Dear Straight Talk: Last week I moved seven hours away from my boyfriend of two years. We are at different colleges and agreed to make it work. But I am having my doubts. He was my first and only boyfriend and I’m feeling like I need to branch out and see what life is like. However, he is deeply in love and texting me like every two seconds. Does anyone know how to tell him without hurting him? I can’t even break up in person! What should I do? — Tammi, now in Los Angeles.
Lara, 21, Concord: Completely pain-free breakups are impossible. But unhappiness or cheating hurts worse. If you break up by phone, write a letter also. I broke with my long-distance boyfriend over Skype. He has not forgiven me. Nonetheless, we both deserved more than a lopsided relationship, where one loves more than the other.
Colin, 18, Los Angeles: Be sensitive, but not timid. Start with, “What I’m about to say is as difficult for me as it will be for you.”
Nate, 18, Columbus, Ohio: The world won’t end. College is educational, and falling for new people is part of it. Many of my friends have tried long-distance romances, but none have worked.
Kira, 20, Moraga: A good friend (a junior) is still with her high school love. It CAN work — AND you can and should branch out! I’m not talking about hooking up. Cheating is never OK. But I don’t stop hanging out with guy friends when I have a boyfriend.
Matt, 18, Boston, Mass.: All last year, I dated an amazing girl who I love dearly. Knowing I was moving 2,000 miles away, we had many discussions. Ultimately, we decided to encourage each other to fully experience life. Our decision wasn’t easy, but it took the pressure off. We still talk quite a bit, but there are no restrictions, demands, or prying. I miss her immensely, but we did the right thing.
Katelyn, 17, Azusa: Everyone says listen to your heart, but college hearts today are subject to enormous peer pressure to “see what life is like.” Do you really want to cave in to this feeling to date guys you hardly know? Slow down! In time you’ll know if breaking up is best.
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