Ask Austin

Dear Austin,

I’m a freshman in Saybrook (SAY WHAAAT?!), and I have a problem. After graduation, my high school girlfriend and I decided to stay together in college. We love each other and share a special bond—we even exchanged promise rings at the end of senior year. Recently, however, it seems as though everyone is telling me I should end it, but I’m in love! Do you think a long-distance relationship is destined to fail?

Sincerely,

John

Austin Bernhardt has a doctorate in happiness from the School of Life. 
Got a problem? E-mail mag@yaledailynews.com.
Austin Bernhardt has a doctorate in happiness from the School of Life. Got a problem? E-mail mag@yaledailynews.com.

Dear John,

First off, take a hint (see above).

Second, it’s important to be honest with yourself and your partner. As we all know, love’s total bullshit anyway, just arbitrary neurobiological firings about as meaningless as an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Too much serotonin in the frontal lobe, or something. Seriously, look it up.

That said, to apply an old pearl of ghost-riding wisdom here, it’s a smooth ride until you hit a speed bump. Which is to say, everything will be cool … until it’s not. You’ll talk on the phone every night and follow a meticulously equitable visiting schedule until one day, your girlfriend—for argument’s sake, let’s call her Julie … Enwright … from White Plains—will call your cell phone while you’re in the bathroom, and your totally, absolutely-only-friendly female friend—let’s call her Erica … from the entryway over…with the cute accent—who was just in your room to study for your art history midterm, and that’s it, you swear, picks up the phone.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “This is fixable,” right? Absolutely. Most of the time, all that’s needed when you have scuffles with a significant other is a little good old-fashioned communication. Which would be fine, unless she doesn’t pick up your phone calls, leaving you with no other recourse than to take a six-hour train ride to iron this all out in person, but all you really end up doing is standing out in the rain with a box of Jujubes (her favorite), catching a glimpse of her in her bedroom window as a pair of unfamiliar hands reaches around her torso and firmly squeezes her breasts, leaving you to take the six-hour train ride back, alone, sobbing and pounding down Jujubes even though you always hated them and only bought them because you knew she loved them even though they’re gross.

So no, I don’t think long-distance relationships are destined to fail, provided that when you say “long-distance relationship,” you don’t mean “a relationship sustained over a long distance.” Like I said, honesty and communication. I guess.

Takeaway: life is bullshit.

Peace,

Austin

P. S. Promise rings? Really?

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