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Friday, December 31, 2010

SL Letter of the Day: Soldiering On

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 10:13 AM

So I have been dating a girl for the past five months and things became pretty serious pretty fast. She is 29-years-old with a professional career, and I am a 22-year-old graduating from college in May and heading into the Army as an officer. Things have been going very well, the sex was great, conversation was awesome, we seemed very compatible. I had just visited her family for three days out of state and then she met mine again for the second half of Christmas day. We spent the rest of the weekend together and had dinner together monday night. I slept over and woke up on Tuesday and could tell she was distant, possible in a bad mood, I didn't know, so I just gave her her space.

Six hours later she text messages me saying, "Sorry for acting the way I did this morning, I'm just freaking out." I asked what about and she responded saying, "I'm scared of our future and how serious we have become." She now says she doesn't want to waste her time in a relationship with an expiration date as she feels that she will not be able to handle long distance. I told her that I don't leave for a long time and as time progresses we can figure out what to do. We had talked very briefly about her moving out to wherever I get stationed, but I kind of figured that it's too early to make that decision.

I love this woman more then anyone I have ever been with and she makes me very happy. I don't want to lose her but I don't want to fuck with her head. She said she was going to see a therapist about her relationship issues after the New Year, something she had just mentioned to me. I told her that's a great idea, and I'll be here to help her through anything she's going through and we can figure out our long-term situation as time progresses.

Should I let her go? Or do I try and stick around so we can work it out together?

Older Women Problems


My response after the jump...

•••••••••••••••

It's over.

That's harsh, I realize, particularly as it may not be true. You guys could wind up together. But the odds against that outcome are stacked so high, OWP, that you should operate under the assumption that this relationship is over. That way you'll be braced for the end, if this is indeed the end, or pleasantly surprised, if it isn't.

Tell her you'd like to keep seeing her. Casually. And why not? She's not seeing anyone else right now, you're not interested in seeing anyone else right now, and you're not going into the Army until the end of May. Tell her you just want to hang out and spend time together. No pressure, no expectations, no family. The only commitment you're after is a commitment to enjoy the what's left of winter and the coming spring.

Don't talk about the future and don't—don't, for the love of God, DON'T—revisit the idea of her moving "to wherever [you] get stationed." She's nearly 30, OWP, and she has a career. Suggesting—even in passing, even as just one of several options, even in your sleep—that she should maybe kinda possibly think about dropping everything she's worked so hard for to go and live with you on an Army base to be named later—well, that makes it sound like the sacrifice will be all hers, if she decides to stay with you, which could prompt her to end things now; it also makes you sound presumptuous and insensitive, which could prompt her to end things now.

Give her permission to relax and enjoy the next five months without it having to mean she's committed to figuring out your "long-term situation," OWP, and she may realize, at the end of those five months, that she can't live without you and she'll want to upend her life, or tough out a long-distance thing, so you two can be together.

There's also a possibility that over the course of five low-stakes months she'll realize that you're not right for her—or that you'll realize she's not right for you—and the future will become a big non-issue.

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