Q: I’m a senior at Northwest and have been in a relationship for two years. My boyfriend and I are both headed to college in the fall; I’m going to UCLA and he’s going to Florida State, we’ll be so far from each other that we’re not sure if we should continue the relationship. I care about him a lot and don’t want to lose him, but I’m not sure if a long-distance relationship will work while we’re trying to adjust to college life. How should I move forward?
A: You’re not alone, lots of high school relationships have to go through this. Sometimes, it can be hard to “plan” to break up when things are going well. However, staying together and being able to give each other the attention needed in a romantic relationship can be very difficult at a distance. Nicole Beane, a Senior Adolescent Therapist at Kentlands Psychotherapy, recommends starting by having a conversation with your boyfriend and seeing where you each stand. If you both agree that it could work, discuss how future plans and expectations will roll out in order to avoid miscommunication. Sometimes, people will try it out and see what happens naturally. If you both lean towards different wishes, consider your boyfriend’s feelings with empathy because this isn’t an easy discussion for him either. If you want to stay together but your boyfriend doesn’t, try to understand why he feels that way and respect his decision. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about breaking up, try to have a straightforward conversation to avoid hurting your boyfriend in the long run. Either way, it’s important to remember that college is a time for new experiences. If it’s meant to be, you will find your way back to one another with time.