19 Jun
Dr. Love, PhD

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I am a Master’s student dating a guy local to my University, and applying for PhD funding. I have been offered a non-funded PhD at my current University, and I am on a list for a potential $7,500 per year funded PhD and another list for a potential $9,000 a year PhD with an obligation to teach 100 hours a month and a potential $13,500 per year PhD with a guaranteed lecturing job at the end at a more prestigious University 5 hours away. And I’m more likely to get this last one than any of the options available at my current University.

The problem is, according to my boyfriend, long distance doesn’t work. I feel as if I’m being dumped. I haven’t gotten any of the potential funded-places yet, so I could be offered all or nothing. However if I don’t get any offers, the chances of me finding work in this area are slim, so I’ll have to go wherever I can find work, or even back home (6 hours away) with my tail between my legs. The possibility of me being here come October is negligible, so now that I know his feelings on this I’m pre-heartbroken.

I love him, and he was the first of us to use the L word and he continues to tell me that he loves me, but the fact that he’s not willing to attempt a long-distance relationship is making me question this. Is it wrong to be considering ending my relationship at this point when there is still a chance that I could be here next year? Or am I showing a complete lack of self-respect by staying with someone who has a condition on our relationship?



Dear PhDevastated,

Holy cow, smartypants! Way to be super intelligent and driven and confident and capable and successful! In your academics, that is! Not so much in your love life!

I may be in the minority here, but I think the answer is pretty clear: it’s time to send your boyfriend to Dumpsville: Population 1. Any person you date should love you unconditionally, and be especially supportive of you reaching for your dreams. And if he isn’t capable, then you need to find someone who is.

Now, this is not to say that the guy is a jerk. Some people are just…what’s the word…losers? Er, no….uncultured? Eh…homebodies? Whichever. The point is that he just doesn’t seem to be wired to be your soulmate. Could you make it work? Maybe. Should you, and jeopardize your promising future? I don’t think so. As for the logistics of the dumping process, I don’t think you need to drop him like that hit-of-acid-you-never-took-because-you’re-such-a-good-student. Just have a serious conversation about your concerns, and hopefully you can resolve things and fake-promise to remain friends. It will hurt, and you will be sad, but this is just going to be one of those really meaningful relationships that taught you a lesson based on its failure rather that its success.

Here’s to your so-bright-you-gotta-wear-shades future!

Kristine, TMH

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9 Responses to “Dr. Love, PhD”


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

I’m absolutely with Kristine.
If he says long distance doesn’t work, what he really means is he is not interested enough.
He may have been the first one to use the L word, but he might have done it because he knew you would be thrilled.
Don’t sacrifice your present and future chances for him, he’s going to dump you sooner or later.

If you don’t feel like breaking up now, just have a serious conversation with him and pursue your personal goals: time will show if long distances work or not.

Good luck! 🙂


Comment by Amy.


There will ALWAYS be another guy, or another shot with the same guy, maybe, when he realizes that he’s being an idiot, but you only get ONE shot at educational opportunities like this.


Comment by @MryJhnsn from iNeedaPlaydate.

Speaking from experience… Go where you want to go and if it leaves him the dust all the better (and he may hunt you down ten years later, move back to your home state, marry you, give you two kids…) Good luck!


Comment by StephanieG.

A guy who truly loves you will a) support you in your education and career and b) do anything at all (including managing a long distance relationship) to nurture his love for you.

This guy may say he loves you, but it’s clear that love is conditional. As long as you’re in town, baby, we’re good to go. But take off to another city, and we’re done.

That doesn’t sound like love to me. That sounds like a selfish little brat who is only happy when he’s getting his way.

Point him to the door. If you let yourself, you can find a man who will love you regardless of your home base.

Good luck to you!


Comment by bigmommaD.

This is a poorly camouflaged ultimatum. If this is how he handles obstacles when you are still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, imagine how he will deal with issues when you are older and you are no longer starry-eyed young lovers. Under no circumstances should you sacrifice your future for a boy (definitely not a man) who is this self-centered.

StephanieG Reply:

This is totally what I meant to say!! Well played, my friend.


Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

I’m with whoever said that there is no need for a dramatic breakup now – if you leave, then it’s over. But you should definitely leave if you are offered one of these great positions! To be fair, maybe your guy has been burned by a long-distance relationship before, maybe he just doesn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up about something that often doesn’t work, or maybe his upbringing is such that he can’t even envision such a relationship. He’s not necessarily a jerk – he just is who he is.

Desperate Dietwives Reply:

This is exactly the kind of excuses women find to cling to men who don’t care for them anymore. Then they complain about being dumped…

If a man really loves you, he moves his world to be you. End of story.


Comment by Big ol' B with a capital B.

Definitely take whatever jobs come your way. It can be up to the two of you to decide what you want to do with the relationship.

But do consider yourself lucky. He’s shown you his true colors. If he can’t handle a long distance relationship or doesn’t want one with you, at least you know where you stand with him and keep that in mind when/if you make long term plans with him. Let’s say you do stick around… do you really want to be with someone who has flat out told you he won’t work for your relationship?

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