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I am just starting law school and I have a boyfriend from college who’s in a different state now going for a degree in architecture. I like him a lot, but now that I’m here I’m wondering if I should rid myself of the distraction (especially during 1L first semester) or whether I should just start with a clean slate and see what the guys are like here. You’ve been around law school guys, do you think they are worth my time or should I hang on to my current guy unless/until something better comes along?
– Sophie’s Choice
Dear Sophie’s Choice,
This reminds me of those people who roll up to college with framed pictures of their “serious” high school boyfriends / girlfriends (who invariably were still seniors in high school) and leave parties early to return to the dorm to fight on the phone with them at 2 a.m. The primary purpose of these relationships is to provide a security blanket just in case they don’t make any friends in college, and when they inevitably DO make friends in college, the college person breaks up with the high school bf/gf because they finally realize that dating someone from high school is embarrassing and lame and going to prom in the cafeteria via limo is simply out of the question. This applies to everyone except for my parents, who prudently stayed together through high school, college and graduate school, in order to bestow upon this planet myself and two inferior siblings…
Dragging college relationships — especially long distance ones — with you into law school is just another somewhat more socially acceptable security blanket. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up marrying each other at age 28, running back from your ceremony to change your Facebook status to “married,” uploading wedding pics during your honeymoon, and having a kid a year later named Madison or Jackson or some other Federalist Paper name a year and half later and wondering when it all went wrong. It went wrong now.
I have no idea what the dudes are like at your school, but at mine, they were a mixed bag. There were lots of really great guys, but there were also pricks, gunners, ex-frat guys who got nose jobs and chin implants and then pretended they had to because of a bar fight, guys with man jewelry, etc. The women were a mixed bag, too. In other words, it was like everywhere else in the world, except possibly Iceland, where everyone is nice and looks similar. If Beyonce thinks she can upgrade, you can, too.
I married my college girlfriend at age 26, not 28, and since Marin got that minor detail wrong, everything else she said is completely irrelevant. And our Facebook wedding photos were freaking awesome. La, La, La, I can’t hear you because my ears too full with the music of marital bliss!
Okay, having established my AWESOME AND EVERLASTING HAPPINESS, let me answer your question. I have a few points, in no particular order:
* Women (and men) who think about people as “upgrades” end up alone.
* Long-distance relationships are the dumbest thing this side of “let’s not do it ’till we’re married because I want my lifelong sexual satisfaction to be a total freaking crapshoot.”
* It sounds like you’ve already dumped the guy, you just haven’t extended the courtesy of informing him yet.
* If it makes you feel any better, if your architect is worth anything, he’s already taken the hint (and was busy nailing some girl to a drafting table while you were composing your question).
* Really, you’d rather marry a lawyer than an architect? You sure about that?
That last point demands further analysis. The law students you meet during your 1L mixers will grow up to be lawyers. If he’s successful, that’s a life of long hours and extreme pressure. Take a look at any very successful lawyers you know and tell me how many of them are still on their first wives?
And you’re going to grow up to be a lawyer too. So that’s two lawyers, and barely a spare non-billable hour between you to cram in things like having sex and fighting about how little sex you’re having. God forbid you do find time to procreate; your successful lawyer husband isn’t going to have any more time to teach the kid how to say “Mommy’s not here can I take a message” than you will. It just seems like a dicey proposition to actively peruse law school guys because they are law school guys.
Unless of course you’re one of those women who only went to law school in order to meet a husband. If that’s the case, I have absolutely no respect for you, and that burning in your ears is the sound of every woman with self-respect who secretly hates you.
But it is a strategy that’s worked before. Just make sure you’re one of those girls who wears full make-up, a clubbing outfit, and heels to the 9:00 a.m. class on Friday, and the guys you’re looking for will come to you.
– The Devil You Know.
Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org.