Ever wonder what guys think, how to deal with them, or whether instead of listening to you, they just imagine you naked? Our Real Live College Guy Joe will answer all your questions about men and relationships with wit, clarity, grace and physical attractiveness (can you tell he wrote this intro himself?) all while imagining you fully clothed! Well, usually – he is a college guy.
I’ve been in a summer romance for the past couple of months, and I think we have something really special. We’ve gotten pretty serious, pretty quickly – we’ve said the “L” word, and we’ve even joked about marriage. We’ve only been dating exclusively for about two months, though, and soon we’ll be going back to school on opposite sides of the country. He’s been in a long-distance relationship before, and he’s dropped hints that he’d rather not do it again, but I really want to continue our relationship when summer ends. How do I talk to him about it without scaring him off?
— Right Guy, Wrong Timing at Ramapo College
As long as you don’t chain yourself to the airplane as he tries to fly off to school, I don’t think he’ll be scared off by the fact that you want to continue a relationship with him. In fact, he’ll be flattered that you care about him enough to continue a relationship and that you’ve set up an impromptu wedding chapel in your living room so you can just get married right there and run away and become a waitress in Tijuana and…
Just kidding. But the way you sit down and talk to him is simple: sit down and talk to him. Do it in a place that’s special/comfortable/familiar to both of you: a restaurant you eat at all of the time, the first place your dad caught you hooking up, things like that. I wouldn’t do it where you had your first date – that’s a little overly sentimental. The place where you first heard him fart – now that’s a different story.
How to approach the subject: just be honest with how you feel but also be open to his opinions. Say things like, “I personally want to continue this relationship because I really L-word you, but I also don’t want you to feel forced into anything, so tell me how you feel.” Or say, “So do you like the name Jeremy or Elijah for a boy?”
Don’t wait ’til the last minute, either. You may think late August is a long ways away, but it’s not. If you keep putting off this conversation, he’ll be on that plane, and you won’t have had time to get your chains fastened tight enough to the wings. Sit down and have the talk a couple of weeks before he has to go back. That way, it won’t be all fraught with emotion, and you won’t have to do it in Staples while he’s back-to-school shopping. And be prepared to have more State of the Relationship talks in the weeks that follow. It will take time to discover and implement the type of relationship that will work best for you, and even more time to draw up the treaties, sign them in blood, etc.
As you know, there is the chance that he won’t want to have a long-distance relationship, and if that’s the case, I am truly sorry. All I can say is that you should ask the clerk at CVS if you can have a breakup discount on those 15 pints of Ben & Jerry’s.
Honestly, though, if you sit down and have a chat – beginning, as I said, with stating how you feel and showing him a) You’re willing to listen to him and respect his viewpoints until you can get them to align with yours and b) What you really want is to achieve a situation that works best for both of you but first and foremost you you you – then you should be fine.
Best of luck. And remember, like my dad always tells me, “There are more fish in the sea, and in some states, it’s not illegal to fish with dynamite.” Do with that what you will.