How do you feel about long distance relationships? Or in my case, long distance friendships with someone you happen to be in love with and lost your virginity to?
Last summer, I spent a couple weeks in Scotland and met an amazing, sexy, smart, rugby-playing, bartending, sailing student. We hit it off immediately... and then I went home. We said we'd keep in touch, but I figured we'd stop talking after a couple of weeks.
Now, it's nine months later and we still talk every day. Despite being 3,000 miles apart, we've grown really close. All my friends tell me I need to move on and let him go and despite trying, (we didn't talk all of November and most of December to "do our own thing"), I can't. I really love him.
I'm visiting him at the end of May and staying with him and his family for a week, and then I'm spending a couple weeks traveling Europe with a college tour group. Basically I'm trying to figure out what's gonna happen next. He's graduating in a few weeks and has to work with his parents for the whole summer but doesn't know what he's doing next. He's going back and forth between moving to Ireland, England, Florida, Chicago etc... When I graduate in two years I don't know what I'm doing but part of me would like to just go where he is. I'm a writer/waitress so I can work anywhere and I want to travel anyway.
So yeah, what should I do? How serious is too serious to be with someone I've known for a year but only seen a few times?
Well, let's start with a hypothetical: suppose I were to tell you that you're way too serious about this guy, that loving him is idiotic, and that you're bugnuts crazy to even be considering the possibility that things might work out between you.
Would this be even remotely useful to you? Would it change a single, solitary thing about the way you feel?
Of course not, right? Because you love him! Which is why, instead of giving you a bunch of unhelpful (and completely impossible) directives to stop feeling your feelings, I'm going to tell you to go ahead and be in love with the guy. Give yourself permission. Stop trying to fight it.
And in return, you just have to do me one favor: don't love him to the exclusion of everything else, or to the point of self-delusion. (Which, for the record, I'm assuming isn't the case already—but if these feelings of yours are unrequited, then write back and we'll have a nice, long talk about the importance of not being a crazypants stalker.)
Because it's fine for you to feel this way, and it's fine for you to have the intention of pursuing this relationship—but as I'm sure you know, feelings and intent don't mean it's going to work out. You've got a lot of variables in play here: the question not just of where he'll be after this summer, or of whether you'll join him in two years, but of whether you'll both even still want that. Which, let's be real, you may not. The fact that you both still adore each other after nine months on different continents is a good sign, but it's not a guarantee. Either one of you could find something else, be it a passion, a person, or a professional opportunity, that pushes your relationship out of its place at the top of your list of priorities.
And if you're serious about this, you'll need to be not just okay with that scenario, but open to it. You'll need to stay engaged, curious, and busy. You'll need to let yourself be tempted by other people and other paths. You'll need to not close yourself off to the possibilities, just because they don't line up with what you think you'll want in 2015.
Basically, you'll need to keep your mind open and your fingers crossed, and see what happens.
But if you can do all that? Then lady, you go ahead and love that Scotsman. And while you're at it, tell your friends, with their total buzzkilling lack of romantic imagination, to go pee up a rope. Because unless your feelings for this guy are doing some sort of demonstrable harm to the rest of your life—in that you're neglecting your studies, your friendships, and your social life to spend all your time moaning and pining and planning for him—then you should feel free to go ahead and feel them... at least until you have a compelling reason not to.
Have you ever been in love long-distance? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at email@example.com.
Want more info about how this column works? Click for the Auntie SparkNotes FAQ.