Moving is hard to do. There’s the sorting of what to take with you, what to leave behind, and what to throw out for good. You come across items you’ve lost in the black hole that is your room, like an old photo with of ex behind a bookcase you haven’t moved in years, and you realize you don’t need to hold on to every copy of Cosmopolitan that’s been stacked in your closet.
It’s not as easy to sort and pack up a relationship. What happens when you’re moving away and must decide how to move forward with someone you’re romantically involved with? For me, it wasn’t clear.
After working to get my Associate of Arts in California, I decided to transfer to my dream school, Arizona State University, to pursue my degree in journalism. While in California, I batted my eyes at a few bartenders, kissed some interesting guys, and even tried online dating. Yet, I never found “the one.” Sure, there were a few potential candidates but as graduation inched closer I realized there really wasn’t a point in starting a relationship.
That is until Ted. He is a friend and our friendship turned romantic. When I finished packing my room in preparation for my move, I wondered: which pile do I put Ted in? Does our relationship come with me to Arizona or does it remain? Was I willing to move six hours away and maintain our relationship alive through texts, Snapchats, and Skype calls? In reality, I knew that with his crazy work schedule and full course work it would be difficult to make long distance work. Still, I wasn’t ready to let go of whatever it was that Ted and I sparked in the weeks leading up to my move. Every relationship hits bumps and bruises along the path to romantic bliss. Perhaps this was just one of those bumps.
But there are thousands of new people out there at the university, I thought. I’m about to start the next big chapter of my life in a whole new city and state, and with a whole new sea to fish in. Ted could have pursued me long before my plans to move.
Standing at this fork in the road, I decided to travel the path alone – without Ted. This is my time. I don’t want anything holding me back. Ted didn’t end up in the “to keep” pile, nor did I throw him away. Instead, I left Ted in our hometown where I will see him again when I visit. I know that his friendship will be there as it has always been.