She went to college, she went wild

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Male
I've been going out with my girlfriend for over a year now. Everything was going fine up until she went away to college. All of the things that I really loved about her started to dissapear and all of the qualms I had with her started to escalate. She would become vaugue on the phone, she would dissapear for nights on end and not tell me where she went or what she did. She started drinking EVERY night and also began smoking pot. I have a rather lengthy list of morals, but have up to that point been willing to compromise on many things.
The drug issue really got to me. We discussed it and we decided that, for me, she wouldnt do it anymore.

Things started to get good again but a few weeks later it was happening again. This time she denied ever smoking pot and would get really upset whenever i would ask her about what she does up there. It was then that she IM'ed me and told me that she needed a break becuase my "Questioning" was making a "hard long distance relationship even harder". Now we are only 2 hours away, but I felt that if this was what she needed it was the right thing for me as well.

Not 5 days go by before she calls me saying how im the best thing thats ever happended to her and she doesnt want to loose me. Once again, we are together and I am happy. Now throughout all of this she has always been fond of little rememberances like emails entitled "your the only one for me" and "dont cheat on me baby, i would never cheat on you" Yeah, I know, Bells and Whistles. But Im not that bright. Or at least I wasnt until I discovered from some very reliable sources that she has been smoking pot everyday and has been cheating on me starting from four months into our relationship. The instinces that I know about are an ex flame four months in. And 2-3 guys up at her college.

When I confronted her about it, she denied it. Me being still dumb, i believed her, until she called me crying, to confess one of the instances. Now a friend of mine had been in this situation before, so i knew that confessing to one would lead to confessing to all. Which it evenually did, after weeks of talking and saying "are you sure thats everything" only to find out the next day it was not. She now admits to everything except having had sex with them (which my sources say she has).

I was completly overwhelmed, not only because she cheated on me and lied to me, but becuase as far as i knew, she was still lying. I tell her that I need a break, to figure out if i can ever trust her, but that this was not free reign to do as we pleased, she agreed and i got a whole 3 days to myself before she called me bawling. She explained to me that she didnt like the person she has become, and she needed to figure out who she was and what she wanted to be. "I cant trust myself, how can I allow you to trust me" So now my break is shattered and she is taking hers.

Once again, 3 days go by and she calls me. She 'knows' she loves me, and hates herself for hurting me. We talk things out and make an agreement to work on things. This is where we are now, I have only been able to get by, by assuming the worst, that she is playing me and still cheating on me. She has been wonderful to me since then, for the most part. I cant talk to her about what happened or she gets pissy, I cant ask what she thinks about it cause shes "Still trying to figure things out" and other stuff like that. Her actions are less shady but i am far more willing to look closer at the times when she is not. I dont want to do that. Im just afraid that she hasnt changed anything, that she is still hanging out with all of the guys she used to, and doing all the things that she used to.

Everyone keeps telling me to dump her, that im being played. And if i hear the phrase "once a cheater always a cheater" one more time, im going to loose it. I truly love this girl and I want things to work out. I am not willing however to be played again. I just wish there were a way to see if shes honest or not. I thank you in advance. Advice
One of the great things about going to college is suddenly you're "on your own" and free to do ANYTHING you want to do. Unfortunately, if you are someone who doesn't have much center and wants to be "liked" this can easily mean that you are suddenly doing lots of things you don't want to because you want everybody to like you and go along. Girls especially can really be used by guys because they don't want to say "no", they want to be the "cool college girl".

So she's sort of drifting with the tide. She talks to you, she loves and and wants you to love her. You're her "safety net". But she hangs out with her friends, and they say "Wanna have a joint" and she says "sure". A guy comes up and starts flirting with her, and it makes her feel good and she doesn't want to say "go away". So in essence whatever is going on around her, she goes along with it. And then she lies to you because she wants you to like her too.

I'm not saying this is good. Obviously there are millions of girls out there who are able to do what is best for them and not what is best for others. Maybe your girlfriend had overprotective parents who never let her think for herself so that when she was "set loose in the world" she had no self esteem or self reliance to hold her together. She is learning first-hand just how destructive it can be if you do things to please others and not because it's good for YOU. Who knows, maybe after this trial by fire she will learn that incredibly important lesson and be a better person going forward.

But definitely with all the women out there who DO stand up for what they know is right, she's not high on the maturity scale. If she DOES grow and mature here it could still be a many year process that involves her making a ton of mistakes along the way, which could continually hurt you. The fact that she refuses to talk about what she has done because it's painful is a REALLY bad sign. Because the most important thing in any relationship is honesty and trust, and that only happens through communication. If she's unable to talk about what happened before, how can you possibly trust her to talk about anything going forward? And if she can't tell you about these "reasonably minor" things (in the grand scheme of things) that she's doing, what if she fell into something MORE serious like cocaine or a rape or something? How could you possibly trust her to tell you about THAT when she can't even tell you about her more minor transgressions?

In the end, these situations she is going through are sort of a 'training / testing ground' for real life and she is failing them all completely. And instead of learning and going forward from that, she is falling back on deception as the answer instead of being honest with you and accepting the consequences of her actions. She is seeing how "wanting others to like her" is screwing up her life - and then she turns around and "wants you to like her" and therefore lies to you. So she isn't learning anything at all.

I have advice on serious talks here -

sit down with her, have a serious talk, and tell her that either she commit 100% to full honesty and openness, or you will need to love her from afar. If she is going to be your PARTNER you need to be fully trusting, fully honest, about all things past, present and future. That is a solid responsibility and commitment. If she can't do it because she can't handle the responsibility, then you will love her - but as a great friend. A relationship is about honesty and trust, and either she IS those things and in a relationship, or she is NOT those things and is not.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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