Dear Dr. Love,
March has come, and college acceptances have rolled in. I was so excited to be accepted to my top choice on the east coast! Sadly, my boyfriend got in a less prestigious local school. That means that we won’t be able to see each other after high school. I feel extremely bad about this, because I really thought we were made for each other. I was also accepted at local schools, and I don’t know if I should go to a prestigious university and pursue a future for myself, or stay here and pursue a future with my boyfriend. Please help, I am desperate.
With great concern,
I’ve always said this and I will never get tired of repeating it. A balanced, well-rounded life is key to happiness. As simple as that. What I’d like to know is how he responded to the issue. Was he happy about your acceptance, or was he rather sad because you’ll be going away? If he was happy, then kudos to him, because that is the best possible attitude he can have in this situation. As your partner, he should be happy about your success.
If he was sad from the beginning, then you have it harder. What could be causing his unhappiness may be the fact that you will leave him, and more importantly, that you guys will break up if you go away.
The limitations of long-distance relationships are many, but if your boyfriend is willing to stay with you despite the separation between you two, go for it. To make it work, you’ll need to focus on commitment, perhaps even more than what was required when he was nearby. Gifts, letters and phone conversations will be what your relationship will consist of it you go away.
While relationships require devotion and selflessness, you must not give up your own personal ambitions. I would recommend you attend your dream school, because you will be doing this for yourself, and yourself only. Your boyfriend may not always be part of your life, but your decision to attend a top school will.
With great appreciation,