Relationships, relationships, oh my! Don’t forget to e-mail with your non-relationship questions, too. 

Find the Middle Ground for Happier, Healthier Relations

Dear Igor,
In an earlier column, you had a question from a girl whose mom was calling and writing too much, and it got me thinking about my relationship with my boyfriend. Unfortunately, he is the mother in my relationship. He’s just so clingy, it’s ridiculous. He calls four to five times a day to share inconsequential nothings (when he knows I’m busy), he texts me constantly, and all the time I’m forced to answer, “How are you doing? How are you doing?” I know it’s not a huge deal, and he’s an amazing guy, but I just need some space! 
Too Clingy on Cordoba

Dear Cordoba,
I imagine that one gets into a relationship looking for a little less space between life and loneliness, but independence is important as well. Where is the middle ground? And how does one know when a relationship has gone from cute to cloying? Let’s delve. 

The middle ground can be difficult to find, much like a woman’s clitoris (hint: it’s under the clitoral hood), but don’t let this sad fact dissuade you. Experiment a little bit. One week, make a deal with your boyfriend to have absolutely no contact. Then ask yourself, how did that feel? The next week, don’t let each other out of your sights. Now how did that feel? Finally, spend a week exploring your clitoris. I bet that felt good. 

Absence Does Not Actually Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Dear Igor,
In August, my girlfriend went to study abroad in Spain. Before she left, we had a discussion about our relationship — whether or not to stay together — and we decided that we would. We loved each other, and there was no one else with whom we could imagine ourselves. While she was abroad, we talked frequently on Skype, and I even got a webcam and microphone so we could see each others’ faces. Everything was fine at first, but I could tell that as time went on, our conversations grew shorter and we had less to talk about. Then she came back home, and ever since I’ve had the feeling that she’s changed. I can’t quite describe it, but when I look into her eyes it’s as if a different person is looking back from the one I remember — a person that doesn’t love me anymore. What can I do before I lose her forever? 
Study Abroad Sorrow 

Dear Sorrow,
Everyone reading this, put your hand over your heart and repeat after me: If I or my significant other go abroad, I promise I will break up with them. We will not go on a break. We will not ask or tell each other about who we hooked up with. This is for the betterment of our relationship in the long run. Amen. 

But for serious though, do all that. The problem with the study abroad experience — with regard to relationships, anyway — is that both parties will inevitably change. Think about your first Thanksgiving break in college. When you met back up with all your high school friends, though they were still the same fun people, things were a little different. Why? Because each of you had had new and exciting experiences, which, for the first time, the others weren’t there for, and it created a certain disconnect. Going abroad is much the same. If you don’t want it to destroy your relationship, acknowledge that each of you are different people and work to establish a new relationship, rather than attempting to restart the old one from where you left off.   

And please, for the love of cheese and all that is holey, do not tell your partner about your hookups during your time apart. I get it, your relationship is fantastically strong because both of you are so honest with each other, great. But somehow I doubt your bond will be strengthened by the details of your threesome with Jean-Paul and Giuseppe.