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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Serious n00b in need of advice
Letter #: 400174
Category: Dating/Relationship

Original Letter

So, I recently hit it off with this girl... We've known each other for a while now, and we recently admitted to having feelings for each other. The other day we started holding hands and had our first kiss. It's getting sort of serious-ish...

There are a couple problems though... First off, I've never had a legitimate relationship before, so I don't know how to handle one... Second, I've been accepted into the United States Marine Corps, and I go to boot camp in a couple months with an open contract, meaning they're going to send me wherever I'm needed, which means I might never come back here and might never see her again... I'm kind of uncomfortable with starting a relationship that I know won't last, so I don't know what to do.

Do I break it off easy and risk it being super awkward for the next little bit? Do I tell her the risks of me leaving so soon? Do I do nothing and let it all work itself out? I'm really into this girl, and I really want this to work, but I don't know if it can... Any advice?

Elder Response

J-Rad, first, thanks and congratulations for your enlistment into the Marine Corps.  The Marines may rank as the proudest and most elite of the services.  I'm sure you know, J-Rad, that Marine Corps boot camp is probably the most physically and mentally demanding of the services.  Be prepared for a grueling first few months.  I'd also suggest as much road work and weight training as you can find the time for in the weeks before you leave.  It will pay off in allowing you to handle the physical challenges.  

Regarding your new romance, can I assume you've told her about your enlistment?  If not, please do so the next time you're together with her and have some time to talk privately.  J-Rad, two months can be a long time in the life of a young person.  If your girlfriend is happy to be with you over the next few weeks, I don't see why you two can't continue to be a couple.  Your relationship may fade away before you report to duty.  If it does not, you two can decide on the future of your relationship closer to the time of parting.  Since you'll have few leaves after you begin your enlistment, and you'll very possibly be assigned overseas, you may decide to cordially split up, or you may decide to keep in touch via social media and phone contact when you begin your enlistment.  

Whatever happens, please treat the girl with respect and kindness.  Make a decision on the future of your relationship based on careful deliberation.  Don't overthink it, J-Rad.  Make the most of the weeks ahead.  Let the relationship follow its own course.  If you decide to split up with her at some time before you leave, please do so in as gently and as respectfully as possible.  On the other hand, millions of relationships have survived a military separation.  One of life's pleasures is that we rarely know what the future has in store.  Enjoy the adventure.  

Best Regards,

Paul-Dad


    

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