Dear Harlan: Since my sophomore year of high school, I’ve been dating the same guy. Everywhere I go, he goes. Everywhere he goes, I go. Two years later and we’re still together. It is senior year, and that means college decisions. We have never been apart, and we have applied to some of the same schools, but not all. Recently, I got the chance to study a semester in London for my freshmen year. I really don’t know what decision to make. Should I travel across the world and experience something totally new with a long-distance relationship, or stay local and be close to him? I have told him about it, but he automatically guides the conversation that we have to go our separate ways and it isn’t going to work out. I really do love him, but I still want to make the best decision for my future.
Dear Debating: I can’t think of a good reason not to go. If the relationship can’t make it for a semester abroad, honestly, it isn’t a strong relationship. Time and distance should teach you how to love each other in a new way. It forces you to find other sources of happiness while you’re apart. You don’t want your sole source of happiness to be someone else. The only requirement for this to work is for both partners to want it to work. If not, it absolutely won’t. Yes, it’s scary, but this is part of growing as a couple and as individuals. The happier you can be apart, the happier you will be together. Whatever you decide, check out the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Read this together. Appreciate how you like to be loved and how your partner likes to be loved. This insight will be incredibly helpful when you are abroad. Life is a big adventure. Experience it all while you can.