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Flip a Coin

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 8/18/2004

Iím 20 years old and going into my junior year of college. My boyfriend of two years has been living with me for six months. Heís really cool and weíve been pretty happy, but now heís decided he wants to go to grad school in another state. He feels he can get better courses at this other university. He wants me to come with him, but I donít really want to go. Itís not that I couldnít transfer to a different school, because I could, but I really like it where I am. And then, after grad school, he thinks he wants to move across the country to start his career. I know heíd have a tough time finding work in his field here, but Iím not sure I can go that far from my family and friends. I love him a lot and Iím glad he wants me to go, but having to decide what to do is stressing me out. Itís like I have to choose between the man who makes me happy and everything and everyone else I love. The worst thing is that the stress is making it hard to focus on anything else, and Iím getting so irritable that itís making him cranky and weíre just quarreling all the time. How can I make the right decision?

Agonizing Over It


Calm down. Since the only irrevocable decisions are to commit murder or suicide, AOI, as long as you live you can always change your mind. Admittedly, this is more serious than picking a dipping sauce for your McNuggets, but as nobody can predict the future, all this high anxiety, while natural, is futile. Instead, try a more deliberate approach. You already know what your life is like where you are, although it will certainly change when your boyfriend leaves, so do some research on what it might be like to go with him. Make calls; see if you could actually get the courses you want at a new college, how your credits would transfer, etc. Check out the housing situation. At the same time, make a list of all the pros and cons of going. Donít judge, or argue with yourself, just write it all down: everything that scares you, everything that intrigues you. If you need a job, could you get one? When your list is as complete as you can make it, carefully consider and evaluate all the data, choose heads or tails and flip a coin. If youíre disappointed in the result, youíll know the other option is the one you really want.

I think I probably already know the answer to this question in my brain, but the rest of my body canít stop hoping my brain is wrong. Iím 23, and my boyfriend (heís 25) and I have been together for a little over a year. We actually started dating more than two years ago, but a couple of months in he got nervous because he thought I was getting too serious too soon and we split up. I kept hoping heíd call me. He didnít, and I started casually dating another guy, but when I was still thinking about him after several months I broke down and called him. We picked up where we left off, and, like I said, weíve been together since. He told me the first time around that the only woman he would ever love was his high-school sweetheart who broke his heart. He also told me that I shouldnít fall in love with him, that heís not interested in a committed relationship, etc., but when he relaxes and lets his guard down heís so sweet and tender to me (and so passionate when we make love) that itís easy to believe heís just protecting himself emotionally. Iím really crazy about the guy and think if he could just learn to trust me we could make a go of it, but whenever I talk about ďusĒ and ďthe futureĒ in the same sentence he plays deaf and changes the subject. I want to believe that if I just hang in there long enough heíll realize weíre perfect for each other, but although Iím a romantic I know I also have to be realistic. Do you think thereís hope for me?

Wishing And Hoping


Yes, I do. Even though itís so not what you want, WAH, youíre sharp enough to be facing up to the fact that, no matter how precious and endearing he may be at times, no matter how amorously enthusiastic, and no matter how much of your pride youíre willing to swallow to pursue him, when this guy says heís not promising you anything he means it. Thereís always hope for a woman (or a guy) who can do this. It doesnít matter whether this man is protecting his emotions or just his options, he isnít gonna give you a lifetime of happiness, and you know it. The problem is getting your brain to override the rest of your body parts so you can make your escape before you invest any more of your valuable time and emotions on a losing proposition. Keep repeating to yourself over and over, Iím too smart for this; Iím too good for this, and eventually even your heart will be able to let go.

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