General Question

nromstadt's avatar

Is it worth it to get attached to someone that you know you can't be with?

Asked by nromstadt (626points) April 21st, 2009

This guy and I have been talking, hanging out, and basically dating for a few months. The problem is that not only do we live two and a half hours away, but I am leaving for college at the end of August. At that point, we will be about four hours away and the relationship will most likely have to end. I want to leave with no attachments so that I can get used to being away from home and start out college in the right way-since I’ll be there for six years. To make matters worse, there’s a five year age difference and I basically can’t tell my parents that we’re seeing each other. Up to this point, I’ve been trying to stay as detached as possible, but I’m wondering whether I should just give in and have fun for the next four months. I don’t really want to be hurt and getting over a forced breakup when I first leave. I like him a lot, but don’t know if I’m getting in over my head. Plus, there is so much change going on in my lifewith graduating, starting a new school, and moving four hours from home that I don’t know how I can handle any more big commitments. Any thoughts?

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22 Answers

Facade's avatar

I wouldn’t bother. There seems to be no chance to reach the bottom line. You’ll find another guy :)

James_Mal's avatar

It may be hard to say goodbye. If you do end up becoming very attached to him, then it could be a hard break up. It would constantly be on your mind as well. You would always be thinking of it in the back of your head. It would detract from the enjoyment of the relationship. Or at least that’s what I think. College also will offer many other men that, who knows, you may fall for even harder.

It sounds like a bit of commitment to me. And not really a needed one at this point in your life just yet.

My opinion. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Here’s what: when it’s real love, nothing stands in your way…all you have is ache for each other if it’s long distance – i’ve been there…and you’ll stop at nothing, not distance, not family, not money to be with each other…if it’s not love like that, certainly move on

DrBill's avatar

No, it’s not worth it, but when it is love, true love, we just can’t help ourselves.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

What are you waiting on bluefreedom? Publication?

Bluefreedom's avatar

Answering the question without the details, then no, it probably isn’t worth staying with someone you can’t be with because it would be difficult and possibly painful for both of you to hang onto something that would never come to fruition.

As far as the question’s details are concerned, even though you’ve been dating for a few months, the time distance between both of you appears to be irrelevant because you stated that you want to leave ‘with no attachments’ and that makes it sound like your decision is mostly final.

You talked about a 5 year age difference also and you can’t tell your parents about that. Are your feelings regarding the relationship hindered by what you think might be an unfavorable opinion from your parent’s on this matter? Something to consider.

Additionally, you mentioned that you’ve been trying to stay as detached as possible but speculate on just putting that aside and having fun for the next few months. If that’s the case, it will probably make it that much harder to completely end your relationship when you finally leave for college.

You have a lot of important life events you are facing in your near future and I can imagine it might seem quite stressful and overwhelming. It would be best to carefully think over all possibilities that will benefit you the most and cause the least friction in your current situation.

If you do decide to end the relationship with your partner, please talk to him about it early and honestly and not spring it on him suddenly right before you leave for 6 years. That would be very difficult for anyone to handle or accept. I wish you the very best in finding all the answers that you are looking for.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

I would say that you should probably take whatever action you do very carefully. Now you’re right in thinking that distance relationships are difficult and often don’t last. But they do have the potential too (something to keep in mind). While I’ve had some friends that tried dating old b/f’s or g/f’s after moving to college where they barely lasted a month… I’ve got others who are now married or engaged, or have at least been happily together for some years.

Also, a painful breakup with someone and missing them because you’re greatly attached is an experience you’re going to have to go thru at some point (I’m guessing since you’re in High School you really haven’t experienced it yet). I can’t deny that it IS a very painful experience. But as anyone who’s been thru it can tell you, you will be better for having had it.

I guess what I’m TRYING to say, is if you really like the guy, and you already feel attached to him to some amount, then whats the sense in purposely holding yourself back from being with someone you enjoy spending time with, and making the most of what might be the short few months you have together? If you really like the guy, then that 4 months and the pain of it ending are worth it.

But in the end, it’s really up to you.

hug_of_war's avatar

The thing is, you have to be really committed to make the long distance thing work. I’m in one myself, and if you both aren’t fully, 100% into the idea, it isn’t going to work. So unless you’re in the type of love where there is nothing you wouldn’t do for one another, I think it’s pointless. Which brings me to my real point – do you see yourself getting to that point with him? If you don’t, then you’ll hurt worse by “having fun” because what you’ll really be doing is developing feelings. You are probably not even in a place in your life when you want to be in a serious relationship. So I advise you to seriously slow things down, to avoid them being even worse later.

