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I, like many little foolish boys before me, entered into college with a girlfriend. This would have been like Christopher Columbus setting sail with all of his anchors already dropped. You’re heading to the promised land, Chris; why complicate the journey?
Guided by immature notions of romance and love, I clung to something that provided me with familiarity and comfort but ultimately delayed and stunted my progress and development. Your looming breakup is inevitable. You will grow apart, you will most likely resent one another, and you will start doing all of the exciting new things a few months later than you should have.
The entire point of college is to grow, and it’s very easy to remain stagnant when you bring your proverbial security blanket. Moving into the dorms is a huge adjustment for most of us. Saying goodbye to mommy and daddy and the comforts of home can be a massive lifestyle change (goodbye indoor pool, Renata the housekeeper, the smell of your fresh-cut grass every Saturday morning, and the various other luxuries to which you’ve become accustomed in your 18 years). Any real excuse to just hunker down in your room and not get out and do shit is a problem. Your high school girlfriend will be your excuse; your crutch. You never need to find someone new to eat with in the dining hall when you plan all your meals around her. You don’t need to meet up with those kids from class to study because Hannah takes such great notes.
The obvious appeal — the thing that roped us all in originally when we were 16 — “Wow, having sex a lot is great.” It’s time for you to grow up, Peter Pan. Sure, this young lady let you plug her when you had acne and braces, but that isn’t some lifelong contract. Get away from the shore and find all of the other fish in the sea. You’ll be surrounded by thousands of eligible, beautiful women, many of whom are willing to let you flop around on top of them for thirty seconds at a time (and then, when you’re older and more mature, lay on your back underneath them for 45 seconds at a time). Future dalliances are inescapable, and if you stick with the girl from high school for long enough these dalliances may overlap with the decline of your relationship. Don’t let that happen. Rip off the Band-Aid, dump the girl, and go get rejected by those dimes at the bar so that you can eventually settle for the nickel in the corner.
If you’re still with the girl when rush comes around, you will make her go insane. She will turn into a monster. If you’re a pledge and she doesn’t go Greek, everything you do will look absurd and horrible to her. Why are you so dedicated to this group of dudes that literally spank you but you can’t make it to brunch with her parents when they’re in town? What happened to the sweet boy that carried her Civics textbook? If she joins a sorority, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to hold onto her respect. She’ll see you dwindle physically and mentally while you’re the lowest on the totem pole all while being courted by better suitors. Her stock will suddenly be at all-time high, and let there be no doubt: a visor-wearing senior with a beer gut — hopefully not in your fraternity — will take her to pound town after a day drink.
Accept that you need to grow and experience new things on your own in college. Take the leap without a net, and have a little fun. Get out of your comfort zone, and don’t hold onto someone just because they provide a feeling of familiarity. Chase some skirts, have as many uncomfortable morning afters as you can, and tell your friends every grimy detail. Carrying a girlfriend into Greek life may very well result in neither of you remembering the other fondly.
Searching for a sign that it’s time to end things? Let this be it. Man up, ditch the girl, and spread your wings. If you’re lucky, you’ll go down like Icarus..
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