A Peace Corps LDR That’s Not Working Out

I received this really heartfelt entry from someone, and since she asked for advice, I wanted to share it with all of you:

I have read your blog, and i have actually copied and pasted some of  your stuff to my boyfriend who is now been in the peace corps for 3  months! hes in Georgia! we have been dating for 8 years.. and I thought  if any couple could make it, it would be us.. but a month ago things  were not the same, and to put it all out there, he said we couldn’t be  together while he was in georgia! this was over skype. I had no idea  where all this was coming from!! months before he left, we talked about  how things would be ok, and the night before he left, he left two  beautiful letters, and I knew things would be fine.. I don’t know what  happend. I’m 22 and hes 25.. we have been in each others lives, since I  was 14. I’m still in shock and very hurt, I knew the distance would be  hard, but I was planning on visiting as much as possible. I have talked  to friends, and they said, maybe he wants to find himself, figure things  out on his own. I have stopped emailing him and giving it time.. I’m  just lost and hurt. I still believe things will be fine when he comes  home (july 2013). We have eight years together, and strong promises of  marriage was made. I believe in love, and the power it has, and I wont  give up on us! but am I a fool to wait around for two years? what if he  does not want us back… a good part of my life has been with him, and i’m  scared to go on without him.
We have been living together for a long time, most of his stuff is still  at my place.. we have a dog together, we used to be a family.
My friends and family say, its now time to focus on me and finishing  college, but its hard.. I miss my best friend. But he knows what he has  back home, someone who loves him! I know he knows that. I guess if hes  looking for that, he will come back to me.. I hope
Some advice would be great.
Thanks so much!!

-confused girl

Dear Confused Girl,

Thank you so much for writing.  I am going to have to wing some of the advice to you, because our situation was a bit different than yours.  We were older, and had been together for less time than you and your boyfriend.

I think a lot of people use the Peace Corps to “find themselves” and sometimes in order to do that people need to leave behind the ones they love. Since you have been together since such a young age, perhaps he really does need/want to figure out who he is without you. I know it is super tough to be without the one you love, especially after being together for such a long time, but I think you should also really take this opportunity to figure out who you are without him. 

Don’t wait for him or put your life on hold. The best thing you can do is live your life, as you want. If in two years he returns and you get back together, great, but don’t live the next two years with that as the goal, or else you will be waiting, not living which will not be particularly interesting for you or him.  He is having his own adventure, I would suggest you do the same. Take up an activity that maybe you always wanted to try, but never found the time to pursue-do new things, and keep yourself busy.

I’m sure you’ve heard this from friends/family, and I hesitate to say this because I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but as someone who did find love at a young age, and didn’t know if I would really truly find it again (and happily I have)–know that there are other people out there, that you can find love again, and you have plenty of time to have adventures and find someone who will be the match you ultimately need. Enjoy your life, and let him go, it will be tough and a true struggle some days, but please just live your life for you, not for him, and ultimately I promise you will find the partner you need.