I'm 2.5 years older than my gf. She's 18, I'm 20. She's about to leave home for the first time. The truth of the matter is that she's in a position where she needs to experience independence and college and freshman year. If we were to stay together, I can see three things happening. It is possible in the course of her new experience that she will include me in it, that she'll let me know what she's experiencing and want to keep me up to date. It is probable that she would retreat towards me, to some extent: sacrifice college life and devote herself to me. This would create some serious resentment towards me and be horrible. It is also quite possible that she retreat towards college - gain the experience she needs to discover herself and stop returning phone calls, etc. Right now I know I'm with her and I love it and that's what matters for the summer. But school is coming up and I have no idea how that will be. What I have come to realize is that she has to gain the experience of independence, college, etc., without being inhibited in any way. I don't want her to have my priorities on her mind when she should be figuring out what she wants. At this point she knows what it's like to be with me. She's had time, and she knows how it is. She knows who I am, what we're like together, etc. What I need her to do, when she gets to college, is not to be inhibited, and to experience what she needs to, etc. Then, if what we have is all that great, other things will pale in comparison. If not, then I'd be wasting my time anyways. We have this one last month together to enjoy being with each other and I'm crying right now as I write this. However, this is a stage in her life where a journey of self-discovery is necessary. Only once she has a better sense of who she is will she be able to decide on her own whether what we have is what she really wants. I'm not going to wait for her, a) because that would suck for me, b) because that would put pressure on her, and ruin the whole point of sending her loose. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile we will have this last third of the summer. But can I just say, OW it fucking hruts. I'm so in love with her.