But what about that girlfriend of yours?
Whether you’ve been high school sweethearts for years or are in the latter half of a summer fling, every incoming freshman in a relationship asks themselves the same fundamental question: what the hell do I do now?
The first thing you need to do is sit down and ask yourself what you want. Does that sound selfish? Good. University is about YOU. For many, it’ll be the first time living on your own. You’ll learn a lot about yourself while you enjoy your independence and transition from boy-to-man.
The bottom line is you need to make a decision. Do you want to try and stay together or break-up? Do not (I repeat, DO NOT)decide to discuss the situation with your girlfriend if you’re unsure what you want. If you do, here’s what will happen:
You will share the pros and cons, although they will be ‘censored’. There will be an outpouring of emotions that tug on your heartstrings. You will then decide to stay together because the emotions of the moment have trumped reason and logic.
Do yourself a favour and make your decision in advance of ‘the talk’.
There are two types of guys who attempt the long-distance thing: (a) the guys who mean it; and (b) the ones who say it, but go out and hook up with all the college girls they can find.
To the genuine guys – good luck and God speed. It’s not impossible, but rest assured your conviction will be tested (as will hers). Very few of you will make it past Thanksgiving (known as “The Turkey Dump”) and even fewer will make it through Christmas. If this is what you both decide, just agree to be honest with each other. If things become too strained, it might be best to take some time apart.
To the liars – grow up. Stringing her along is not CAVE worthy. Let her have fun without thinking she’s tied down. It’s the honorable thing to do. Oh, and in case you’re not a fan of the honor story – you don’t want to incur the wrath of a girlfriend who finds out you’ve been cheating. College is a hotbed for gossip and if word gets out that you’re a grease ball, your bed will be cold all winter.
Go It Alone
I think it’s time to interject with my experiences on the matter.
I dated my high school girlfriend for nearly two years by the time I was off to college. I wasn’t lying all those times I told her I loved her and believe me, making the decision to split was not easy. On the eve of frosh week, I decided it would be best to break-up. It wasn’t because I wanted to go hook-up with every girl in sight. I just wanted my independence. I had no idea what to expect from university, but I didn’t want to be in a position where I was worried/thinking about my girlfriend instead of living in the moment.
She can hate you for being a liar, but she can’t hate you for being honest. Sit down and tell her that you still care about her (if you do), and still believe there could be a future for you together (if you do), but you need to go experience this on your own. Most girls think you want to be single so that you can sleep with everyone in frosh week. For some of you, that may be true. But, for most of us, it isn’t. Every girl I met during first week I compared to my ex. In every case, she came out on top.
In reality, I wasn’t focused on ‘hooking up’. It was one of the greatest feelings to be living on my own in a new city, surrounded by friends (both new and old) with no strings holding me to anything.
You Can’t Prevent Change
Throughout your four years of university, you will change. Everyone does. The ability to do what you want, when you want, and with whom you want, allows you to find your true passions. A lot of couples break-up midway through first year (which should come as no surprise). While half of you is embracing change, the other half is holding on to the past. This creates tension. You begin resenting the girl you cared about because you see her as the face of what’s holding you back.
I haven’t spoken to my high school sweetheart in years. We are very different people now and who knows if we’d even get along . Everyone seems to think breaking up is so final, but who’s to say that you won’t rekindle the relationship years down the road?
Right now, the boy inside you cares about this girl. Go your separate ways, find your own path to becoming young men and women, and then see if the man you are loves the woman she is.
Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. But one thing I can guarantee you is that you’ll be fine either way.