in what people want in a relationship and what works for them and how they define "too soon," but if you know you have to tiptoe around important subjects and you choose to stay anyway, then youíve introduced a layer of effort and stress that will only get thicker and heavier over time.

So, talk.

Acknowledge ex-friendís engagement

Q: My childhood best friend got engaged. Weíre in our early 20s, but have not been friends for a few years after a falling out. Though we eventually had a peaceful discussion about the situation(s), I donít see us resuming a close friendship in the near future.

I still miss her sometimes. Would it be appropriate to send her a card or small token to congratulate her on her engagement? Iíd like to send something more personal than a text. Iím not expecting an invitation to the wedding.

Not-Best-Friend-Anymore

A: A note would be the most personal, though you send one at the risk of her seeing it as a bid for an invitation.