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Relationship Health Message Board

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Re: Situation
Aug 28, 2005
I don't think long distance relationships can work except in a very tiny fraction of cases, usually when the couple has a long history together and the separation is only temporary. But in this case, I think you should definitely end things's already driving you crazy just thinking of spending 4 years :eek: apart from her much more than you'll be in the same area. I dated a guy who I truly loved and envisioned marrying throughout the last two years of high school...we weren't technically together when college started, but after the first semester we decided to get back together and give the LD thing a go. In retrospect it was a mistake...there is definitely a reason why the overwhelming majority of high school sweethearts who try and stay together split for good before the first semester of college is over. People in high school are still very inexperienced and usually immature, living the same lifestyle they've had since childhood and filling the same social roles they've embodied since puberty. In college, being independent and given the chance to mature on their own for the first time, people make great strides toward developing their adult personalities and interests, which in most cases results in their growing apart from those they were close with before they started to mature and grow into adulthood. By the end of college, most people are completely different than they were in high school, and no longer feel well-suited to the people they were so passionately in love with before college. The other reason that I think LD relationships in college are a big mistake is that you end up wishing the most amazing four years of your life away, counting the days until you can sneak in a weekend visit with your loved one (especially because these LD relationships usually aren't completely happy and are suffering from the distance factor, perhaps to the degree where they would no longer survive if the partners were in closer proximity to each other).

College is an amazing opportunity to grow and mature intellectually, personally, and socially, and it's such a shame to see kids miss out on taking full advantage of these wonderful years because they are pining away for a high school sweetheart. Looking back, I really regret not being free to live every day of my college years to the fullest...sitting around wishing my BF was there, wishing away and counting the days until I could see him, and not participating fully in all the social activities and opportunities my college life had to offer was a big mistake. Even worse, deep down I knew that my HS sweetheart was no longer "the one" for me, but I still stayed in the relationship because it was easy, comfortable, and familiar...this took a big toll on my wallet (all the visits and phone bills) and my social life (I passed up a ton of opportunities with hot guys with whom I shared much more in common at that point than I did with my HS boyfriend). I finally broke free of the LD relationship after my sophomore year, and in retrospect, I think I would have been a lot happier, more active, and open to new experiences and opportunities than I was being attached to my HS sweetheart. So it's not just that my relationship didn't work out that makes me think extending HS relationships to college is a bad idea...I just think it's unnecessarily difficult, painful, restrictive, and stunting, on top of the fact that in the vast majority of cases, such relationships don't work out in the end. These are the best years of your life...why waste them tied down and moping around missing someone who you probably won't even be compatible with when (and if) you both embrace the opportunities for intellectual and social development and maturity that college offers. It's so much more fun to be free and unattached in college, open to anything and everything, rather than desperate to spend every available moment with your HS significant other, which I've seen motivate way too many students to turn down amazing opportunities to study abroad, go on cool trips during school vacations, take wonderful research opportunities or internships, etc. To get the fullest benefits from college and ensure that you are as enriched and matured by the opportunities it presents as possible, I think it's a terrible idea to go in attached to someone you'll soon outgrow in all likelihood...and if you don't outgrow them, you have to wonder if that's because your relationship made you closed off to all the chances for emotional, social, and intellectual development your college experience had to offer.

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