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How do I make her forget the other guy?

Mensch Answers:

Mr. Long Distance -


Double Standard

First you say you told Tanya that she could "hang out with other guys" so she wouldn't miss out on her last year of high school, then you get upset when she starts having what you call "too much fun" with one of these guys?

Mr. Sensitive
Perhaps you mean hypocritical instead of double standard?

Can you say, "unrealistic relationship goals?" How about, "double standard?"

I knew you could.

Listen, I am relating to your story on a couple of different levels: the long distance thing, and the age difference thing.

One at a time:

Long Distance Relationships Require Work

The distance thing sucks. Period. That doesn't mean LDRs (long distance relationships) never work, it just means they take even more work and dedication than "normal" relationships, and that's a lot. I'm involved in an LDR right now, and one thing I can say is that a mutual desire to keep the communication active is key. If she ain't calling you anymore, that's a clue.

Break It Off

He doesn't have to break it off, but he should put marriage plans on hold.

Instead of staying hung up on her, make it official (break it off yourself) and look for someone closer to home. I hear the ladies in Florida are not too shabby.

Your Ages Are Too Different

The age difference: the older you get, the less significant each year of difference becomes, up to a point (this holds for differences of 3 to around 20 or 25 years, roughly speaking. Twenty-three year old models marrying 90-year-old, crusty, filthy rich wrinkled men "for love and companionship" just doesn't cut it in my book.). So, for instance, if ten years from now you were to be with a woman 4 years your junior, that probably wouldn't be a big deal.

It's not THAT big an age difference since he's so immature. He needs to grow up.

Today though, it's a world of difference – I'm not even getting into legal issues here (she is a minor, and statutory rape questions have been covered elsewhere in these pages).

Over the next 5 to 10 years, you will both be experiencing some of the most important transformations in your lives – broadening personal and academic horizons, professional enrichment and career development, and myriad other parts of the transition to independent living. Generally speaking, I think it's a good idea to go through this stage of life with someone in a similar place – literally and figuratively.

Age may not be the only factor (I personally took some time off during college, so many of the friends I have who are in the same place in life I am are younger), but it cannot be ignored. You and Tanya are worlds apart right now, and are likely to grow further apart before you get closer.

Look for Someone in Your Own Backyard

Rather than working on her, you should work on yourself – move on (don't forget – every relationship is a learning opportunity) and look for someone in your own back yard and in the same neighborhood in life.

Good luck,


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