Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Local Versus Long-Distance Dates

Every week, Danny Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: the local versus long-distance dates.

Danny: so obviously the beginning is VERY intense! Which makes me feel sort of optimistic for this letter writer:

like, you have had to make WAY more challenging decisions than this one in the last year. You’ve got this!

Nicole: Oh, 100%. I’m amazed you have your head above water enough to be choosing between two gutsy guys!

Fuck your ex, btw


I think it’s clear that you do not in fact want to be w local guy

Danny: Yes!

Nicole: That doesn’t mean you have to be with Unconventional LDR

but I think we’re all clear local guy is not setting you on fire w love

Danny: and it also doesn’t sound like either one is pushing you for a decision tomorrow

Nicole: Right

Danny: I know you say the DTR feels imminent with one or both of them, but that’s just a conversation

Nicole: It can be “I’m having fun, are you?”

Danny: right!

Nicole: you do not need to hurl yourself back into marriage

I encourage against it

Danny: “I’m not interested in being exclusive, how do you feel about that”


especially because you don’t say whether kids are a factor right now

sorry, I don’t mean to introduce that topic super lightly

I just mean I feel like if you felt like you were in a place of “I already had to make a really painful decision about kids with my last partner and they’re my biggest priority so I feel motivated to pursue someone who wants to have kids pretty soon,” you would have said so

Nicole: Yes, I agree completely

Danny: and that’s sort of the only reason I could think of for wanting to have these conversations right away and very “are you in or out”

Nicole: I think it’s super painful and she can’t imagine having THAT talk

take some time

Danny: yes! take your time, be honest and upfront about what you’re available for and what you aren’t

Nicole: I just care about this poor woman so much

Danny: if that eventually means that hometown guy taps out, that sounds fine; I think he sounds like a nice guy and a fun short-term relationship to remind you what it’s like to be treated well

Nicole: I do not want her to rush anything

Danny: but he is not your next forever relationship

Nicole: right

Danny: right!

Nicole: therapy, as always

you have undergone something so painful

Danny: and I also felt bad about the idea that it’s “having your cake and eating it too” by … having a boyfriend who’s nice to you AND who you’re really into

Nicole: RIGHT

Danny: like, that is not too much to ask of a relationship!

Nicole: You deserve to be loved by someone you love

Danny: that is a good INDUSTRY STANDARD

lots of people are very nice and kind to me but I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with them

Nicole: Right!!

Danny: it’s definitely important, how you feel about the other person, not just how nice they are

Nicole: Everyone in your life should be nice to you!

Danny: Yeah that bit about “do grown women have to decide this sort of thing alone” makes me feel like you’re being a little harder on yourself than you need to

Nicole: Yes.

Danny: this isn’t the season finale of Hart of Dixie where you HAVE to make a choice before the next commercial break

you are allowed to be a little unsure, to take your time, to ask for things you want, to hold out for relationships that don’t feel like you’re settling

Nicole: Absolutely!!!