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Long Distance College Relationship

Question:

I’ve been dating my high school boyfriend for 5 months now. We started dating senior year of high school, and, due to the free time of the second half of senior year, we were able to spend every single day together. In the summer, we would spend hours with each other daily but, 2 weeks before we were both going away on vacation for a month, I suddenly felt so depressed about how our relationship would work during college. I cried every single night before bed and had these panic attacks. Then we had a fight that ended in my complete doubt that our relationship would work. But, I knew I still loved him, and that I overreqcted at the small argument, so I tried to get over my doubts. Unfortunately that week, I turned numb towards him and became almost bored.

Our relationship renewed once again, I went on my vacation. My numbness went away but in place of it came my doubts. Every morning I woke up I would get this awful panic attack about missing him and then wondering if this pain was even worth it. Then, in the daytime, I would feel positive, better about the relationship, but then waves of negativity would randomly hit me, especially during the night, about whether I should stay with him in college. I know I love him a lot and he is a perfect fit for me but I have anxiety about making this relationship work or maybe finding someone else, someone maybe better. The last thing I ever want to do is hurt him because I know how much he loves me. I feel that if I leave him, I would be even more miserable. In the summer I had this dream of making it work through college and that I we could end up dating for a long time but now I am clueless on how to make myself happy.

I feel abnormal and crazy for acting this way.

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Answer:

Judging from what you have written to me  in this post, you are neither crazy or abnormal for feeling very anxious and conflicted about this relationship.

You are about to enter on a new venture in your life. Going away to college is a major step for anyone to take. For most of us, it is filled with anticipatory anxiety. After all, it means leaving home, friends, high school relationships and old boyfriends. While it seems that most of you conflict is about the latter, I am sure that all of these play a role in your feeling agitated.

In most cases, it is best for young high school couples to set one another free with the understanding that they will be friends but will date other people in college. In other words, it’s important to get the most out of college that you can and that means not putting any constraints on who you can be with and who you can date. That is true for both you and your boyfriend. However, it is important to keep in mind that you both can agree that, if after college graduation, you feel the same way about each other and neither one of you has fallen in love with someone else, you can become a couple once again. In some cases, people do reunite after college and in some cases they do not. There is no predicting what will happen. Howver, neither one of you should close your options as you set out for school.

To return to the main point, much of what you are feeling is conflict and anxiety about leaving behind all of the old and familiar things you grew up with. That is normal and understandable. Once in college you need to give yourself time to adjust, begin your studies and make new friends.

Best of luck  to you as you start college.

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