Advice Column, February 11, 2011

By: Jake Bennett and Tavi Sanders. Published: February 11, 2011.

My girlfriend and I are both going to graduate in the spring. She plans on moving to New York this summer. I love her deeply, but I’ve been offered a lucrative internship in St. Louis that could net me a prestigious job. I’m conflicted. If I followed her, there’s no guarantee that I’d get a job, but if I stayed and accepted the internship, I’d be away from her. What should I do?

Guy Speak: I’ve actually been in a similar situation. It’s very difficult to choose between your relationships and your education/career. Ask yourself these questions: How strong is your relationship? Are you considering the internship because you want it or are you considering it because you think it’s what you need? If you ask me, it would be less likely that you would find a woman like the one you’re seeing now (I’m assuming she’s pretty great) than it would be to find a job. It depends on what you value more. Also, the relationship may be strong enough to last the distance. It all depends on the faith you have in each other, and the ambitions you have for the relationship. Talk to her about where you want it to go with the relationship in the long run. Since you are both moving forward in your lives, it is important to communicate to each other what you want. I read a quote once that went something like this. “The best way to make a decision between two things you want is to flip a coin, because in the moment the coin is in the air, you know which one you really want. Just something to think about.

Girl Talk: Your girlfriend obviously knows what she wants to do after graduation and so should you! You can not allow anyone to dictate your life and your choices. Love is an intangible bond. You do not need to be with her physically to continue your relationship. Opportunity does not constantly present itself. It sounds as though this internship could be crucial to your future endeavors. Sure, the both of you will have some adjusting to do, but look at it as an investment. With recent advancements in technology, this is the best time to have a long-distant relationship. You can stay connected not only by phone but text, Facebook, and Yahoo messenger. These are just a few of the ways to stay connected. Stop focusing on your relationship and start planning your future. Trust me, it will all fall into order.

I adore my boyfriend, but our political differences are putting a real strain on our relationship. We’re at complete opposite sides of the political spectrum and while that hasn’t been much of a problem before, we’ve lately been in engaged in constant debates about current events that leave both of us angry. Do you think it’s something that we can work out or should my next boyfriend be someone whose beliefs are more compatible with mine?

Guy Speak: If political views are important to you, then yes. You should never force yourself into an unhappy situation when it comes to relationships. However, as long as both of you keep an open mind and agree to disagree, there shouldn’t be a problem. If your relationship seems to be threatened by opposing political beliefs, perhaps there is something else wrong. If there is a deeper problem, maybe it is just finding its way out in the form of a political debate. Communication is crucial here. You and your boyfriend need to understand each others beliefs. I am not saying adopt them as your own, but it will help you agree to disagree and move on if you can understand each others thought processes on the particular issues. Like I said before though, if it is not something you think you can live with for a long time, then maybe it is time to move on.

Girl Talk: I believe that any differences can be worked out if both parties are willing to work it out. Your debates are good! That means that you both are communicating, despite your differences. The main thing to remember is to respect each others opinion although it’s not the same as yours. It’s a good thing that everyone doesn’t have the same views because we would have a pretty boring life. Outside of your political differences, I’m sure you have a working relationship. I suggest you gravitate to the more positive aspects of the relationship and avoid the political debates. Save that for your colleagues who could appreciate the debates much better. Debate shouldn’t be a constant occurrence in a relationship. If it doesn’t work out, ask potential boyfriends up front about their political views.

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