DEAR KELLY: My boyfriend broke up with me last year right before we left to go to different colleges. I didn’t see it coming and was heartbroken. It kind of ruined my first month and a half of college. I seriously cried every day and almost came home. We started to talk on occasion and I saw he went to a lot of parties and stuff with his fraternity. We hung out over Christmas break, but didn’t do anything but he told me he still had feelings for me and he thought about me every day. He came and spent a weekend with me after Christmas and told me he wanted to get back together just for summer because he misses me so much and can’t imagine being home and us not being together.
I’m so confused what I should do. Do I get back together and have an amazing summer together, then probably break up again or do I stay broken up, miss him all summer, be alone and bored, not have as much fun this summer and be lonely. It so hard. I love him and I know he loves me, but I don’t know how I can handle going through another breakup. It honestly almost broke me. He wants an answer but I don’t know the right one.
DEAR NEED HELP: People often say they wish they had a magic ball that they could see the future to help determine what to do today. It would seem easier today to make decisions if we knew what the future held. In this case, you have that ball. You know what is going to happen. You have already lived it. You know the hurt and the pain the break up caused and how it negatively affected your first college experience. Knowing all this, why subject yourself again to this just simply because you fear being alone and lonely?
Step back and look at the situation. Say you get back together with him, go back to being a happy couple, have fun all summer, frolic and play and then, bam, school starts up again and you are back to square one with all your hurt feelings and painful emotions. Do you really want to start your second year in the same awful place you began your freshman year? Stress is one of the worst things to start a new year off with, so why invite it in by getting back together with your ex? Wouldn’t you rather start the year in a good place emotionally, feel strong and stable, be ready to meet new people and enjoy college? Knowing the end was coming, wouldn’t you dread the end of summer and get upset knowing what you were going to have to go through again? Wouldn’t it be nice to be relaxed all summer knowing that when it’s time to go away, you will be ready and excited.
Fear is never a good reason to get back together. While I hear that you think you still love him, your reasons to get back together seem more fear based. Fear of being alone, lonely, boredom, etc. Why not embrace the fears and make things happen so you don’t feel that way. Reconnect with your girlfriends. Take up a new hobby or try a new sport. Go on a road trip to see friends from college. See a concert. Spend time with your family. Get a job. Volunteer. Do a summer book club with friends that are home. Fill your time with something or someone who won’t break your heart come August.
Tell your ex that you only want to be friends, and not “friends with benefits” either. Stay platonic. When boundaries are crossed, feelings become muddled. Tell him last year was too hard and you have to protect your heart and give yourself a chance to start the new school year off right. If he cares for you, he will be understanding to your needs and respect what you want. Have a fun summer being single and getting ready to enter year two of college in a totally different place that allows you to embrace all the good things college can offer.