Commentary Life + Arts

Dear Denise 11: long-distance relationships, parents

Dear Denise

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

In The Cougar’s bi-weekly anonymous advice column, I talk about worldwide love and the fear of disappointing parents.  To submit your questions for future issues, click the Dear Denise button on our home page.

Dear Denise, I’m talking to this guy that lives halfway across the world, and he wants me to visit him, but I’m scared. What do I do? 

Hey, friend. I think you flying halfway around the world to meet him is a bad idea if you have just started talking. In the same way you wouldn’t meet up with a stranger super quick if you don’t know them in America, definitely don’t do it outside the country.

I know a friend who did something similar, but she did not make it just about the guy. The visit was also a girl’s trip. If you have never been to this country, maybe use the effort you are spending on getting there for good. Make a list of places you would like to see and restaurants you would like to visit. This way, just in case things don’t go as planned, you can still make the trip worth it. 

Stay safe!    

I’m worried my parents aren’t happy with the career path I’ve chosen. It’s not a promising medical or engineering career. It’s more unpredictable and not so guaranteed, but it makes me happy. What do I do?

Now, this is a good question. Am I qualified to answer this? I’m not sure, but I’m going to try. I completely understand not being in the STEM community, and as a public relations major myself; I’m all too familiar with the doubt others have about my future success. 

Firstly, I’m so happy you have been able to identify a career that makes you happy. So much of our independent adult lives are surrounded around work, so it’s extremely important to do what you love. The joy you get from that is what’s going to motivate you to continue. I know it’s probably hard to act against the wishes or expectations of your parents, but if you feel it’s the best for you, then they will have to be okay. At the end of the day, your parents will not be holding your hand and making decisions for you forever. You have to mature and make choices that benefit you, and that may not be the popular decision.  

Have a sit-down conversation with your parents and let them know you understand what you have gotten yourself into and that you are looking for their support throughout this new transition period in your life. 

Good luck!

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