Richmond Times-Dispatch

One-sided travel puts strain on one partner

- Works for me, thanks.

(Adapted from an online discussion.)

Dear Carolyn:

Myboyfrien­d and I are longdistan­ce. 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 amalways glow-y 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 onmy 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 amless excited aboutmy visits and the drive, tolls, etc. Now what? We are both committed to the relationsh­ip; I want to give it a chance.

— Long-Distance

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

Re: Long Distance:

The point of a visit isn’t the city — it is to spend time with your significan­t other. It sounds like the boyfriend wants it all without effort. (I’m a guy; I’d never do this to somebody I cared about and wanted to see.) — Guy

Thank you, Guy.

Dear Carolyn:

I prefer the room temperatur­e to be a bit lower in winter and higher in the summer than my partner of nine years does, and we’re always tweaking the thermostat.

I prefer 66 to 68 degrees on winter days, wearing long sleeves, and cooler at night, with a comforter to keep warm.

She would have it 70 to 72 degrees day and night, which to me feels too warm and like short-sleeve temperatur­e, and she doesn’t like a heavy comforter at night. In the summer, I prefer 74 to 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

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

 ??  ?? Carolyn
Carolyn Hax

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