Oceans never listen to us anyways.
February 7, 2012 12:06 AM Subscribe
My SO and I are going to be on different sides of the Atlantic from March to September. Should we break up?
posted by flawsekno to Human Relations (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We're both 20-year-old college juniors. We've been dating for the last 7 months, and have been good to best friends for the last two years. I'm going to be studying abroad in the Middle East (!) during the spring, and my SO's going to be interning in Africa (!) during the summer, which means that we'll see each other once, for about a week in June, between March and September. Do we break up (with the possibility of reconciliation once we're in the same place again), or stay together and try to do long-distance?
Generally, I don't like long-distance relationships. My experience with long-distance relationships, both romantic and platonic, has been they feel like they've been kept in stasis; even the longest emails or phone calls weren't worth a hour spent merely living together. I've valued the correspondences I've had, but ultimately the changes in my relationships have all happened in person. Specifically to this situation, both of us are so young, and we're going to be in entirely new exciting places, with new exciting experiences, and I want to be totally open to them--I don't want to spend a ton of time wishing I was somewhere else, or feel like I'm beholden to someone back home. And I worry that my SO and I don't have a good enough foundation to last transatlantic: while our friendship runs deep, our relationship has moved slowly, which has been good! and what I want! but when I think of us saying "I love you" to each other for the first time over Skype or whatever, a little part of me curls up and dies. We'd be long-distance for about as long as we've been dating. I'm so scared that I won't let myself be changed by this awesome experience abroad because I'm too invested in a relationship back home, and that I'll end up unfairly blaming it on my SO. Obviously that would kill the relationship. And I'd much rather have a clean break than that.
And yet...and yet...I know that breaking up now means accepting the real possibility of never getting back together. I know that both my SO and I can and will meet many others we can love, but this is such a great relationship. I don't want it to end. My SO is truly the best person I know, and inspires me to be kinder and more thoughtful, simply by being around me. I know that I've already changed for the better because of this friendship/relationship. And of course, we're super attracted to each other and, when we see each other, are all over each other all the time. I'm completely in love; my SO hasn't said that back to me yet, but I can tell that they care for me immensely, and that it's getting close. I have no interest in dating anyone else, and I have a hard time believing that I could change so much in six months that I wouldn't want to keep on dating my SO. If we can make the distance work, surely our relationship would be all the stronger for it.
So I'm feeling really conflicted. Part of me thinks that I'm throwing away a wonderful relationship because I'm scared; the other part thinks that I'm just a dumb kid blindly setting myself up for a fall. What do you think we should do?
We've brought this up with each other, but we haven't really discussed it. Neither of us knows what to do. We've agreed to talk about it in a week. I just want to get my own head straight on what I want before then. I'm sorry that this is such a long muddle, and thanks so much for reading and answering.