How to Deal with Outgrowing Your High-School Sweetheart

Dear Tamara:

I have a huge dilemma, I think I am outgrowing my high-school sweetheart. My boyfriend and I have been dating since our sophomore year in high school. Yes, we are your stereotypical match made in heaven. The captain of the football team and head cheerleader, the prom king and queen, voted most likely to be married, etc., etc. Everyone thinks we are a perfect couple. The problem is, my boyfriend accepted a scholarship to a school out west and I am in Ohio. It feels like we are worlds apart and I think the distance between us has changed our relationship. When I first got to college we used to talk every day, two and three times a day! Now between his football schedule and my classes, we are lucky to speak twice a week. And to make things more complicated, I think I am developing feelings for someone else. I feel really bad about this, especially since everyone, even our parents, think we are destined to be married someday. I love my boyfriend a whole lot and don’t want to hurt him and disappoint everyone, but I really like this new guy and I don’t want to stop seeing him.

Relationship Dilemma


Dear Dilemma:

I am having a “dilemma” trying to decide the best way to answer your question. Do I answer like a mother whose daughter is a sophomore in college; do I answer from my personal experience of being head over hills in love with my high school sweetheart; or do I stand up for what could possibly be “true love?” In an effort to keep it REAL, like I always do, I’ll give a combination of all three!

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I have interfered and with several of my daughter’s high school relationships. I never wanted her to get too serious with a guy. I don’t know what it is about homecoming dances and proms that get teenagers thinking about wedding bells! The last thing I wanted was for my daughter to fall in love during high school and allow that relationship to alter her college choice, keep her from going off to college altogether, or interfere with her goals and dreams. I used to tell her all the time that there are so many people in the world that she has never met, making such a premature decision about who she should spend the rest of her life with could backfire and lead to many regrets. I wanted her to get a chance to experience college, experience life, meet other people, and expand her criteria for choosing “the one.”

On the other hand, my prom date followed me to college and we decided to live together, which in my case, proved to be too serious, way too soon. It was like I was married right out of high school. Because of this decision, I missed out on a lot of college experiences. Don’t get me wrong, it was my choice at the time and what I thought I wanted. It was a choice that was greatly influenced by other people, feelings, and expectations. By the time I found my voice to speak up, I had missed out on so many experiences that I became bitter and my relationship ultimately ended.

I am in no way saying that what happened to me will happen to you. Every situation and scenario is unique. I am sharing all of this to give you another perspective and to say that you need to make the best decision for you regardless of other people’s hurt feelings and expectations. Be honest with yourself about what you want and it will be a lot easier, to be honest with others. Don’t wait too late to find your voice. You are young and so much life to experience. I am sure your parents will ultimately support whatever decision you make. If you and your high school sweetheart are in fact the perfect match, that will also be revealed.



A wife and mother of five, Tamara Hartley is also a speaker, coach, and author of Stop Wasting Your Time Blaming Others for Your Life. Having overcome many obstacles and challenges, Tamara combines her knowledge, expertise, life experiences, lessons learned and practical wisdom to help others. For additional advice, tips, and strategies for your Life, Relationships, and Career, you can also tune in to TamaraHartleyTV or subscribe to receive weekly updates.


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