Dear Dr. Neder:

I came across your website as I was searching for “sabotaging relationships”. My "boyfriend" (of 3 intense months) has brought up that term for the third time. We are challenged by distance as he lives about an hour away from me. He works 6 days a week at a very intense job in a huge warehouse where he is lead worker. He is under lots of stress and is very tired. My job is also stressful and tiring and very physical.

This weekend, we had assumed he would come up and spend the night like usual. Last weekend we didn't get along too well because we were both out of sorts and neither of us slept well. Because of this, I didn't feel comfortable with him coming up this weekend (I prefer to sleep alone, and when he is here one of us ends up on the couch and I always lose precious sleep). When I told him this he mentioned "sabotage" again.

I don't feel I am sabotaging anything. I am a solitary person. I don't know why. My dad was always very aloof and uninvolved. I have few friends, but those I have are long term friends. I never see them anymore, because every weekend I am with my boyfriend.

I want to continue to bond with him, but his job rules his life. This guy is my soul mate and I am willing to go the distance, but am not sure what the future holds. I believe we both have what it takes to communicate but is there something I should be doing differently?

I would be willing to go spend a day with him in at his place but I am allergic to his cat and would never be able to sleep successfully at his house. I would like us to live closer together some day, but do not know if I ever want to live under the same roof with another person. He knows that and is okay with it.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you.

So, this guy is your "soul mate"? I don't think you know what a soul mate really is. You've only been together for 3 months - and long-distance at that. Your relationship hasn't even had time to gel yet and get a direction. This is all about posturing right now, but you have some pretty important issues to consider.

The first thing to consider is your loner lifestyle. You need to seriously ask yourself if you're really ready for a relationship right now. My response (should you have asked) would be: no way! You've created a cozy little nest where you live that is safe for one person, not two. Blaming your dad for being undemonstrative and your lack of friends might be a feel-good excuse, but it's not reality. You're not your dad, and you're not your friends. You have made these choices on your own. Likewise, you found someone that is just as unavailable as you are! He works horrendous hours, lives an hour away, etc. This isn't about him being your soul mate as much as him just fitting nicely into your plans of being a loner!

Of course you're not getting any sleep! Right now, you're so busy relieving all the stress of being together without really being together than you spend most of the time banging it out and little time sleeping. When you're not used to someone else in bed with you, every sound and movement wakes you, but that fades pretty quickly - with practice. In fact, long-term couples report difficulty sleeping when they are alone for the same reason - you get used to things.

This long-distance thing is an issue as well. My recommendation is that 1 hour is the outside maximum that a successful relationship can survive, but you both have the problem of heavy, inflexible work schedules on top of it. I want you to go to my website ( and click on "BAM TV". From there, watch the video on LDR's. It'll give you some more perspective.

I think you're going to need to look at the reality of this situation and see it for what it is. Unless a number of changes happen between you two, I don't see this surviving very long. That may ultimately be a good thing however. You need to make some changes in your life to become "relationship ready" (and it appears, so does he) and in the long-run, this might be the first step. For now, I'd just enjoy it for what it is and get whatever you can out of it. When the stress of this becomes too much, it will be a good idea to end it cordially, but with the goal of re-inventing yourself in order to have what you really want. Of course, the first step there is deciding what you really want!

Best regards...
Dr. Dennis W. Neder

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World™" series) and is working on others, hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive.

Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to me by going to: for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's Worldtm" (volumes I and II), and other products visit: Check out the discussion group at: