Awhile ago you wrote about “a certain kind of life”. We’re both 24. We have been together for 5 years, lived together for 3. I love him, and he loves me, and we make each other happy. We go on adventures together, we have 3 day video game binges together, we talk politics and philosophy together and I know that while there’s no such thing as soul mates, he’s still one of the best men I’ll ever have the honor and pleasure to love. Right now we’re cross-country long distance, but I will be moving back to him in 3 years. The issue isn’t the distance, it’s hard, but I’ve had harder. The issue is – am I making the active decision to pursue this relationship past our college years? I’m afraid that we will get 10 years down the line and regret all the other relationships we didn’t have, the time we didn’t spend single. I don’t wan’t to lead that ‘certain kind of life’ that I passively fall into. I never want to wear ugly jeans. Is there a middle-road between a crazy, fun, awesome coketalk lifestyle (which I don’t, and never would have the stamina or personality for…I’m happiest on the slight edge of introversion), and that certain kind of life? Are there many middle roads? How do I get on them? What do I do with this fear of regret? Please help me coquette.
You’ve been together since you were teenagers. Half a damn decade. That’s impressive, but if you want my honest opinion, I think you’re fucking nuts to spend your mid-twenties trapped in a long-term long-distance relationship.
I’m sure your boyfriend is a fantastic guy, but come on, is there even a ring on your finger? Didn’t think so. I’m not suggesting you push for an engagement, but if the two of you aren’t already at that level of commitment after five years, then what the fuck are you getting ready to do for the next three?
You’re going to be on opposite ends of the country for a long damn time, and as much as you don’t want to hear it, the odds of making something like that work are pretty much slim to none.
Like it or not, you’ve stumbled into a major life decision. This long-distance period is a natural border between two distinct phases of your life, and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll recognize that these three years are the perfect time for you to be single.
Seriously, go get it out of your system. You and your boyfriend have an ideal window of time apart and a legitimate excuse to explore. Make plans and promises to get back together in three years, and then get on out there. Date around. Sow some wild oats. Go buckwild.
I know it sounds crazy, but the odds of you getting back together after three years aren’t any worse than the odds of you staying together long-distance, so you might as well give it a shot. It won’t be easy at first, but none of what you’re about to go through is going to be easy.
If you eventually end up together, then it will be for all the right reasons, and you won’t be stuck with any of the resentment or regret that’s already starting to build in your current relationship.
If you don’t end up together, that’s okay too. At least this way, you’ll remember one another fondly.