Dear Mind Over Miles,

Recently my long distance SO went to the doctor for a routine check-up, and the analysis turned out shady. As a result, now he has to undergo more tests because there is a probability that he have cancer.

Even though he does keep me updated, he doesn’t want to talk about it much -let alone how it would affect our relationship if it turns out positive.

Sometimes I feel that my “I-love-you’s” aren’t enough. How can I give him strength from the distance, as I’m unable to be physically by his side now?



Dear E,

It sounds like your SO is going through a hard time and you want to support and reassure him as much as possible. He is fortunate to have support from someone who loves him so much. When we face a crisis and it feels like our world is turned upside down, we look for support and stability in our relationships.

Even though you can’t physically be there for him, you can provide emotional support. More than physical contact, emotional support is the thing that he needs most right now.

It’s great to hear “I love you” and it’s good that you want to reassure him of your love and support. He may hesitate to discuss this in detail because he’s overwhelmed. Facing a potential battle with cancer is very stressful. So don’t pressure him to talk to you before he’s ready.

However, there is something else that you can do. Take a moment to tell him where you stand. Let him know that if he ever wants to talk about how he feels you are ready to listen. Tell him that he is not alone. Remind him that you love him and want to be with him no matter what. So you will never leave and no matter what the diagnosis is, you will be there for him and you will get through it together. He will be able to face this with more confidence if he knows how committed you are to supporting him.