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By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, Published December 21 2011

Annie's Mailbox: Long-distance dating difficult

Dear Annie: A year ago, my girlfriend and I started dating, but this isn’t what you would call a normal relationship. She and I live about 500 hundred miles apart, and only met in July on a trip to Florida.

We connected four years ago in an online chat room of a popular animated web series and sent messages back and forth. Then she found me on Facebook. A few months later, she called, and we texted back and forth and then graduated to instant messaging and then web cam chats. We fell in love, even though we knew the risks and difficulties of having a long-distance relationship.

Recently, I have been pondering the feasibility of our relationship. I don’t want to break up. I want to spend more time with her. But I’m a 20-something with a modest-paying regular job and a part-time weekend job, and I also take classes at a local community college. I find it difficult to save enough money let alone find the time to visit her. Even if she relocated, she would be moving away from her friends and family. Is there any hope for us? – Madly in Love

Dear Madly: Yes, but it requires some difficult choices. You are still young. You haven’t spent much time together, and being with someone in close proximity day after day can change how you feel. Every relationship is a leap of faith. Can she get a job in your area? Can you find one in hers? Would it be better to wait until you are finished with your education? Can you see each other more often if you meet somewhere in the middle? These are things you need to discuss, without pressure or resentment.

Dear Annie: I have a problem with my immediate supervisor. She constantly interrupts me. Last week, she came to my desk and inquired about a personal matter. I was halfway through my first sentence when she interrupted with another question. She went on to interrupt four times in a two-minute period.

I think this behavior is deliberate, and I find I don’t wish to speak to her at all. I prefer to email work questions rather than ask in person. The problem is, she sometimes seeks me out to chat. How can I get her to stop interrupting without creating a breach that will make working with her more difficult than it already is? – Troubled in Tallahassee

Dear Troubled: If she is interrupting you on purpose, it’s a power play. Since she is your supervisor, you should politely tolerate it and communicate via email whenever possible. But it could simply be that your supervisor is easily distracted and doesn’t realize what she’s doing. When she interrupts, simply smile and keep quiet until she is finished, and don’t speak again unless she specifically asks you to “go on.” If she has to do it often enough, it might sink in.

Dear Annie: “Worried Dad in Gary, Ind.” feared for his daughter, who was in an abusive relationship. Two years ago, my daughter was murdered by her abusive husband at the young age of 26. They had been separated for six months, and two days before he killed her, she had asked for a divorce.

My daughter was in this abusive relationship for eight years. We begged her to go to the Domestic Violence Service Center, but she never did. She was over the age of 18, but in hindsight, I wish I had forcibly driven her to the center myself.

All women in abusive relationships need to get help ASAP before they are murdered. We need to have mandatory education in our high schools about abusive dating, as well as bullying. – Mournful Dad in Wilkes Barre, Penn.

Dear Dad: We send our heartfelt condolences and hope your letter will encourage others to get out of these abusive relationships before it’s too late.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.