Reality Check with Sadie Zarkin

Illustration by Marleigh Culver

Dear Sadie Zarkin,

My girlfriend and I have been in blissful, passionate, unbelievable love since we were both freshmen in high school. It broke both our hearts to have to go different places for college – she’s at UVA for her English degree while I’m here at VCU for pre-med.

Everything was fine for the first few weeks – we called at least once a day to share tales of our college experiences, maybe twice, and always to say we love and miss each other.

But now, we’re a month into the school year, and it’s gotten to the point where I barely hear from her at all. She’s only called twice in the past week, and every time I’ve tried to call her, I could only leave my love via voicemail. Sometimes her phone doesn’t even ring the full 10 rings. Sadie, my girlfriend is sending me to her voicemail. What is happening?

Please put my mind and heart at ease, Sadie – old cell phone pictures of the two of us seem like the only things that brings me any joy these days.

– Holla back, girl



Real talk: Long distance relationships are hard. More real talk: High school relationships have a place, and that place is high school.

As I’m sure you’ve heard before, being in college opens you up to a whole new world: new activities to pursue, new opinions that challenge your own, and – yes –new people.

But this freedom of discovery can be limited if you feel too tied to the past.

While your relationship may have flourished in the relative boredom and under-stimulation of high school life, your connection may not be built to weather the competition of new faces and new opportunities.

Letting go is hard, but if you really care about her – and more importantly, yourself – you will take the time to figure out what you really want in life. I can almost guarantee that your ideal future will have nothing to do with some mildly attractive girl you happened to sit next to in freshman math class.

It’s likely that your girlfriend is taking this opportunity to work on herself and explore her new environment and all the things it has to offer, and I suggest you do the same.

It will be hard to force yourself not to worry about her, but don’t worry, I’m sure she has already found another big strong shoulder to cry on.

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