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Should I Choose my Deam Guy or my Dream University?



Dear Sugar--
I know this sounds like it's out of a movie, but it's actually the situation I'm in right now, and I'm not sure how it's going to end. I've been accepted to my dream university, going to graduate school next fall, in addition to another university that my boyfriend got into as well. We have been seeing each other for about one year and it's been amazing. When we were applying to schools, I made an informal promise to my boyfriend that I will go to the same school as him if we both got in. This promise was in part to motivate him to do better in school, as he is not the hardest worker, so when I made the promise, I did not expect him to actually get in. But alas, he did, and now I want to go back on that promise to go to my dream school.

He has been making living arrangements for us before I received my acceptance of the other university, and needless to say, was disappointed to hear the news. Now he told me it pretty much comes down to choosing my school or him, since he does not want to have a long distance relationship. I believe we could make the relationship work but he isn't willing to try. Both universities are really great schools with about the same rankings. Should I go to my dream school, or stay with my dream guy? What if I choose him and we end up breaking up, then I would be stuck at a school that was not my choice, regretting not choosing my dream school. Please help! --Torn Tatianna

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Torn Tatianna--

Congratulations on getting accepted to your dream school, what a huge accomplishment! Unfortunately, you have a tough decision to make here, and I must say, I don't envy you! You raise very valid concerns, so ultimately you're going to have to choose between your relationship or following your educational dream.

While I understand that your boyfriend wants you to be with him next year at school, he should be supporting your life decisions and your dreams. Is he adamant about not giving a long distance relationship a try or do you think he is just talking a big game in hopes you will choose his school over yours? If you are already weighing the possibility of breaking up with your boyfriend, something tells me there are other factors you are weighing.

Although you made a promise to your boyfriend, you have to do what is best for you. This is your life and you need to live it how you feel fit. Regardless of your decision, you have to stand by the choice you make. If you choose to be with your boyfriend and you feel you could be harboring feelings of resentment because you felt pressure to choose, your relationship is bound to suffer. Try writing out a pro and con list, take a few days to mull it over, and eventually, trust your instincts. I wish you the best of luck!

