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Seeking Sensibility: Friends, Lovers Or Nothing

Morgan Summers |
October 11, 2013 | 6:23 p.m. PDT


I am in love with a girl I’ve been dating for two years, but she recently moved away for graduate school. Both of us feel that long-distance for an indefinite amount of time would kill our relationship, so we aren't doing it. However, we are still talking often, acting “coupley,” and both of us want to get back together after she finishes her degree. Basically it’s a “delayed relationship.” I've hooked up with other people, but I can’t bear the thought of her with anyone else. I worry that she will find someone else she likes better.

Friends, lovers or nothing. There can only be one. (Free Grunge Textures, Creative Commons)
Friends, lovers or nothing. There can only be one. (Free Grunge Textures, Creative Commons)

Friends, lovers or nothing. There can only be one. 

Okay I didn’t write that line; John Mayer did. But the point remains true, and it’s time you figure this mess out because two years is too damn long to be in relationship limbo. 

You’re either in a relationship or you’re broken up. Make up your mind. Remember that annoying phrase our parents used to use when we didn’t get our way all the time? Something along the lines of, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

Let’s be real: even though you claim that you and your girlfriend aren’t in a relationship, you still totally are. You haven’t severed emotional attachment, you still talk and you still fully intend on planning a future together. 

So really, what you’re actually doing is having an open, long-distance relationship. But the problem is, you don’t like the idea of “open” and you don’t like the idea of “long-distance.”

And what’s worse is you can’t expect to break up, stay friends for two years while preventing each other from hooking up with other people and then pick right back up where you left off.

Life doesn’t work that way, because if it did then a lot more of us would be in seemingly perfect relationships. There’s no easy way out. 

Pick your poison: break up or long-distance

Surely you can’t expect to not see each other for two years, date other people and then go back to the way things were before like nothing happened. While your arrangement sounds nice in theory, there’s a reason why this doesn’t usually work.

Not to mention, this isn’t fair to other people both of you might see during your “delayed relationship.” You can’t just date other people to waste time, only to dump them once your real significant other comes back into the picture. And it might cause irreparable damage to the relationship once you're back together: knowing your girlfriend has been dating other men is bound to give you some insane insecurity complexes, which it seems like you’re already starting to develop.

You’re not okay with this arrangement, and don’t pretend like you are. Friends, lovers or nothing.


"Seeking Sensibility" is a weekly relationship column by Morgan Summers. Going through relationship problems? Just got into a fight with your best friend? Caught in the middle of an awkward situation? Morgan wants to hear about it! Write in with stories or questions and you may be featured in next week’s column.



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