Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: I am a senior in college who just accepted a job in Houston. I currently go to school in the Northeast and am dating a med student here. I recognize things really wouldn’t work out long-distance, but am having trouble remaining positive for the time we have left together.
I suppose part of me does want to take a shot at long-distance, even though it’s doubtful that it will work out. It’s fair to say that I’m wrestling with a lot of things over this, and am pretty unsure of what I want. I don’t think he wants to do long-distance, but I also don’t want to hear him say that out loud right now. At the same time, I want to have the conversation immediately. What to do?
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Nothing. Exist in your relationship as it is, then graduate, then move.
If at any point you’re not enjoying the time you spend with him, then break up. If you’re having a great time right up to the day you leave, then leave as scheduled and see how you feel when you get there.
It may seem weird to do this, since the standard way of dealing with a switch to long-distance is to talk beforehand about whether you want to try. But if you think about it, that way is the weird one, because you’re deciding what you want now based on a prediction of how you’ll feel later.
You’re not committed; why not just decide when you actually know how you actually feel, especially given that it will happen within a fixed number of days?
You could get to Houston and — maybe after a brief period where he’s the person you reflexively think to call when you notice X or worry about Y — feel SO happy to be single. He could send you off with zero intention of staying connected long-distance, and even feel liberated himself for a while, then come to recognize there’s a void in his life where you used to be. Who knows, right?
And even if it goes just as you predict, you’re no worse for not having the conversation beforehand. You suspect you’ll miss him more than he misses you, and his and your actions after the move will either confirm or contradict that in their own good time.
So, live in your moment and see where it takes you. It’s hard to do, but if you think of it as a skill worth acquiring, that might give you the incentive you need to hold yourself back from forcing an examination and decision you’re not ready to make.
Dear Carolyn: I am an adult picky eater. I eat about eight foods voluntarily.
If I have to attend an event, I make sure to eat beforehand and not complain. I never ask friends to change restaurants or menus on my account.
However, people cannot stop commenting on this and giving me unsolicited advice. Some bring up the difficulty of finding a partner if I am this picky. How do I deflect these comments? I am tired of defending why I eat what I do.
“If you think eating only five things is hard, imagine being allowed only one conversation topic.”
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