I’m a freshman this year and I left my boyfriend from high school back at home. It’s been a really hard adjustment period because I constantly miss him. He decided against going to college, and sometimes he gets mad at me for going away to school. It really hurts my feelings because I want to be here and to get an education at a good institution, but he makes me feel guilty for not staying close to home. Visiting is really difficult because not only do I live six hours away from Salem, but he works straight through the week, which limits our availability of seeing each other even more. I really care about him, and I want things to work out, but I also hate having this constant feeling of guilt. I don’t know what to do; should I keep trying to work things out, or is it not worth it to continue with our relationship anymore?
Dear Guilty Gabby,
The transition to college is a really difficult and confusing experience, so having someone who continuously makes you feel guilty on top of the stress you are already feeling is definitely not fair to you. Your significant other should always be supportive and should certainly not be tearing you down in any way, especially not while you are doing something to better yourself.
College is not for everyone, of course, but you shouldn’t be penalized or reprimanded for making the decision to go six hours away if you found it to be the best fit for you. Long distance is totally manageable, but both people need to be equally committed in order to make it work. If your boyfriend is being negative towards you, you need to sit down, whether it be through Skype or a simple phone call, and talk about it.
Ignoring an issue and staying quiet does not solve the problem. He may not necessarily be trying to hurt you—his feelings may be validated in his own mind–-but that doesn’t make it okay to bring you down. That being said, it’s important to communicate so that you can figure those things out face to face.
Try explaining to him that you want to be here, and that you still love him, but if he wants to stay in your life as your partner he needs to see reason. If he still guilt trips you and belittles your choice to earn a degree, then I would say adios. Sometimes things from high school are better left there.
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