Hey… I’m a fresher at Newnham and I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for three years now. He’s the sweetest and most caring person in the world but I’ve found it hard staying faithful especially when I’m here at Cambridge and he’s at another university. I’ve hooked up with a few guys over last term and I didn’t tell my boyfriend. I feel really bad about this and don’t know what to do.
The most important thing to realise is that humans are intrinsically promiscuous, extraordinarily bad at monogamy and at being faithful. We’re even worse when we’re away from our loved ones for any long period of time – so don’t be too harsh on yourself.
University is also supposed to be the time we become independent individuals. It’s the time we can call ourselves adults, sleep around with the people we find hot and learn about ourselves; what we are like both romantically and sexually. It’s the time we make really stupid decisions and the time we realize that going back home with an attractive, young and very drunk guy from the Cindies dance floor isn’t the best idea. That’s what your first year at university is all about – it’s not about you spending Friday nights trying to communicate feelings to a virtual boyfriend via Skype.
That said, it’s very likely your boyfriend is finding himself in a similar situation and is unsure what to do about it. You’ve been together for three years so let’s be realistic; most relationships from sixth form end by the first year of university. You seem like an intelligent and caring girl and your boyfriend seems like a great guy – you both deserve something better than to be trapped in a virtual relationship. If it’s not working out over this distance, I have to advise you to break up with him.
It’s best for you both to grasp hold of your new lives without having to have any feelings of guilt about your actions. You’ll eventually meet someone else and you’ll have had all the experiences you’ll need by then.