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Should I Wait for My Boyfriend While He Goes to Grad School?

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for over two years and living with him for one. He’s going to grad school in the fall and he wants to try a long-distance relationship. At 30, I don’t know if I’m willing to wait another two years. How can a long-distance relationship work after we’ve lived together? How can I control myself so that I don’t turn into a jealous girlfriend who’s constantly worrying that her man is looking at 20-year-old undergrads? He tells me he isn’t ready to propose and needs to finish school. But it doesn’t seem fair to wait around at my age. 
—30 and Ready in SoMa

She Said: It sounds to me like your insecurities are raging, and here’s my clue: You are worried over him dumping your gorgeous, grown-up-yet-young, at-its-peak, 30-year-old self for a college sophomore? Seriously?

But let’s get to the core issue. You’re ready to be married. I’m not sure if you want that because you’re on some sort of personal time line, or simply because you love and want to marry your boyfriend in particular—but I have a feeling it’s the former. And so I vote yes, you should leave. I’ve learned the hard way to take a man at his word when he says he’s not ready to give me something I need. If your marital-nesting-baby clock is ticking at the tender age of 30, it’s not going to get any quieter while he earns a degree. Move on.

He Said: A 30-year-old female friend of mine says that in graduate school MBA means Married But Available—a lot of people use their two-year program as a chance to check out their options before “settling down.” Still, if you love your boyfriend enough to marry him and have his children, don’t cheat yourself out of what could be a great life together by breaking up with him because you’re insecure or impatient. Millions of relationships have survived graduate school, repeated military deployments, and other jobs that required one party to be away for months or years. Instead of letting your fears drive you into the arms of another man, let them fire you up to take charge of the situation. At 30, you have a seasoned sexuality that a 20-year-old can’t touch. Use it. Sign up for pole-dancing classes, make art or music, delve deeply into a sport, your career or some other passion. When he calls or emails, make sure your life is so rich and interesting that he’s frantic he will lose you. That way, no matter what happens, you’ll be better off.

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