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Dear Annie: Should we go the distance?

Dear Annie: I will be moving soon — several states away — and I’m torn about the state of my relationship. I’ve been with my significant other for five years. That’s not something I can easily let go of. But we have been growing apart for some time now, and we’ve discussed that we both feel we’ll break up eventually.

Our communication is second to none. He’s game to make the move with me, but I worry that it wouldn’t be good for him — or for me — in the long run, considering we agree we don’t want to stay together all that much longer. Of course, he could move with me and find self-growth opportunities in our new place of residence. That part can happen independent of me, and our current relationship, should it come to an end.

But I feel guilty letting him make that jump when it may be wiser in the long run for us to go our separate ways. This we’ve talked about, too. Like I said, awesome communication. Any wisdom on how we should handle this? — Torn Traveler

Dear Torn Traveler: Breaking up with a partner is never easy, especially one you have been with for five years and have awesome communication with. If you both have agreed that you don’t plan to stay together much longer, then why do you want him to move with you? Of course, it’s a free country, and if he wants to follow you, that’s his choice. But you would be wise not to encourage or discourage him either way.

If you think he wants to follow you because he wants a longer-term relationship, and you want to end it, then you must have a clear and direct conversation with him about the fact that your future plans do not include his involvement in your life. That would be honest and “awesome” communication.

Dear Annie: This is about your objection to those times when the bride and groom push wedding cake into each other’s faces. It seems to me that the writer who objects to this, and your reply in support of him, are rather selfish. The bride and groom have been through weeks of planning, a long ceremony, the proper dinner, toasts, photos and wedding lines, all to make a presentation to the state, their families, their friends and the church, that they are committed.

After weeks of stress to please others, it is fine for the bride and groom to relax and let their hair down. A consensual face painting with cake is the couple being themselves, having fun, and showing the crowd a playful side. This playful side is a better demonstration of love than a stodgy ceremony. No damage done.

The writer seems more concerned about appearances than substance, which misses the whole point of a committed loving relationship; for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in happy and in sad, in hard work and in play. Let’s not omit the play! — Playful

Dear Playful: I’m printing your letter because I appreciate your reminder about the importance of substance, rather than appearances, in relationships.

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