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Confusion From A College Long Distance Relationship

Question:

Last year, I started my first year at college. During that time, I had a boyfriend from high school who I had been with for 2 years already. We decided to try a long distance relationship since we loved each and still wanted to be with each other. When I entered college, things were harder than I expected. I became depressed and very lonely, and I had no clue what to do. I broke up with my high school boyfriend and began trying to date other people because I thought it would be easier. It ended up not being easier and I often didn’t feel fulfilled as I did in my high school relationship.

Fast forward to present day, after numerous break ups with him and dating other people (breaking up and hurting them as well), we decided to get back together again. Things are better than they were last year, but I’m still having similar thoughts. I can honestly say I truly love him and when we see each other, I am incredibly happy, but when he’s gone, I’m a different person. I have thoughts of other men occasionally, thoughts about being single, and how tough this is. I feel like leaving the relationship again because it will allow me to find out who I really am and what I want, but at the same time, I feel as if I went through all that last year and at the end, I wanted him back. Is this normal for long distance relationships in college or is there something else that may be causing this?

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Answer:

First, let me assure you that what you are going through is very normal. It’s difficult to make the transition from home ot college. That transition often means leaving old friends, including boyfriends and best friends. In other words, it’s hard to leave home and begin the next stage of life.

In my opinion, it is not the long distance nature of the relationship that is causing you so much confusion. Rather, it’s making that move from home to college and life apart from eveyone from you past life. In fact, anxiety and depression are common and normal reactions to the first and even second year of school. In a way, your impulse to return to your High School sweetheart has more to do with trying to hold on to the past than anything else.

Many people like you and your boyfriend decide to end the relationship during college years and with the understanding that each will pursue other relationships. If, when school is over, they feel the same about each other, they resume their former status. It is my guess that, in most cases, people move on after four years of college because their is so little in common with each other. After all, life changes a lot in four years. Let me add that, just like you, young people want to find out who they are by pursuing new activities and interests, including those that are romantic.

It seems to me that you know what you want, which is to date new people and have a new life but cling to this High School boy because of sadness, and depression about the past. Remaining with him will not help you make the necessary adjustments. It seems to me that it makes sense for you to tough it out while you go through the mourning process of the old relationship so that you can begin anew. Remember, you can always go back to one another in the future.

Best of luck

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