My ex-boyfriend and I decided to break up a week before we both left for college. He goes to school on the east coast, and we both thought we would try long distance. However, at the last minute, he changed his mind. I’ve been trying to let college distract me and move on. However, he’s been texting me lately. He’ll tell me he loves me still and then leaves me on read for hours. I really just don’t know what he wants from me and every time I try to ask him he avoids the topic. I still have feelings for him, but at the same time, I feel like I should try to move on. I’m not sure what to do. Please help.
DEAR CONFLICTED ATHENA,
It sounds like you need to assess what you want from your college and relationship experience. Ultimately, you’re here to live your best life before you give energy to anybody else. Your wording is very telling. When you say that “he changed his mind” at the last minute, and that he leaves you “on read for hours”, I think part of you already knows that he is independently moving away from the relationship you once had. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t being honest when he says that he loves you, but it does mean that you should find purpose in yourself and not him. My advice to you would stop asking what he wants from you, and start asking what you want for yourself. If it’s love and companionship that you want, you deserve it from someone who eagerly awaits your texts—not someone who dreads them. If his texts bring you to an uncomfortable place emotionally, perhaps you should create some distance between yourself and him.
LOVE, JANET ASANTE ‘21
I’m deeply in love with my amazing girlfriend! No trouble there. This question isn’t about the relationship exactly, it’s about my own anxieties. I’m a junior, and she’s a sophomore, which means I will be graduating a year before her. I really want to go to grad school, and I also really see a future with her. I hope these two things aren’t incompatible, but--I worry that I’m going to have to move away, and that she might not be able to follow me for whatever reason. I’ve considered staying in/around LA for a year after graduation; I keep telling people it’s because I want a year off from school, which is true, but what I really want is to stay with her for as long as possible. And I can’t help but hope that wherever I get into grad school, it’ll be somewhere she could come with me. Is it ridiculous to make big life decisions based on wanting to stay with your partner? Or is that just what adults do?
SIGNED, PROBABLY OVERTHINKING IT
DEAR PROBABLY OVERTHINKING IT,
Having a very visceral and healthy relationship can be a wonderful experience and is one of the best things life has to offer, so congratulations! I would never make a blanket statement telling you that making big life decisions based on significant others is “ridiculous”, because there is no one-size-fits-all way to navigate life. As an adult, you are free to make whatever decisions work best for you. I have two pieces of advice for you. Firstly, openly communicate with your girlfriend about the possibility of you moving away for grad school and see how she would feel about it. There’s a possibility that she has expectations for the future of your relationship that you haven’t considered. Secondly, my motto is that although sacrifice can be fruitful, do what is in your heart and best for you. Make sure that if you decide to take a year off, that it is because that is what you need for yourself.
Communication with yourself and your partner is key.
Best, Janet Asante ‘21