Welcome back from spring break! Hopefully you spent the past two weeks reuniting and relaxing with the people you love. If that didn’t work out, and you returned to campus feeling heartbroken, confused or both, you’ve come to the right place. As promised, our topic this week is love. In case you forgot, this is how the advice column works: all questions are anonymously sent in and community members from People Plus—a community recreation center for older adults in Brunswick—write back with their advice. At the end of this article, you will also see a special submission about one Bowdoin love story.
My roommate recently showed me a collection of interviews by David Heller entitled “Love is Like a Crayon Because it Comes in All Colors: Children on Love.” In it, a nine-year-old named Shari wrote that, “it’s probably wonderful to fall in love. It’s like you see rainbows all the time.” Eight-year-old Gina wrote “love was created because it makes you feel warm all over, and they didn’t always have electric heat or fireplaces or even stoves in their houses.” Now, let’s look at what people who have actually experienced romantic love have to say.
Next issue, we will talk about self-doubt. Feeling guilty about your legacy status? Overthinking every decision you make? If you can relate, stay tuned!
Q: When do I know if my partner is ‘the one’?
“When you need help, they are there. When you need a hand to hold, you want their hand. When you want a partner for life, when their needs are more important than yours and you willingly put them first!”
“Perfect love casts out fear. If there are any questions or thoughts that are negative, wait.”
“You and the partner feel like one. There is no ‘the one.’ There is only one (you and [them]).”
“I can’t answer this one very well because after two 20-year marriages and a 14-year relationship, I still haven’t found the ‘one.’ Maybe you can only tell if it was the ‘one’ after the fact. My feeling is that each relationship is special and each is likely part of the ‘one.’”
“If your partner is ‘Mr. Right,’ you won’t have to question it.”
“If you can make each other laugh and you both can talk about anything to each other.”
“It will either happen or it won’t.”
Q: Do I stay with my boyfriend if I’m going abroad?
“Long distance relationships are tricky, and trips abroad tend to change us in significant ways. You may be an entirely different person after something that life-changing. One thing you can do is write letters and share your experiences. If you feel different during the trip, let the boyfriend know with a thoughtful letter.”
“No. It depends on how long. Talk to him and see how he feels. Be with your feelings.”
“If staying with your boyfriend will prevent you from exploring other relationships, then no. You could tell him that you’ll stay in contact but want to be open to meeting new people.”
“NO! It all depends on how well and how long you know him. Be sure to have enough money to live separately, just in case.”
“No. Because you might meet someone else.”
Q: How long should I wait before pursuing love again after being heartbroken? How do I even find that?
“Take time to understand what went wrong. Learn the lesson. Admit your part. Begin again to find a best friend and be a best friend to many. Always be honest. Be who you are.”
“Take each day as it comes. When you feel like pursuing love, do it. Love has no rules.”
“How badly broken? 6 weeks or 6 days or never.”
“Love will find you. You don’t have to go looking for it.”
“I think this is different for everyone. There certainly are problems with jumping into a new relationship too quickly, but I think it is [an] even bigger problem to stop pursuing love!”
A note about one Bowdoin love story:
“I married Christian Derbyshire, who did Bowdoin’s SuperSnack in Thorne cafeteria every weekend from 2005 to 2015. His father, Joseph Derbyshire, was Bowdoin’s head librarian back in the ’60s. I met Chris at Midcoast Hunger Prevention in January 2005. It was love at first sight because he was exactly like my father, an electrician. His home was filled with radios and TVs like my home as a child. Chris died December 20, 2015, and Bowdoin College all attended his funeral—especially his supervisor, Mark Dickey. So I will be thanking Bowdoin College for my years with Chris Derbyshire.” – Lucy