Ask A Princess, Vol. 4

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Dear Princess,

I’m a recently-turned 24 year old who’s been with her boyfriend for 3-and-a-half years. We’ve been madly in love, our lives entirely centered around each other. I even moved half way across the country with him after we graduated. Although I used to never question our relationship, things are starting to change. I’m wondering what it would be like to be with other people, to be a single twenty-something (side note: he’s the only guy I’ve slept with). I’m realizing that I’ve got plans for myself that don’t necessarily involve him (jobs in other cities, grad school) and our relationship seems like it’s the thing holding me back. We’ve talked about these things, so at least communication is open. Nevertheless, we haven’t changed anything in our relationship and things are slowly starting to stagnate. So, my question is: Is it worth ending a (seemingly good- I wouldn’t know otherwise) relationship to have new experiences and a sense of freedom? What makes this more intense is that he has committed himself to me forever, and I don’t think I’m in a place to think about forever.


Listen to this question. Listen to yourself. Why are you asking this question? It’s clear by the way you’ve chosen to phrase everything that you are one foot out the door already, and just looking for a way to justify/allegiate the guilt. I get it — we’ve all been there. Breaking up with someone, making a change, doing something that is going to hurt someone you love — someone who wants to be with you forever — is tough. But you are the biggest asshole in the world if you know that someone has the intentions of being with you for the rest of their lives, and you do not share that intention, and you keep them hanging on. You owe it to your boyfriend to let him go out and find someone who will share his love and his future, and you owe it to yourself to do all the sweet, sweet things you want to do as a single twenty-something.

You wanna see what other guys are like in bed? You wanna travel around Europe and get pick-pocketed in Prague and have it, like, totally change your life? You wanna spend a Tuesday night out drinking until 4 in the morning and not have to worry about someone asking you where the hell you were? All these things and more can be yours, you just have to suck it up and break the bad news to your boyfriend. The longer you wait, the worse it will be. Do both of yourselves a favor, rip the band-aid off.

Dear Princess,

I have been in a bit of a rut this past few months. Mostly because I have no idea what to do with my life. I love my friends but it feels like they are moving on with their life and I’m still stuck in the same place. When I told my dad that I wasn’t happy he suggested taking a semester off and go to Paris. The thing is, as much as I love the idea of a change, it’s very scary. I don’t make friends easily and I’m afraid that if I go I will just feel very lonely. Any tips to make my next semester not suck?

Socially awkward

Your life is doomed to suck forever and ever (and ever) if you do not decide — right now — that you’re going to take a risk now and again. Clearly you know you have a hard time making change or doing something new, but you also know that you’re not happy with your life and feel like everyone else is getting to live these awesome adventures while you are at home being anxious over whether you want wheat or white bread on your sandwich. This is true — the rest of us spend most of our time cliff diving and rescuing tigers in Indonesia. You’re really missing out. So you need to get over your fear and just get out there and DO stuff. For example, with your trip to Paris, even outside of your work or studies, there are so many meet-up groups for everything from ex-pats to kite hobbyists, and if you want to meet new people in a low-pressure environment, there are few better places to go than that. Paris is a city of incredible opportunities and wonderful people. It’s up to you, though, to make the most of them. But we live in 2012! We have the internet! Look up what’s going on in your area and go out and do it. You’re not going to sit in your apartment and have a job, an awesome social life, and a purpose for your future just burst in through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man. You have to actually go get it.

And if all else fails, when you’re in Paris, send me an email. I’ll get you drunk on Absinthe and all your problems will magically melt away.

Dear Princess,

During the first semester of school this year I fell head over heels for a girl who happened to be in several of my classes, we dated for a few weeks and spent a LOT of time together(we had both recently moved to California to go to community college on the coast and didn’t know many people). She’s noticeably more intelligent and adventurous then almost every woman I’ve ever met and I became too infatuated too quickly. Of course she got scared of how clingy I was acting and broke it off. My question is, do I have any chance at getting back into her life if I display that I can be independent and not as needy as before? I think she really liked me but wasn’t looking for anything serious and didn’t want to deal with my constant texts and doe-eyed affection for her.

I can be the friend with benefits if I have to be

Oh, my god. Just reading this email I’m tempted to tell you we just need to be friends and I’m looking for space. Your neediness is seeping through my computer screen like some horrendous bodily fluid, and it’s so unpleasant. Do. Not. Engage. Do not try to re-woo this woman. Do not desperately crawl back to her with a sign saying, “WE CAN JUST BE FRIENDS WHO BANG PLZ PLZ PLZ” stapled to your forehead. Take this rejection as a sign from God that you need to rethink your whole strategy when it comes to wooing women — or simply interacting with them. You know you are clingy. Stop doing it. Take active measures to stop acting this way, to stop suffocating people, and to stop making yourself the emotional equivalent of a marshmallow. It’s not attractive on anyone.

It’s hard to restrain yourself when you really like someone and you are naturally a very emotionally giving person, but you have to try. You have to pump the brakes and play a little hard-to-get–at least at first — or you are going to spend the rest of your natural life in the friend zone. Take things slowly, force yourself to respect boundaries, let the woman take the lead a little bit in terms of how lovey-dovey things are gonna get, and keep your options open. Please do it, everyone will be so much better off. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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