Miss Information

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When a poor, sweet, delicate, high-strung little orchid is simply cray-cray.

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Dear Miss Information,

My boyfriend and I have been together a little over a year. We have lived together for four and a half months, and things have been going well. We have our occasional fights, but we always seem to work them out and come out stronger on the other side. Prior to dating me, he was in a five-year relationship. He wasn't happy for the last year and half of said relationship and broke-up with his ex a month before we started dating. (We had been friends for a few months before this.) And sometimes I find myself wondering if I am some rebound that just went on for far too long. 

I have been applying to grad schools in other states and he says he will move with me if I get into one that is in a city with job opportunities for him. I think that's fair to say, but I'm nervous about long-distance. I've been broken up with before because of the long-distance issue, and I feel a little wary that we are headed down that path. I've tried to talk to him about it, but he says, "we will cross that bridge when we come to it." He says he loves me, but I'm just wondering for how long?

I may be the one who is insecure here, and I am quite aware that I have some severe abandonment issues when it comes to guys. (Dead-beat dad and all that jazz.) It would just be nice to have some reassurance and definite answers. I don't want to be blind-sided by a break-up in the fall. Should I keep pressing the issue? Or will that push him away?

—Deadbeat Daddy Distance Drama

Dear DDD Drama,

Honey, when you said you had severe abandonment issues, you weren’t kidding! I cannot fathom how you translate, “Honey, I’ll totally follow you to graduate school as long as it’s somewhere I can get a good job,” into “Ugh, why didn’t I break up with you ages ago, you vile cow,” unless you’re only applying to grad schools in Detroit and Antarctica. Or unless your boyfriend works in an industry like publishing, fashion, or film, where he can only get a job in a tiny handful of cities. Can I tell you what I think? (Why, yes, I can, because you asked me!) I think you’re projecting. I think you’ve been in long distance relationships before and they haven’t gone well, and you don’t want to risk being in another one. 

I think you’re thinking about breaking up with him before you have to risk your relationship getting hard. I think you’re incredibly insecure. You haven’t even heard back from any of your schools, and you have no idea whether he’ll move with you or not. If you get into school somewhere with a relatively vibrant economy, this whole letter might be a moot point. You have already jumped six moves ahead to the anguish of a doomed LDR, and that, my poor, sweet, delicate, high-strung little orchid, is simply cray-cray. 

Your boyfriend is trying to let you know that when he tells you you’ll cross that bridge when you come to it. He sounds sweet! He says he loves you, and nothing you write provides any evidence to the contrary. If anything, it sounds like you’re the one who wants to break up with him and are afraid to admit it to yourself. If that’s the case, cut the man loose and enjoy a little freedom in grad school. If that’s not the case, you need to work on your trust and abandonment issues.

You say you don’t want to be blindsided by a breakup in the fall. Don’t we all wish that! Imagine a world free of heartbreak. It’s a world where I’m out of a job, but it sounds pretty magical nonetheless. But that is not the world we live in, alas. You cannot manhandle a promise out of him that he’ll be devoted to you no matter what before you know whether you’ll even be separate. Is he a psychic? I’m not. Neither he nor I can give you the definite answer you’re looking for, and it’s unfair and unrealistic to expect one. 

I can’t flip to the end and give you relationship spoilers. You’re just going to have to wait and see what happens when you get there. If you’re really worried about a surprise breakup, pushing this issue is a great way to set yourself on a course for a breakup you should be able to see coming. Calm down. Be patient. Maybe see a therapist to work through some of these pernicious daddy/trust/abandonment/self-esteem issues. Take a deep breath and enjoy the page you’re on instead of trying to sneak peeks at what’s coming up five chapters ahead. And hey, good luck with grad school. I hope you get in to the school with the best damn program in your field, even if it is in Detroit or Antarctica. 

Image via New Line Cinema.

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