Dear Annie: I am a senior in high school. I have been dating “Brianna” for 10 months. She graduated last year and attended a community college, but really had no ambition or motivation to be there. We spent last summer together, and I honestly fell head over heels in love with her.
Here’s the problem. I have been accepted to many colleges out of town. It has always been my dream to go away to school. I told Brianna it wouldn’t be fair to either of us to stay together while I am away, but I want us to be together as much as possible until then. Ever since I mentioned this to Brianna, however, things haven’t been the same. We’ve been arguing a lot.
Brianna’s dad left when she was 12, and she’s still crushed by it. She doesn’t get along well with her family and tells me I’m all she has. She says when I go away to school, I’ll be leaving her just like everybody else.
Now I feel nothing but guilt when I think about college. I want us to enjoy our time together as much as possible. I want Brianna to be my date for my senior prom, but I don’t want her to think I’m simply using her. It’s not true. She is the only person I want by my side.
Annie, do you think it’s fair that we’re staying together now even though we’re most likely breaking up when I leave for college? Have I made the right decision? – College Bound and Confused
Dear College Bound: Whether or not to stay together until the end of the summer is up to Brianna, too. If she can handle it, wishing you well, it’s a solid idea, and you can plan to see each other over winter break. But if Brianna feels you are abandoning her, she may try to hold you hostage emotionally, pressuring you to alter your plans. That will only create hard feelings and resentment all around. Talk to Brianna and ask what she wants to do, but be firm about your future. Good luck.