Boyfriend plans, times breakup

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Go! Sunday - Amy Dick­in­son Read­ers can send email to [email protected]­dick­in­son .com or let­ters to “Ask Amy” P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY, 13068.

Dear Amy: My girl­friend and I are both in our early-20s. We are pur­su­ing our ed­u­ca­tions. She is a great per­son. We’ve dated for over two years now.

I was re­cently of­fered a job half­way across the coun­try in one of my dream cities.

The com­pany is hold­ing this of­fer for me un­til I grad­u­ate in two years.

My girl­friend has flipped-flopped be­tween want­ing to move there with me, and not. I do not want her to come with me if she truly does not want to, be­cause she will re­sent me, and that is not fair to ei­ther of us.

Should I break this off now (be­fore I leave) to ease the pain and ex­plore my op­tions, or should I pro­long break­ing up un­til I leave? Am I chas­ing a love that isn’t re­ally love? — Con­fused Col­lege Kid

Dear Con­fused: You seem to be ask­ing about the proper tim­ing for you to break up with your girl­friend. If you don’t want to be with her, then break up with her. There is no “good” time to do that, al­though sooner is bet­ter than later.

Oth­er­wise, I sug­gest you leave the tim­ing up to her.

The col­lege years rep­re­sent pe­ri­ods of mas­sive tran­si­tion — away from home, into se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ships, into a first job and out into the world. It is tempt­ing to try to ei­ther de­lay all of th­ese big tran­si­tions (by mov­ing into your child­hood bed­room and hid­ing be­neath the cov­ers), or to ac­cel­er­ate th­ese tran­si­tions by map­ping out th­ese mas­sive life choices and try­ing to make all of your de­ci­sions at once. You have two years to fig­ure this out. Take it.

The most chal­leng­ing thing to do is to lean into the uncer­tainty. Do not pre-emp­tively make your girl­friend’s choices by de­cid­ing to break up with her. Many peo­ple re­lo­cate to be near a part­ner, and there are worse rea­sons to choose a post-col­lege land­ing place. The choice should be hers alone.

What she shouldn’t do is try to emo­tion­ally ma­nip­u­late you into re­vers­ing your own plans. If she chooses to move, it will be of her own vo­li­tion, and she will be re­spon­si­ble for her hap­pi­ness. If she blames or re­sents you for a choice she is mak­ing, then she is not quite ready for adult­hood.

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