DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My girlfriend reports to basic training next month, and I’m having a hard time knowing what to do. Some of my friends think we should break up, since she’s going to be away for at least five years. We’ve been together since sophomore year of high school and I really love her, but I don’t know if we can survive so long apart.
Is it cleaner to just break up now, keep in touch, and see what happens in five years? --- NOT SURE WHAT TO DO
DEAR NOT SURE WHAT TO DO: Military service can be as hard on those left behind as it is for those who go in. You mention what your friends’ opinions are, but what about your girlfriend’s? Have you spoken with her about what she thinks is the best way to handle your relationship at this point? Remember, she’s the one leaving everything familiar behind, and from what I’ve heard of bootcamp, having a good support system from back home can be a critical component of a recruit’s success.
Talk to her and work it out for yourselves. You may find that for the time being, playing it by ear is the way to go. Whatever you decide, please let it be your and your girlfriend’s decision — not your friends’.