T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 108007
posted 07-20-2013 02:13 PM
A very good friend of my sister just started dating a close friend of my best friend. We'll call the girlfriend Becky and the boyfriend Rob. These two finished their senior year of high school very shortly after they started dating, and a month from now are going to colleges a few hours apart. They don't seem to have much in common, and a few nights ago I was talking to my boyfriend (who doesn't know any of these people; we're long-distance) and happened to mention them. I said that I didn't expect the relationship to last, really, but that my sister thought it would.
My sister then burst into my room to yell at me for putting words into her mouth. She informed me that no, she didn't think the relationship was going to last. It won't last, because Becky is breaking up with Rob before they leave for college. In the ensuing argument, she also revealed that Becky has never been particularly interested in Rob. Becky is happy with being in the relationship now, but doesn't want to go to college in a relationship, and so has been planning all along to break up by the middle of next month. I told her that this wasn't fair to Rob at all, and that I don't understand why she's perfectly fine with Becky's behavior. My sister says that anything Becky wants to do is fine with her, because Becky is her friend, and anyway people have the right to conduct their relationships however they please. She also accused me of various things I wasn't saying: I wasn't saying that no one should be allowed to start an intentionally short-term relationship. I wouldn't do it, but I believe there's nothing wrong with it, as long as both people know about and agree to the timeframe. I wasn't saying that to be in a relationship you have to expect it to last forever. Of course it's a lot healthier to recognize that it may end. But that's different from one person plotting in advance when to end it. When my boyfriend asked me out, I assumed that he wanted the relationship to continue as long as we're both happy with it. I never even considered that he might have a deadline for ending it. I think that's the case for most people, unless, of course, the person actually says otherwise. And I wasn't saying that either of us should go to Rob with this information. I don't see any way that would help. The only thing we could do would be to confront Becky, but the damage is already done, I barely know her, and my sister doesn't see anything to confront her over. In fact, my sister says that Becky's chosen a good way to handle this, because this way Becky has a safety net on the off chance she changes her mind. "Then why not tell him from the beginning that she may want to end the relationship before they go to college?" "Because then maybe he would have decided not to go out with her in the first place!" Exactly! It's called being allowed to make an informed decision! I started the argument confident in what I thought, but my sister is very persuasive, and I'm easily persuaded. By now I'm partly convinced that I'm wrong, and that while the situation sucks for Rob, Becky isn't actually doing anything wrong. I figured I'd bring the question here, since I've found tons of good advice, ideas and information in other Relationship topics, and see what you all think.
Member # 41699
posted 07-20-2013 09:08 PM
Hi Kaizen, welcome to Scarleteen.
From what I've read here, I would say that I'm in agreement with you. There's nothing wrong with going into a relationship intending for it to be short-term or have a deadline, but communicating about the nature of the relationship is incredibly important when agreeing to be in one with someone. As you said, Becky should have disclosed at the beginning so that her boyfriend could decide whether a short-term relationship is something he'd be happy with. People shouldn't omit information in the hopes that it means someone will go out with them when they otherwise wouldn't. Because that means they are not truly in a relationship that they agreed upon and wanted. However, as you said, there's not much you can do about this as you don't know Becky well and it's not really your place as a stranger to talk to her about this. Your sister's right in that nobody can control Becky or make her change her mind around this, although this situation is unfair and not particularly healthy (in that Becky manipulated her boyfriend into being in a model of relationship that she suspected he wouldn't agree to). So I think all you can do now is let it go and move forward knowing that communicating about all aspects of a relationship is important. What do you think?