Dear Wayne and Wanda,
My boyfriend has a new job on the Slope and I’m freaking out. He has a pretty high sex drive, like more than any guy I have dated before. I love this about him and our chemistry is great. But what does this mean when we have to spend three weeks apart?
I’m worried he will cheat. He’s said before that he thinks it’s possible to enjoy sex without love. My mind is spinning. Are there women on the Slope? Could there be women in his crew or in his camp? Does he get free time to do fun stuff and is it possible he could date other women while up there?
I'm just really worried about the time apart. Part of me feels like insisting he not go but that seems like I’m overreacting and I know it’s a good job. I think I just need some reassurance that he won’t be surrounded by temptation. Help?
If a person is going to cheat, he or she will cheat; he will do it on vacation, she'll do it on a business trip, and they could even do it right in front of you, under your nose. There are two different issues you’re wrestling with. One is concerns about infidelity, and the other is how to navigate a long-distance relationship.
These are two similar but different dilemmas — different for their scenarios, but similar because the foundation of managing concerns around both boils down to communicating and establishing trust and expectations.
Your boyfriend has a high sex drive? Score! And news flash: This doesn’t necessarily mean he has a propensity for cheating. It may have meant he’s sowed loads of oats in his single days, but you need to trust that he’s committed.
Luckily for you, while the Slope is by no means completely devoid of women, it’s about the last place one would think of when it comes to conjuring images of temptation and opportunity. He will be working long hours, likely alongside crews of mostly or entirely men. So give him so cute pics of yourself for his bedside, plan on some sweet-talking FaceTime sessions, and see how this plays out before you freak out.
Wow, that’s quite the impressive leap you made there! LeBron wishes he had those hops! A seemingly good guy with a seemingly healthy libido in a seemingly solid relationship (lucky you!) will instantly turn into the Insatiable Horndog the moment he crosses the Arctic Circle and is forced to spend a few weeks/days/minutes away from you, all while tempted by the cunning Ice Princesses of the North. Yeah, you might as well break up with him now and save yourself the heartache of hearing how he couldn’t help himself after two days away and had to have sex with someone, anybody, and sadly, you weren’t there so …
Here’s an idea: Worry about yourself instead. Your letter shares more about your insecurity and anxiety than your boyfriend’s trustworthiness. If he’d ever given you a reason to worry about cheating, I assume you would have mentioned it in your note. Instead, you wrote about everything that you want and need to ensure you’ll be OK with him going to make a hard living in a cold, dark, faraway place.
You think he’s going to enjoy being away from his girlfriend, his “normal” life and the comforts of home? Or love working super-hard for ridiculously long hours and painfully long hitches in brutal-at-best conditions? Or have the energy to focus more on scoring than snoring between shifts? Yeah, it’s nothing but a big party on the Slope.
Change like this and distance like that is a tough grind on even the strongest relationship. You aren’t making the first round any easier for yourself or him by letting your mind go wild with some made-up worst-case scenarios. If you’re worried that you can’t make it with him being gone, talk to him — or a friend, or a therapist, or all of the above — about it and leave the make-believe for role playing when he gets back from his first hitch.