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Monday, May 6, 2013

Commit to the Relationship or Go Study Abroad?

Dear Bro Jo,

What is your opinion when it comes to studying abroad while in a committed relationship?

I'm 20 and my boyfriend is 25.

I'm thinking of going to Scotland or Ireland for the fall semester.

My boyfriend isn't a member yet, but he has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, temples, and many other important tenets of the Church.

The point is, we wouldn't even be able to get married until at least the very end of the year anyhow (a year after he joins so we can get married in the temple).

Is it selfish of me to pursue my dream of going to school in Europe?

This is the only chance I really have to go because I'm going to be getting my masters in American History.

My boyfriend has told me that if he wasn't in the picture he'd tell me to go, but the selfish part of him doesn't want to be apart from me for so long. He's also afraid that I'll fall in love with Scotland/Ireland and not want to come back/be happy in the US.

He says he's sure that we can make it work since our relationship is so strong and we can use Skype and things.

Now I'm afraid I'm the one that's being selfish, though, by wanting to go overseas for a full semester and, in the process, end up leaving him here at home.

What do you think, Brother Johnston?

Am I being selfish by trying to go through with this and study abroad for a semester?

- Feeling Guilty

Dear Feeling,

He's not your husband.

He's not your fiancé.

He's not even a prospective Eternal Companion yet.  (Intentions are great, but lacking action they mean nothing.)

Go to Europe. Have a great time!

Learn a lot.

Frankly, I'm not a big fan of you being in a committed relationship with someone who doesn't meet the "Temple-worthy Priesthood Holder" criteria.

Once he becomes that, then we can talk, but until then I think you're wasting your time. 

Who knows. 

Perhaps while you're gone he'll realize that its past time for him to get his spiritual act together.

But I think you should give him the "it’s not fair for us to act like we're still a couple while I'm gone, and until you're ready to marry in the Temple this relationship can't possible go where I want it to go" speech.

Have fun at school!

Perhaps your absence will inspire him to act on that which he knows is true.

I hope so!

- Bro Jo

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