Carolyn Hax: One way or the other, it’s time to say, ‘Hit the road, Jack’

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Adapted from an online discussion.


Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I are long-distance. He lives in the nicer apartment and more exciting city, so nine times out of 10 — about once every two weeks — I drive five hours each way to visit him.

I am always glowy and happy about these visits, so it’s taken me months to realize I’m spending a fortune on gas and going to work exhausted after each return trip, not to mention falling behind on my housework and forgoing a social life at home.

I mentioned this to my boyfriend, never dreaming his response would be anything other than, “Oops! We’ll start splitting the visits.” Instead he launched into a campaign about why his city is better, and it’s clear he has no intention of visiting ME more than every four to six months.

Suddenly I am less excited about my upcoming visit and the drive, tolls, etc. Now what? We are both committed to the relationship; I want to give it a chance.

— Long-Distance

Long-Distance: Why? He just totally dismissed your effort and hardship, and prioritized his own fun and convenience. He sounds like a terrible long-term investment.


Re: Long Distance: The point of the visit isn’t the city, it is to spend time with your significant other. It sounds like the boyfriend wants it all without effort. P.S. I’m a guy, I would never do this to somebody I cared about and wanted to see.

— Guy

Guy: Thank you, Guy.


Dear Carolyn: I prefer the room temperature to be a bit cooler in winter and warmer in the summer than my partner of nine years does, and we’re always tweaking the thermostat. I prefer 66-68 degrees on winter days, wearing long sleeves, and cooler at night, with a comforter to keep warm. She would have it 70-72 degrees day and night, which to me feels too warm and like short-sleeve shirt temperature, and she doesn’t like a heavy comforter at night. In the summer I prefer 74-76 in the day and she likes 72, which to me feels chilly.

I realize we have different comfort levels and neither one is good or bad, though mine is more resource- and environmentally friendly. One doesn’t necessarily have the right to tell the other what the setting ought to be. How do we settle this?

— Bill

Bill: You choose the temperature that allows you both to be comfortable without taking uncomfortable measures.

For example: If you’re comfortable at 67 wearing a sweater, but she needs two sweaters at that temperature, then you turn up the heat, because asking someone to wear two sweaters is a doink move. You set the thermostat at the one-sweater mark for her, and you just wear less.

At night, nothing so hot you can’t sleep.

Or you just pick the middle temp between your two preferences and manage it, because that’s what adults do. So, 69 degrees 24-7 winter, and 73 summer, and we all take a moment to express gratitude we don’t still live in caves.


Re: Temperature: Experiment with each having your own blanket, since you have different temperature AND weight preferences.

— Anonymous

Anonymous: Works for me, thanks.

Write to Carolyn Hax at [email protected]. Get her column delivered to your inbox each morning at wapo.st/haxpost.

Source: WP