December 18, 2012

Teen Talk: With boyfriend in college, high school junior feels restrained

DEAR KELLY: My boyfriend went away to college this year and I'm a junior in high school.

DEAR KELLY: My boyfriend went away to college this year and I'm a junior in high school.

We used to talk about getting married, the names of our kids, where we wanted to live and stuff like that.

I was so sure he was the one I would marry. Everyone said we were perfect together and that out of everyone they knew, we could make it work

We've seen each other a few times since he left. The last time was really weird and things seemed different. I'm not sure what was different but it was awkward at times and I was glad to say goodbye before he left to go back.

I feel like being with him means I miss on fun things in high school now because I can't do some of the things my single friends do.

Here's the other problem: I feel bad for admitting this, but I always think about a guy who's in my literature class and whom I just met this year. He makes me laugh and I look forward to that class just because of him. We have started to text – first about class assignments and now about other things, but I don't think we've crossed the line at all.

Nothing has happened and I have never cheated on my boyfriend, but the guy in my class jokingly said that if I'm ever single, he's going to take me out. I don't know if it's a joke or if it's serious, but I can't stop thinking about it, and him.

I get butterflies before class and I know it's wrong, but I can't help it.

What do I do? Do I wait to see if things are still awkward with my boyfriend, or do I tell the guy in literature class not to talk to me because he's making things weird between me and my boyfriend? I haven't told my boyfriend anything about the guy in literature class, but I think he knows something is up because he keeps saying that I seem different and I don't act like I once did around him.

He's right, but I don't know how to act anymore and I feel bad for thinking so much about the other guy and wanting to hang out with him. Do I sound like a bad person? Advice please?

– Stressed and Struggling

DEAR STRESSED AND STRUGGLING: You don't sound like a bad person, but if you let things continue down the road they are going, bad things could happen.

If you broke up today, it would be for the right reasons and in the right way. The simple reasons of "We have both moved on and the distance seems too hard" are legitimate, and no one would question you for that. Being open and honest about breaking up because things just aren't the same anymore would be doing it the right way.

You could walk away with your head held high and no bad feelings.

If you continue with Mr. Lit, the flirting will gradually increase and your feelings will become more intense. Odds are you will react on them at some point and possibly do something that will be crossing the line and lead to having some regrets and possibly a lot of guilt.

Be honest and tell your boyfriend it's time to part ways because you are at different stages in your lives. As sad as it may be, it's the best thing to do.

There is nothing wrong with breaking up, but there is something wrong if you cheat on him before you do it.

You are a junior in high school and having a long-distance relationship is very difficult. Expecting yourself to not experience fun things that are a part of high school (dances, sports events and social gatherings) is hard. You shouldn't expect that of yourself. Hanging out with friends, going to dances and on dates are part of high school.

There is nothing wrong with you for wanting these experiences and feeling like you are missing out as you watch others have them. Relationships in high school can be fun, but being single and just dating can give you experiences to build on as you get older.

Your boyfriend knows something is up. Be truthful with him that while you care about him, you don't want to be in a long- distance relationship. Treat him the way you would want to be treated by someone else. Break up with him before you cross the line and he feels betrayed or deceived.

Be cautious about rushing into a new relationship with Mr. Lit. Give yourself time to be single and let go of your past relationship before you start a new one.

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