The Castle Hassle

When you first applied to Emerson, the overzealous tour guide ranted and raved about the Castle. Or maybe you ogled at the pictures on the school’s website. You bragged to all your high school friends, “My school has a castle. With a moat!” It was the coolest thing since your Senior Prom. 

If you’re lucky, you came to Emerson and among other things, fell madly in love. You and Prince Charming did everything together. Lunching at the DH daily, exploring the many “opportunities” of the LB handicapped bathrooms, you even applied to go to the Castle together. You couldn’t be separated. But when your iPhone buzzes a few months later and you check your email- everything’s changed. You didn’t get into the program and he, on the other hand, did.

You quickly wish that that moat would overflow and the Castle would drown and become Atlantis’ twin brother. You beg and plead, but your guy’s a good swimmer. He decides to take his chances.

“It was good while it lasted,” your friends will say, trying to console you with copious amounts of Ben & Jerrys pints from the Max. But neither Ben, nor Jerry can build snowmen with you in the Common, sled down the Emerson hill on Dining Hall trays, or snuggle with you after class. While you might feel like the most unfortunate girl in the world, you and your man are faced with your final vaarwels (yeah, you even started studying Dutch).

The good news is that many people before you have been separated by an ocean and can offer some advice. It may not be the advice you want to hear, but it’s a proven method that can practically guarantee you’ll survive the tragic separation. And hey, feel free to stuff your face with ice cream and audibly curse at any happy couple you encounter in his absence. It feels great.

Talk it out. While he’s abroad, you’re not going to be able to kiss and make up whenever something goes wrong. While you do have each other’s hands to squeeze, you have to talk about every little detail. Dedicate some time, about a month or two before his bon voyage, to brainstorm all the  “What ifs” and “Should we’s.” Don’t leave anything out. Discuss how you’d feel if he kissed another girl and you knew about it. What about sex? Do you want the details of his every hookup? Or do you want him to stay loyal to you? And make sure you answer these questions too.  Ideally he’d be faithful, and you could prance around Allston with whomever you’d like, but you have to consider what he wants too. How often should you talk? Will you have enough to talk about if you Skype every day? The conversation won’t be fun, but it’s necessary. Talk about every option you have, and think about the pros and cons of each. Long distance, open relationship, or take a break, It needs to be defined.

Let him go to get him back. A long distance relationship is a difficult thing to master. Like it or not, you’re going to be attracted to other people eventually. Having that talk while he’s abroad will undoubtedly cause a riff, and if he’s the emotional type, that moat might just overflow. You’ll feel the need to stay in constant communication. But if you’re not sharing experiences, you may not have anything to relate to. What about an Open Relationship? Been there, done that. Doesn’t work. A relationship is a relationship and you’ll feel guilty the second you get naughty with your study partner in the library. Open relationships usually come with a lot of rules. No sex, for example, Fact of the matter is, sex is even better when it’s off limits. Don’t let yourself get there. Taking a break could be the key to a successful leave of absence on his part. He’s going to Europe. As someone who loves him immensely, do you really want to hold him back from experiencing it to the fullest? Imagine if things didn’t work out between you when he got back. He turned down plenty of propositions from European goddesses. And hey, what about all those Paramount demi-gods?! That resentment will fester, regardless of your post-Castle relationship. You need to give him space to get whatever’s necessary out of his system. We can hope and pray that our men are attracted to us and only us, but let’s remember where their brains are. If you have enough love for each other to let one another go, you can make it through anything.  Confidence is essential to a happily ever after.

Limit communication. Schedule a time to Skype once a week.  It can last 30 minutes or 5 hours, and it will give you both something to look forward to. It’ll keep you thinking about each other throughout the week, and when you do talk, you’ll have more than enough to say. This way, you can tell the most exciting stories of your weeks, convey all the things that made you think of one another, and in your cutest baby voices, swap plenty of  “I miss you so much’s.” Why not talk whenever you feel like it? This opens the door for you (or him) to get hurt. If he’s too busy jetsetting around Europe to talk, you might feel neglected or unimportant. Plus, describing every detail of your day will get monotonous, and could easily cause jealousy. Those inside jokes you two have will only be funny for so long. Talking more than once a week will force the relationship to go stale like that bagel you stole from the DH.

Be adults. While the once a week video chat is a terrific idea in theory, sometimes we just have those days. Sometimes you’ll miss him so much that it’s affecting your schoolwork. Sometimes you’ll lose sleep wondering if he’s slept with that b!*#% from your Intro to College Writing Class. Sometimes something will go wrong in your life and he’s the only one who could console you. For these reasons, remember that you are adults, and sometimes it’s important to make exceptions. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and each other. Email him to let him know how you’re feeling. This may be enough, but if it isn’t, find some time to talk about what’s going on so that emotions don’t build up and eventually explode. Speaking of exploding…

Skypegasm. For those of us who are unfamiliar with the world of cyber sex, this can be particularly intimidating. However, it is a great way to stay close to your partner. Make sure he’s a guy you can trust, and make sure your roommate isn’t getting out of class early. Most importantly, make yourself comfortable. This video chat doesn’t count as your weekly Skype date. Get each other in the mood by discussing one of your sexiest sexcapades. Once you’re both ready, let your hands wander. What you do with them is up to you, but mutual masturbation is one of the best ways to stay connected with someone you’re used to getting intimate with. E-intimacy is daunting, but if you remember that these are all things you’ve done with him before and keep in mind that he finds you incredibly sexy, you can’t fail.

These few months are going to be tough. There’s no getting around that. But just remember that there’s an end in sight, and it’s not so far away. Soon enough he’ll be all yours again. Chances are he’ll be thinking about you the whole time.

(text by: Sienna Mintz)

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