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High School Sweethearts

So first off I'd like to explain my situation. I am an 18 year old high school senior who currently goes to school in Washington. My girlfriend and I have been together for about a year and a half, and she's also the one I lost my virginity to (I've never slept with anyone else). The first 6 months of the relationship were pretty much perfect, we hung out almost every day and we got along amazingly, we rarely fought. Currently, while it is occasionally as good as our "honeymoon stage" if you will, it is not as perfect on a daily basis (which can be expected, we both have a lot of other stressors like schoolwork, she argues with her parents a lot, etc). But overall, we have a good relationship and we are both very fond of each other, know each other very well, and are generally happy together.

Last year, I discovered my passion for architecture, I decided it would be my future career, and applied and committed to a school in California. I will be attending that school in the fall of this year. This attendance became an arguing point in our relationship this year and we were constantly fighting because we could not come to a decision about whether to break up or stay together in the next year. She said that she wants to try and stay together (she will be staying home and attending community college for the next year or so). Another fact, is that her best friend dated one of my close friends who lives in France for about 6 months while she was in college, and so she has proof that it can work for a long amount of time, even if they live halfway across the world.

I asked a lot of people; my parents, friends, and sister, about what I should do. I received varied answers, from "You will do a lot of changing in college, it's probably best if you two break up so that she doesn't hold you back," to "you should do what you want to do." So about a month ago, I decided that I would try and make it work while I was in college.

The only problem is that now, I'm doubting my decision. There are a lot of things that I want to do in college; join a fraternity, excel in school (my program is particularly challenging), and meet a ton of new people (including girls), and make a lot of new friends. I do not know if I can do this while maintaining a long distance relationship, and be happy.

So that is my dilemma. Should I try and stay with my high school sweetheart? Should I admit that there will be a lot of temptation in college, and that we should break up and reconnect after, even though I have already agreed that I would try and stay with her in college? Something that I do not want to do is to go into college, still dating her, not try and stay in contact, and then call her one day and break up because I feel like the distance is too hard, that does not fit right with my character. That is too easy, and for all the effort we have both put into our relationship, I feel that she deserves a better solution. So what should I do, and what are some possible reasons/effects of this decision?
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134578 tn?1602101550
I had the biggest romance of my life in my first year of college, with the boy I had been dating the summer after high school (we'd known each other quite a while).  He and I are still in touch years later.  But we are not sweethearts and did not wind up getting married.  We broke it off in the spring of our freshman year.  We were changing and had different maturity levels, and just finally he drove me crazy.  

While I think breaking up now on the assumption that you are going to break up later sounds kind of goofy, I do think you're right to notice that the newness of the experience sounds like a lot of fun and a lot of necessary time away from emailing your girlfriend et al.  Talk to her about this.  Best solution would be if she could come to the town where you are going to be in school, but even that, frankly [see my experience above] does not act as a panacea.

I guess I would tell her frankly that you have no idea what the future will hold.  You can say that you will do your best to stay in the relationship, but things can change, especially when one is 18 and leaving home for new experiences.  If she can't handle the ambiguity of that, let her tell you so, but at least you have tried to be honest about your assessment of the situation.
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