What Happens When A Fling Turns Into A Long-Distance Thing?


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"We just assumed that both of us would move on after she left, but now it’s a year later and neither of us has."
This week, Doc Love, author of "The System,"coaches a reader on a fling he thinks turned intothe real thing.

Hey Doc,

When Mariela was in the country, we dated for a year. I met her at a party at a time in my life when I was still using "The System." We knew that she was due to leave the country, so it was supposed to be a perfect little fling for both of us. And it was great for a while, but then I messed up. I enjoyed hanging out with her too much and she slowly moved into “girlfriend” status. When I realised this, I tried to get out. I said to her a few times, “I don’t think what we have is a good idea.” We would be sad for a few minutes, but then it would be forgotten and we were back together.

Anyway, I started getting deeper and deeper into it with this girl, even though I knew our future was impossible. I couldn’t help it and lost control of the situation. Since Mariela left the country, it’s like my world has been turned upside down. We never actually “broke up.” We just assumed that both of us would move on after she left, but now it’s a year later and neither of us has. We were a great couple forced to make some serious decisions really quickly because of immigration laws, and I just was not in a life position to do that (I’m in my early 20s and marriage seemed about as desirable as having children). So I left it up to the powers of the universe.  

Well, the powers of the universe have given me anything but a straight answer. On the one hand, they have made it extremely difficult for Mariela to visit the country (for various reasons). On the other hand, those same powers have handicapped my ability to meet another girl (my social circle is moving on, growing up, etc.), and I can’t bring myself to get back into "The System" mode and actually close on another girl because Mariela would consider it cheating.

Doc, I need to do something with my life because I’ve just been lingering for the past year. I have a few weeks off before I go back to university and Mariela has a week off from her schedule at the same time. We have one chance to see each other again, and it's up to me. But by going overseas and seeing her, I feel like I’m losing all control of the situation. I’d be staying at her place, in her city, at my own discretion (I can’t even say I’m on a business trip or something). I feel like that violates every rule of “The System.” This is a great girl, and I can’t seem to break up with her. But by going to see her, I feel like I’m going “all in,” and that scares me. Any advice?

Swain - who doesn’t want to live with regrets

Hi Swain,

Let me explain something to you. “Flings” aren’t always the safest things. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Sometimes you fall in love with a fling.” So you did indeed mess up. Your Interest Level shot way up, but Mariela’s not a citizen in your country. Then you tried to get rid of her but couldn’t. Like my cousin General Love says, “Sounds like you’re a real strong guy.” Self-control is one of the main principles in“The System,”and you don’t have any. I suggest you start using “The System” again, my friend. Next Page >>

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