Are we too young for this kind of relationship?

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Hey Meredith,

I'm currently a sophomore in college and the podcast really helped me get through my freshman year. My boyfriend and I met working at an outdoor program for kids. I was just 17 and in high school, but when my boyfriend and I got paired together as counselors, it was clear to everyone how similar we were. He had a girlfriend for a year and a half before we started dating our senior year, but he was my first serious boyfriend. We started dating casually, agreeing that we would break up before college to get a new start.

I got into one school and my boyfriend wound up at a school just a two-hour bus ride away. We began college broken up, and while I dated here and there, I missed him. Within a moth of school starting, we had reconciled and began visiting frequently. I'll admit, the East Coast is really lonely a lot of the time. We both had no issues making friends and being happy where we're from, but here, it's very difficult. This still feels like the most unconditionally loving relationship I have in my life. It seems silly to think that I've found someone I can't imagine my life without at the age of 20, but that is the position we are both in.

With COVID, we still see each other somewhat regularly. I have the best time when I'm with him, but it's hard not to imagine how life would be different if we weren't together. I wonder if I would have put myself out there more and found the kinds of people and friends I'm feeling desperate for, but at the same time, our relationship is the healthiest one I've had in my entire life, including friends and family.

I guess I just want some advice from people with more life experience. Am I being held back by leaning so heavily on this fantastic two-year relationship or do you think I possibly have just met my person a lot earlier than anyone else I know? Is it ridiculous to consider breaking up purely because we are a "long-distance couple" and those never work? Sometimes I wish college would go faster so that we could live together and be happy together sooner. Is that bad? What happens when there is nothing wrong with the relationship or person at all, but it happens to conflict with a time in your life when you're supposed to be discovering yourself and trying new things? Please help, Meredith. I have no idea what to do.

- Young and in Love


"Sometimes I wish college would go faster so that we could live together and be happy together sooner. Is that bad?"

It's not bad at all. I mean, it'd be great if you could enjoy college too, but there's nothing wrong with being happy in a relationship when you're young. It’s very possible to meet someone in your teens or early 20s and grow together.

My only advice is to continue to engage with the world in front of you. That's difficult during COVID times, of course (please don't have parties), but you can try to make friends. It's a skill you’ll need no matter where you are in life. It was easy to find community at home, when you were surrounded by peers. As you get older, though, you'll have to learn to find your people, even when it's less obvious who they are. Working to make friends will only make your romantic relationship better, I think. It’ll give you and your boyfriend more to talk about, learn, and experience together. These relationships are not mutually exclusive. You can look for friends, ask people for walks after class, join activities, etc., while still having a great boyfriend.

If you were young, in a relationship, and out of love, this would be a problem. But as it stands, it all sounds pretty great. Just don't let one relationship be the answer to all of your social needs.

– Meredith

Readers? Should this letter writer feel bad about a good relationship?