Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

High school sweethearts attending different colleges shouldn't continue dating

Carolyn Hax on

Seriously. If a ban on certain bars and buddies is the only chance your love has, then your love doesn't have a chance. To commit is to choose each other over an unremitting supply of tempting alternatives.

Accordingly, it's best saved for when people are both emotionally ready to accept the risk -- of loss, of error, of disappointment, of humiliation, of betrayal -- and fortunate enough to meet someone compatible who makes that risk worth taking. Commitments last when a couple's respect and affection for each other negate most of those temptations, and when their maturity and impulse control are sufficient to withstand the rest.

It's okay that you're not there yet, especially so young. Trusting others takes an abundance of trust in your own resilience. But you need to direct your energy toward admitting that to yourself -- not on shortening your boyfriend's leash or badmouthing his friends.

We all have "stuff" in the form of painful memories or experiences that we carry with us. But you admit here that you can't see past your old stuff well enough to manage the new -- so it's time to declutter.

Suggested framework: You can't control what other people do, say, lie about, drink, or with whom. You just can't. So, what change will it take -- in you -- to be mindful of, yet not owned by, such risk?

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Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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