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Join The Conversation
xyra xyra 9 years
I am in this exact situation right now. (But happily with a very understanding, optimistic boyfriend.) We've been going out for almost 4 years and it's been wonderful. Both schools are equally prestigious, just different. One is my dream program, the other is one of the top engineering programs in the country but with a slightly different focus. It's so hard because we are going into 5-year PhD programs. I can't imagine bearing a 5-year long-distance relationship knowing that we could have been together if I'd chosen differently. I have no idea what to do!! tifygodess24: Which did you choose that you regret???
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
I don't like the fact that he's forcing you to choose. It means you're supposed to be able to put the same kind value on him and your dreams when they are entirely separate things. I know you love him, but I think you're too young to have to sacrifice part of yourself for someone else. (Side note: that makes me sound old but really I'm a 4th year in college and most likely applying for grad school next year.) The fact that he doesn't want to try and work it out long-distance says something about how he feels about the relationship. The point isn't the school, it's the fact that he's making you choose. I don't think he's really your dream guy if he's not supporting your academic and career dreams.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 10 years
P.S. I agree with what someone posted... I ALWAYS regret it! :(
gossipqueen gossipqueen 10 years
GO TO YOUR DREAM SCHOOL!!!! Once I chose my "dream guy" instead...and at every fight I would bring the fact that I chose not to go to my dream school for him! If the relationship goes sour you'll only resent him and makes things harder for BOTH! 2 yrs. later...after tons of money wasted and time loss...I'm in the right path.
summer-roberts summer-roberts 10 years
I would say reassess what makes it your dream school. Would it still be your dream school if you were miserable from a break up or LDR? I agree he should support you no matter what, however he is disappointed and possibly needs time to take it in. Maybe you are the one who keeps him motivated and he thinks he will not do well without you by his side. I would say to talk to him again and find out the true reason he has given the ultimatum.
kittycat kittycat 10 years
i dont think its right of him to give u these options: him or school? he's not willing to work it out at all with the long distance thing? i think he is not thoughtful. but to think from his perspective, maybe he really wanted u both to go to the same grad school, so he worked all that much harder to make this happened, and he made plans for u guys to live together, frankly he doesnt want to see his efforts go wasted because it would really him to see u two at different grad schools. maybe his heart wasnt really into grad school, and he just got in cuz u pushed him in, and without u both at the same grad school, he sees his efforts thrown out the windows and this may hurt him that u broke ur promise when something better comes along. its sticky, but if u both love each other enough, u would find ways to make it work. so no, i dont think neither of u love each other enough from wot i read.
junebrug junebrug 10 years
Wow, reading over these comments, it's amazing how many different life experiences we've all had. Personally, I found getting a great education about a billion times easier than finding a great man. But there are also those who gave up their dreams for the "perfect" man only to find him not so perfect. I'm not sure there is a "right" or "wrong" answer to this, go with your gut.
junebrug junebrug 10 years
Wow, that's a toughfie! I understand why your bf is upset, he probably worked much harder in school so you could go to the same school and now it appears, you may not be. A couple of years ago, I would say, kick him to the curb and pursue your life, but after growing up a bit, I can say though I learned a lot about life, my degree doesn't help me very much in life. More life experience and a great relationship would have been more beneficial to me personally. If you think you have found Mr. Right and you want to marry this guy, that's something to consider, esp. since the schools are comparable. It's unfair of him to put you on the spot, but remember he probably thinks it's unfair of you to pull the rug out from under him at the last moment. I think it depends on him: talk to him and find out why he doesn't want a long distance relationship. Is this someone who always has to have his way (which bodes ill for the relationship) or is he afraid he'll lose you and miss you? And above all, don't worry. You can always break up with the guy, and you can almost always transfer schools.
corona528 corona528 10 years
YOUR DREAM UNIVERSITY!!!! You are not married, nor do you have enough information to know whether or not this is the man you will spend the rest of your life with (you've only been with him for a year). Do not be an idiot and throw YOUR opportunities away for a man.
lms lms 10 years
Definitely dream school. He doesn't seem to love you enough to wait for you, and you said that he is not a very hard worker and you had to motivate him to go and do better in school. You seem like the more responsible one. More than likely you would regret going to his school b/c he threatened to leave you if you didn't. My husband and I had a long distance relationship for 3 yrs. If it is meant to be it will happen.
lp912 lp912 10 years
Dream school. There will be tons of guys there who won't ask you to sacrifice your dreams. And anyway, unless you have a ring on your finger, do NOT make any major life decisions. If you guys break up, you'll always regret not choosing the other school. I beg of you not to make this mistake. It's the worst mistake that a ton of girls make. I almost made the same one. If he really is the right guy, he'll stick around.
katyshoe katyshoe 10 years
i would chose your dream guy b/c school is always there but guys definetly arent.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
Choose the dream school. If you all are meant to be together it will happen. I chose the guy (we didn't get married - but broke up two almost 3 years later. Oh, also I didn't want to share a bathroom with a ton of girls at my dream school. lol Anyway, I wouldn't do anything differently because, I love how my life turned out. But, I do wish I had gone to the school of my dreams (if, everything ended up like it is now). I also feel like if he really loves you, he'll want what makes you happy. Best of luck.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
You should have never made that promise but you did. I would say if your dream school is where you want to be than that is where you should go. If you don't follow your heart and your own goals your going to end up full of resentment and hate because you will have felt forced to go to a school you did not really want to attend.
littleblackbook littleblackbook 10 years
go to your dream school. i never had this problem, but looking back i know for sure i'd never exchange anything, not even a boyfriend for this in the world. you should come first,if you can't fulfill your dreams, how do you fulfill one with someone else?
BKNYGal BKNYGal 10 years
The University is more promising and the effort and time you put into it will benefit you forever. Take care of YOU first~!
Schaianne Schaianne 10 years
First of all, let this be a lesson to NEVER make a promise if you don't "think" you'd have to follow through - Murphy's Law ... you will. Second of all, if you're already thinking of "What if we break up" there's a possibility that it will happen ... so between that and the fact you guys aren't married - you need to do what is best for YOU. If he truly loves you, he will wait. If he doesn't wait ... then it's his loss and you're better off knowing now instead of years down the line. Don't follow a guy because of HIM ... follow a guy if you want because of where's he's going and that it's good FOR YOU as well. Good luck!
tifygodess24 tifygodess24 10 years
I did this , Dont do it , I regret it all the time .....
clarapl clarapl 10 years
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with choosing to be together rather than attending your dream school. What concerns me is that your boyfriend is trying to coerce you into making the decision he wants by threatening to end the relationship if you don't do what he wants. Using this tactic (threatening to break up) is considered a form of abuse--it's emotional blackmail. I'm not saying your boyfriend is a bad person, but he is trying to control you, and that's not a healthy dynamic. If it were me I'd choose the other school (away from him) even if it wasn't my dream school!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Good point that this is grad school vs. undergrad - I totally misread that. I do think that changes things as you are much more likely to stay with someone you met when you are in college than in high school. I also agree with some of the other posters that he's probably just incredibly disappointed. You promised him something and then are going back on the promise. He truly might be devastated. It sounds like you going to the same school was enough to motivate him to get the grades and to get accepted and now you are saying it's not going to happen. I still think some kind of compromising is in order -- for both of you. But I'm not sure what it is!
calibabi calibabi 10 years
this is a tough situation...i'm surprised that your bf isn't being supportive enough to let you live your dream and go to your dream school. since that is the case, it seems like he won't be willing to support you in other dreams that you might have either. so in my opinion, i would choose your dream school. follow your dreams...don't put them aside just for a boy. if you do it once, you'll end up compromising your dreams again and again.
nicachica nicachica 10 years
i just thought of something else. how long has this been going on? i mean, if she just got her acceptance a few days ago and told her boyfriend immediately, i can understand why he would be a bit upset and disappointed, especially if he was given an assurance that she would go with him (even if was informal). he might just need some more time to accept this decision before thinking of options, know what i mean? i guess i'm trying to look at it from the other side. like, what if it was he who got accepted to the prestigious school? would our advice be the same?
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
Go to your dream school. If he doesn't love you enough to try to work out a long distance relationship or to simply understand why you would want to go to your dream school, then he isn't worth it. Asking you to choose between him and a school? That's selfish, immature and outright stupid of him to even tell you that. Think about it...either stay in a relationship where you'll resent him for making you choose, or go to your dream school that you could get a better career and make a better living for yourself? Love doesn't pay the bills, my dear.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
I respect everyone who tells you to choose the right school I realize how important it is to experience college and get a solid education. However in my opinion you can get a great education at so many schools in this country and since I never had a dream to go to a particular school I would choose to be with my boyfriend since finding love is so hard sometimes, to me the love of my life is more important than going to a certain school. If he's willing to give it a shot as a long distance relationship so you can live your dream then that would be pretty awesome then go for it, but you have a tough decision to make just think it thoroughly.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
And yes, I too agree he is being selfish. Just make sure your program at this dream university is a good fit before you make any decisions. If it seems better once you visit, then for sure go there. Just make sure you are not kidding yourself with name recognition alone, and then end up going there and hating it. I guess I am judging this from a stance of choosing the right school for you versus whether or not you satisfy your boyfriend. Hopefully you have visited both, which I am sure you did during the interview process, and hopefully you got a chance to meet with the current students while you were there.
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