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Dear Amanda,

I met a great woman over the summer and fell really hard for her. The problem is that she’s still in San Francisco, while I am stuck in Cambridge for another eight months. My question is this: should I date other people until I graduate and accept the fact that I’m not going to get really excited about anyone or should I just bide my time until I can be reunited with my west coast sweetie, accepting the fact that I will be lonely and miserable in the meantime?

Sincerely,

Left My Heart in San Francisco

Dear Left My Heart,

Wow. You’ve got great options. You can either suffer through dates with people you’re neither interested in nor excited about or spend your last year of law school lonely and miserable. Way to look at the glass as half full! Do you not have any friends? Do you just spend every second of your day in your apartment pining after San Francisco Lady? It’s a fabulous life you’ve got there.

I am going to assume that you’re not in a long-distance relationship and instead have broken up with SFL with the intent to get back together with her when you’re in San Francisco. I am going to assume this because you’d have to be pretty dumb to write into my advice column asking whether you should cheat on your girlfriend, even if she is far away. I oppose that sort of thing on principle. Mostly on the principle that sometimes it can suddenly lead to the humorous situation of a certain 3L finding himself on the street because he’s been locked out of his own apartment. If you are under no obligation to SFL and she’s under no obligation to you, you might want to figure out how you feel about whatever it is that she’s doing on the Good Coast. It’s possible that she’s dating other people. Does this make you resent her? Are you going to be upset that she’s romancing her way around San Francisco while you’re saving yourself for her? If so, you should probably be dating other people while you’re apart, just so you don’t become bitter and unpleasant to be around. Also, you should consider the possibility that if she is dating other guys, she might find someone that she likes better than you. Clearly, you think she’s irreplaceable, but if she ends up replacing you, would it make you feel better if you hadn’t spent the interim forgoing other women? However, you’re going to have to think about her reaction to you dating other women. Is this something that you’re going to have to hide from her? Is she going to get crazy and jealous as women-folk are wont to do? Fortunately, she’ll probably understand, and want you to see other people.

That being said, it’s not exactly every girl’s dream to go out with a guy who is emotionally unavailable and hung up on another woman. And it’s not exactly fair for you go out with other women without telling them that your heart belongs to another. So, you’re a bad person if you start seeing someone without being honest with her about SFL. But if you tell her about SFL, there’s a good chance she’ll drop you quicker than my favorite co-marshal drops C-notes at the blackjack table. Your best option is to try to find someone who is looking for something casual. A good place to start is girls on the rebound. A good way to start is not asking someone out while thinking, “Gosh. I am really not excited about this. Too bad I am not with SFL.” Hope it works out for you.

Yours,

Amanda

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