Agony Uncle (4)

To give me some time to write all the half-formed blog posts in my “drafts” section, I’m going to upload this final Agony Uncle article. You can date the article very easily, because joking about Gordon Brown’s smile was still considered cutting political satire. I also compare long-distance relationships to bowling the perfect leg-break. Enjoy!

‘I just started dating this guy a few weeks ago. We are both final years and will be moving away from Birmingham after the end of exams. I want to know whether we will still continue our relationship after we finish university but don’t know how to breach the subject. What should I do?’

Well, congratulations on starting a relationship so soon before your finals. You obviously have the unfortunate timing of a Gordon Brown smile.

It’s a blessing in a way – it’s nice to have a sympathetic ear during exams. Everyone who does their finals has a breakdown of some sort, whether it’s just pre-exam jitters or a full-blown stressathon when your brain turns into mushy peas. My then-girlfriend was a rock during my finals, and that is something I will be forever grateful for.

There are a couple of months before you leave Birmingham to develop the relationship and see where you should take it. Do not mention the subject before exams – both of you will have enough on your minds without worrying about things like that.

If your boyfriend does not want a long-distance relationship, for whatever reason, that suggests he has some sort of commitment problem, and this would only manifest itself in other ways outside the distance problem. Yes, long-distance is hard. But there are lots of difficult but important, worthy activities. Revision. Bowling the perfect leg-break. Finding a cure for swine flu. And so on. Stick with it – it may only be for a short while.

Long-distance relationships don’t break down because of the distance, but because of other underlying problems. If your personalities clash and it turns out that you are unsuitable to be together in a relationship, the long-distance may exacerbate these problems, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there in the first place.

So put the subject forward at a later stage in your relationship when both of you will have a better idea of whether you want to continue with it. Long-distance can be crap, but can work. I know of more successes than failures amongst friends in this department. So I wish you the very best of luck!

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