Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

High school sweethearts attending different colleges shouldn't continue dating

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for over a year. We dated senior year at different high schools, and now we go to colleges an hour and a half apart. We never really had problems in our relationship, but I have trust issues from past relationships.

I just found out he has been going to the bars now and then and hanging out with a high school friend I absolutely hate. His high school friends were always players and cheated on their girlfriends. He was with these friends at the bars.

I trusted him before but because of these lies I don't. He's tried so hard to fix things but I can't get over any of this and feel like our relationship will never be the same. Should I break up with him? -- Trust Issues

Yes, but not because baby did a bad, bad thing.

Break up because you're not ready for this. You're not strong enough -- yet -- to pull off the high-wire trust act of accepting a lover's autonomy without internalizing every possible negative outcome as your emotional undoing.

--Sponsored Video--

Does it hurt to be cheated on? Lied to, even by omission? Yes, it's devastating.

But it doesn't ruin people, it ruins relationships. (And not always that, but that's for another time.) If your boyfriend's occasional carousing is indeed the beginning of some nefarious end, and if the high school friend is indeed his catalyst, then he's merely on an uglier-than-necessary path to the outcome you've already openly weighed: a breakup.

After which you will be sad and angry -- but only for a while, as long as you let yourself recover and love and trust again, perhaps someone with more integrity.

This last sentence should get an asterisk, yes; you carried trust issues from past relationships into this one. But that simply means you have another good reason to release your boyfriend to his youth while you do some emotional maintenance work.

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