It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss manipulative ex-girlfriends and when is it too young to settle down.
I have been dating my boyfriend since I was 18 (now I am 23). We only had a brief period in college where we broke up, but I pretty much feel I’ve been married since the beginning of college. After our break up, I always questioned getting back together with him since I enjoyed the single life so much. I fell back in love with him, but then I graduated in 2010, got a job out of state, and waited for him to graduate to come to me. Well, he actually got a job in our hometown, and I quit my job a few months ago and moved back. I had such cold feet before my move. It’s only been in the last month that I’ve started feeling good about moving here. I have been working a temporary job, and I may get a full time job, but I am afraid to take it thinking I could be stuck here for many more years than I want. I do love my boyfriend, but I feel I haven’t established my career yet, and I long to live in a big city doing so. Is the sacrifice worth it? — Homeward Stuck
I can’t answer that question for you, but I can tell you that it’s much, much easier to put off commitment for a few years until you feel ready than it is to undo commitment when you realize you weren’t. If it were me, and I were on the fence at a fork in the road, wondering where the path less traveled might lead, I’d travel it for a bit before deciding which direction was right for me.
My girlfriend of three years broke up with me on Valentine’s Day after kissing another guy while I was away for work. She said she was totally drunk and it meant nothing, but it made her realize she needs some time to herself to get over all our fights. She says she doesn’t know when but that she does want to end up with me. When I don’t talk to her, she texts me telling me she misses me and loves me, yet she’s still going out every night, and from the looks of it is heavily flirting with other men. I’m pretty confused. She is 22 years old and a university student, and I’m 24 years old and work full time. — Torn over Her
MOA. She’s being manipulative and you’re falling into her trap. If she wants to be single and needs some time away from you, let her go and cease all communication with her so she knows what life without you is truly like.
I’m in a serious and very committed relationship with my boyfriend of a little more than a year. He’s wonderful! He never fails to tell me how beautiful I am, how much he loves me, and how happy he is to be with me. I feel the exact same way about him. I’ve never been happier. I’m 21 and I’ve had two serious relationships prior to this that I knew wouldn’t last. He’s 25 and has had several serious relationships and much more sexual experience than I have. We plan on moving in together after I graduate from school in May and we’ve discussed getting engaged and married in the next year or two. The only problem is that everyone is telling me I should finish school and live on my own and not settle down so young. I’m hearing this so much that I’m starting to second-guess myself. However, I’m a realist and I know that as fun as it sounds to be single, sexy and carefree in a new city, it’s more likely going to be full of weird dates and one-night stands with creeps who may or may not have chlamydia. Besides, I’m in love with my boyfriend and I can’t imagine life without him. Another option is to move to his city but get my own apartment, but that would be silly because we’d just be over at each other’s place every night anyway. Am I a fool to want to settle down so young? Should I break up with him so I have a chance to experience life on my own? — Young and In Love
First, finish school. Second, get your own place for at least a year after you graduate. If you’re going to be with this guy for the rest of your life, there’s no rush on starting forever, and the time you take to finish your degree and live on your own for a bit will be wisely spent.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.