I also feel if you wait, what’s likely to happen is you’ll be stuck on him while if you halt things now you won’t be adjusting to college at the same time. Usually I’m all for taking a chance in potential relationships, but I think this will just lead to unnecesary heartache.

TaoSan's avatar

the more you suffer
the more it shows you really care
right, yeahheheah…

If it’s love y’all will fin a way.

IBERnineD's avatar

I would enjoy his company over the summer. You should talk to him and say, “I love what we have, but I don’t know if it is something that could work while I am at college, atleast my first semester or two. I don’t want what we have to end, but this is how I feel.” Explain what you said in your question.
I suggest you break it off before school because your first year of college is a formative one, and as someone who had a boyfriend (who lived 3 hours away) my first year of college, I can say without a doubt it wasn’t the best idea. It went really well at first, but he became resentful of the fact that I was willingly attending a school far away, even though I had decided on it before we got together. The school itself became one of the biggest rifts between us.
My roommate was in the same situation her freshman year, her boyfriend coincidentally is 5 years older, they ended up staying together and she is a junior. Although they are together still, they get into screaming fights about where she is going to attend PT school, or grad school. Her boyfriend though is extremely insecure and jealous. I obviously don’t know your guy but if he is secure and mature, he should be able to understand that right now you are at a point of your life that involves lots of growing up and change. He probably went through the same thing when he went to college. If you guys can make it not being together your first semesters, it’s a sure sign that you could be together after wards.

In a nutshell: Your are supposed to enjoy your freshman year and grow. This guy should understand that and be supportive.
I could write a whole lot more details on this, but it would be a novel!

Amoebic's avatar

If you pass up any opportunity with another person because you think it won’t be for the long haul, you’re missing out on the possibility that the other person could teach you something valuable or or enrich your life in a variety of ways.

You’re aware that your time with this person is likely very limited, so do yourselves a favor and keep your expectations realistic and open-ended. Be honest with one another and try not to cling to each-other for familiarity and comfort during this time of many changes – you very well may need a break while you’re away at school.

I think you should do what you feel is best (and I suspect you already know what that is – you’re just looking here to confirm it). Do it as amicably and peaceably as you can. College will be over faster than you know it, and it may be possible for your two paths to cross again.

Darwin's avatar

If by “can’t be with” you mean he is married to someone else, in jail for a life sentence, or something similar, then no, you should not let yourself get attached to someone like that.

Based on your details, I think you can consider the option of a long distance relationship if you want to. My parents met when my dad had a summer job in Virginia. He went back to grad school in New Jersey at the end of the summer, so from then on the romance was conducted by U.S. Mail. They ended up getting married two years later and have stayed that way for 59 years.

And by the time you finish college, that five-year age difference won’t matter anywhere near as much. If that is all that keeps you from being able to tell your parents about the relationship, time will take care of that.

However, you say “I want to leave with no attachments so that I can get used to being away from home and start out college in the right way.” That sounds as if you have already made your decision.

If so, then enjoy your time with him but make no promises, and leave things open-ended. You might find yourself still in touch with him at the end of college and still wanting to be with him. Or you might meet someone else in college who outshines him 100%. Or you might discover that your new career after college is so fulfilling that you want to stay uninvolved with anyone for a few years. Who knows?

TaoSan's avatar


Leaving things “open ended” is a nice way to hurt the other party. Up until now we have only discussed your wants and options, where is he in all that, how does he feel? Guy is being discussed here like a commodity…

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@TaoSan He fully understands the arguments of her needing to have those life experiences, and appreciates everyone’s advice for her. Obviously he hopes that it works out somehow cuz he’s absolutely crazy about her, but would be willing (however sadly) to let her go if she thought she could no longer do it…..

TaoSan's avatar


What a special guy he must be! ;)

Darwin's avatar

Leaving things open ended implies on both parties’ parts. That is, you discuss the situation with him and come to an agreement.

I an not advocating leaving any one hanging or in the dark either one.

TaoSan's avatar


no worries, was getting carried away a bit…

alossforwords's avatar

Love doesn’t always find the way. We don’t always get what we deserve, and life is characterized by a series of losses which help to define us.

That being said, if your expectations are realistic, then you are free to be yourself and have fun. Don’t let a moment pass you by because it is destined to end. All moments end. The only guarantee in life is that we will die. Should that stop us all from living?

lakersfuture's avatar

I don’t think it is a good idea at all! I mean I know it’s hard to leave something or to try and move on when you have such strong feelings for somebody, but in the end your going to be the one hurt. I think that if it is meant to be it will happen… You should never have to wait for another person to show feelings back because all it does when you see yourself with that person is gives you false hope…

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

apparently it’s not….

CMaz's avatar

Not a good idea. I understand love hurts, but not the type of hurt I want to have.

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