Leaving College to Follow Girlfriend?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been with my girlfriend for almost three years and have been going to college together for 2 years. We had a short break a year ago due to some infidelity issues on her part (soon after I caught her I told her about mine as well). We got back together during our winter break at home after about 5 months of not actually being in a relationship (even though we acted 100% like it except when she would go back home and saw this other guy [who was my ex-best friend] about 3 times). We have gotten past this serious fall in our relationship.

She had voiced her unhappiness about college for a good year and a half, and she had been trying to apply to other schools unsuccessfully. This summer she got a job and is no longer going back. I don’t know why months ago when she said we should transfer out I decided that I would stay. At school I don’t hang out with anyone but her. I guess I figured that some time at different scenarios would help her expand her social skills and make friends and give me some time to do the same, because the last thing I want is for her to feel bored of years doing the same old thing.

Now that I’m only two weeks away from leaving back to school which is about 2 hours away, I’m starting to feel depressed. She told me before that she doesn’t think long distance relationships work too well and that I should transfer out too, because there is no reason for me staying. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be extreme and just not go to school. I don’t want to lose her.

It’s been three wonderful years and I love her more than myself or my family. What can I do to help this relationship survive even one semester away in case I decided to transfer to a school back at home? She won’t make any promises. She tells me that we will just have to see how things are once I’m there. She even mentions that there are pretty girls there and I don’t know if she is kidding about me talking to other girls. I need to make this work, I need help. I’m so sad and worried. Please get back to me as soon as possible.

A: You and your girlfriend definitely need a break. What you describe is as much dependency as it is love. Neither of you have other friends or interests. It doesn’t sound like either of you has enthusiasm for your studies or a direction for your life. As painful as it is, give your girlfriend credit for trying to get out of the stuck place you’ve both been in for some time. That took some courage.

If you want this relationship to work out, you both have some growing and growing up to do. The college year is broken up with lots of breaks. Take the time apart to figure out more about yourselves, to develop friendships, and to get involved with your studies and some kind of activity. Use vacations to catch up with each other and to bring new things to the relationship. If you are meant for each other, expanding your world will only enrich what you offer to each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Aug 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Leaving College to Follow Girlfriend?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/08/10/leaving-collge-to-follow-girlfriend/