Now he’s gone – getting over the high school boyfriend

26 Jan

There are a fair few number of people who enter Yale with a significant other from high school. Most often, these relationships end in failure, complete with tears, stress and heartbreak (well, not all the time – but we can only think of about three successful long-distance relationships that lasted beyond the first few months of college, and we know a lot of people). More likely than not, even if she swears otherwise, even if she visits him every other weekend, the high school relationship is just not going to last beyond sophomore year. We’ve been asked when is she going to be over it?

The short answer to this question is: it depends almost entirely on the girl and relationship in question (sorry, that was completely unhelpful). If she started dating him in fifth grade, she may want to try the single thing for a while and probably isn’t looking to jump back into something right away. If she keeps talking about or mentioning the ex of her own accord – she keeps relaying his opinion on the proper analysis of Kant’s categorical imperative or she constantly recounts stories of the hilarious times they spent together – she’s probably not over him. In that case, the best you can do is be there and show her what a great alternative you are. A month or two of attention might be enough to show her that there are, in fact, great guys in the world a bit closer than UC Berkeley. If the break up with the ex was particularly nasty (i.e. it involved cheating, tearful Skype conversations, or multiple instances of getting back together), she’s going to appreciate that support. Beware, however, of being the rebound. Sometimes rebounds work, and sometimes they don’t. Attention – especially if a girl (or guy, for that matter) has been in a serious long-term relationship – can be addictive, and can make anyone think that they feel more than they do. A month or two is a safe bet, all around. Could be shorter, could be longer. (If it’s a couple of days, she’s looking for a rebound, plain and simple). In college time, a lot can happen in a month.

Now, once she has broken up with that pesky long-distance boyfriend, she has to decide whether to keep in contact with him. If the break up was of the nasty sort, she probably won’t want to keep in touch and will want to hate his memory in peace. If she is keeping in touch however, it’s going to take her longer to move on because their Skype conversations/Facebook chats/constant texting is going to keep him in her life. If that’s the case, she’s definitely not over him.

In the end, everyone becomes more involved in the life here at Yale than in the life he or she left back home. We can only counsel patience.

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