Dear Emma: What advice do you have for a hopeless romantic in today’s world where hookups and “talking” are becoming popular? –Searching for Long-Term

Dear Searching for Long-Term: It sounds like you could use a Hallmark movie right about now, but seriously, I understand your frustration. It’s hard to read people and know what they are looking for in a relationship. I think the first step is recognizing and accepting that we do live in a casual world of relationships. It is important to realize that some people just want a casual, hookup situation, and we shouldn’t judge them. Everyone is at a different stage in his or her relationship story, and you are searching for the long-term stage. My super cheesy advice is: Don’t give up on love. You never know when you might meet that perfect someone. Often, it is said that you meet your perfect match when you would least expect it. Be true to yourself and stick to your values; don’t let someone try to change you because in the end, all of the waiting and frustration will be worth it when you meet “the one.”

Dear Emma: How do you maintain a friendly and appropriate relationship with an ex? –Friendly Ex

Dear Friendly Ex: This is one of those—it depends—situations. In general, I think it is easier to maintain a friendship with an ex if you guys started out as friends. When your romantic relationship is based on a foundation of friendship, you still have that friendship foundation to go back to even if your romantic relationship ends. This, again, depends on how your relationship ended. I have not seen very many cases in which horrible breakups have led to a friendly relationship. Based on your question, I am hoping that your breakup was mutual, and you are looking to stay friends with this person because they mean a lot to you even though your relationship did not work out. My suggestion would be to reach out to this person and explain that you want to remain friends. Together, you guys can set friendship boundaries and try to return to your friendship days. This won’t be easy, and it will probably be awkward at first, but it is worth the effort to save a friendship.

Dear Emma: How do you deal with long distance relationships while in college? –Long Distance Blues

Dear Long Distance Blues: This is a tough one. Long distance relationships are sometimes success stories and sometimes not. How do you make your long distance relationship a success story? To be completely honest, I don’t have a lot of experience in this area. Every long distance relationship needs the same things as any other relationship: communication, love, and support. If you and your significant other can provide these things for each other long distance, then you should be golden. A relationship starts to fall apart when one of these pieces is neglected. Communication is the key to long distance relationships. Texting is fine and all, but my suggestion would be to find a time each week that the two of you could video chat for an hour. Having a designated time to chat will go a long way in helping your long distance relationship succeed.


Dear Emma Disclaimer: The advice found in Dear Emma columns comes from my life experience as a sophomore in college. The advice is just that—advice. I hope that it proves helpful to you, the reader, but please, do not take it as instruction or the only possible answer to your problems. Happy reading!