Advicereality check

Reality Check

I’m sure you get about a thousand of these every spring, so I’ll be brief. I got into grad school out of state. My boyfriend is going to stay in Athens and work. My friends are going to stay in Athens and work. I am sad. I do not want to go to grad school out of state, but the only grad schools I got into are out of state. I don’t want to leave everybody and be alone in a strange new place (an icky city at that).
Anyway, all my relationships are coming to an end (except for the best friend forever, she and I will Skype), and I don’t know how to get excited about my new life in a new place. I know I’ll mostly be piled under books while everyone is back here getting their townie on, and I’m super jealous. How do I move on?
Future Loner

You obviously applied to the school you are going to because you are really interested in the program, right? So, hopefully this means that you will meet a whole bunch of other people who have the same interest, and it is likely that some of them will also be from other places, and you will probably bond with at least some of them. The nice thing about grad school is that it will keep you busy. And the nice thing about cities (even icky ones) is that there is always plenty to do. Don’t think of it as moving on, FL, think of it as adding on. You are adding on friends and experiences to an already happy and interesting life. You can keep up with your old friends and make new ones, and if you do it right, when grad school is over you will not only be smarter, but also wiser, for having left and lived and experienced what you are about to experience. I know it’s hard to make changes, FL, but most of the best things you do for yourself are hard. Embrace the changes. Enjoy the differences. And if you don’t like them, in the end you know you can always come home. Two years is nothing in the big picture. Good Luck!

I think the Internet is ruining me. I am in a successful relationship. I have moved away from my hometown; I finished school; I got a decent job. For all intents and purposes, life is great. My partner and I are living together, we’re talking marriage, we may buy a house. So, I found myself the other day chatting with friends on Facebook, having a good ole’ time—many of us from home keep in touch this way, and it has been fun. And then I saw a comment from somebody I haven’t seen, heard from or even thought about in years. I mean, literally years. We had a brief fling after college after a long and heated lead up, and it was fun, but we talked about it afterward and neither of us was interested in a relationship. So, we just went back to being friends (minus the tension, which was actually a relief), and, gradually, over time and for no particular reason except that are social spheres changed, stopped ever seeing each other at all.

Now I can’t figure out what’s going on. I saw the comment, and it was like I was thrown back 10 years. I responded by making a joke, and then they responded to me with “Hey! How are you?” Kind of thing. Now we are “friends,†and there have been a few messages exchanged. This person is in a committed relationship also, and there is no indication that they are trying to revisit the fling. It’s just me. And I feel really crappy about it. My partner means the world to me, and I would never hurt any of the people involved in this situation. I have no intention of acting on my sudden lustful thoughts, but I am having a hard time not thinking about it. I had a really vivid dream after the first contact, and now my subconscious is having a field day. Please help me.

Your subconscious is not the boss of you. Tell it to shut the hell up. Keep telling it to shut the hell up. This will eventually pass. It’s spring, and spring brings out the lust-crazy 20-something in everyone. I know this because my dog is almost 11 and he suddenly feels the need to hump everything in sight. Seriously, out of nowhere, he has become a crazy humper. He doesn’t even have testicles, for crying out loud. Plus, there was that full moon recently, and everyone is going crazy. Just ignore it. Maybe limit your Internet usage for a minute, or whatever. This thing will pass. You love your partner, you don’t even know the fling in question anymore, and when you did you both knew it wasn’t right. You are not a bad person, no matter what your subconscious thinks.

Confidential to Looby: You have to be yourself at some point, so you might as well start now. I know that whole first date nonsense is weird, and the Internet makes it even harder, because it is so easy to present your ideal self that suddenly you wonder why you aren’t that self, and then you pretend that you are, but then it gets exhausting. Just let your hair down. In fact, tell her what you told me, and see what she says. I’m sure she would also rather that you just be yourself, so she can see if she actually likes you or just The Best You You Can Be. From what you’ve said, she seems fairly relaxed overall, and I think you might be surprised at how much she can handle. Besides, did it ever occur to you that she might be doing the same thing? End the charade and get on with it. Better to figure it out now than wait six months and then see that you aren’t compatible. Then you’ve just wasted her time and your own.