My boyfriend and I have been dating for 6 months but are going to different colleges. Should we break up before college?

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Answered by: Scott, An Expert in the Advice for Dating Category
When deciding whether or not to break up before college, you have to ask yourself a few questions. How has your relationship been to this point? Is it worth continuing past high school? Have you both dated other people? Are you willing to sacrifice your full college experience for this person?

As someone recently out of high school, you have to realize that mostly all of your interactions with the opposite sex (and obviously there will be exceptions) have happened in your hometown, with people you've spent your entire life around. The odds of your soul mate being the first person you date, or even being from your same hometown, are incredibly slim. Feeling love is an incredible thing, something that a person should feel lucky to have experienced, so it is natural to want to hold onto that. When you are in love, you never want to believe that one day that feeling will go away, or that sometime in the future you may feel differently about the person you're with. However, for two young people who don't know much of the world beyond the place they grew up, it is difficult for either of you to justify any feelings of love you may have, because you simply aren't experienced to know whether or not those feelings are real. So, when thinking about whether or not to break up, you must also think about the following: Where is this relationship going? If the relationship is never going to amount to anything more than dating, then perhaps it would be best to start your new chapter with a clean slate, free of any baggage you have from your home life.

You are never going to meet more people in your life than you will when you first go to college, that is the time to branch out, make new friends, be whoever you want to be. Staying in a committed relationship with a person you are only going to see during school breaks and perhaps during the summer is going to seriously hinder your ability to be socially active. Another thing to consider is, how much effort are you willing to give to a long distance relationship? and would you even be getting the full benefits of being with that person? Trying to maintain a relationship between college campus requires just an extraneous amount of effort. You will be on the phone for hours a day, you will have to coordinate visits, plan your life around that person, and ultimately it will affect your social life. You will be far less concerned with interacting with people around you because of how caught up you will be trying to maintain that long distance relationship.

One of the worst things you can do as a college freshman is to spend more time with your phone or computer than with actual people. So you must ask yourself, is the person you are with now worth all of this time and energy? You do not want to put yourself in a situation where you are planning your life around someone who you never see. Life plans change so rapidly when you are in college, and trying to drag another person along with you during that time is something you may want to avoid.

If you are going to commit so much of your time to someone, don't you think you should get all the benefits of that relationship? Although it may be hard to believe, there are more good looking, smart, funny, cool, interesting people than the one you are dating, and if you look around, you are probably surrounded by them. If you shut yourself off from the network of people around you, you are going to miss out on perhaps someone even better suited for you, with goals and plans similar to yours. Dating someone you rarely see, can't touch or kiss or be around everyday could end up being more of a strain on your life than a positive thing.

This does not mean that long distance relationships never work. Deciding whether or not to break up before college is something that young people have to do every year, and for some it is just too hard of a decision to make. If you truly believe you can't live without the person you are dating, than give it a trial run, and see what happens. No one can make the choice for you, and it is something you both have to agree on and talk about at length. What is most important of all is that you do what is best for you, and ultimately going to make you the happiest.

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