Archived Story

Little things keep relationships together

Published 5:00pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Nice Advice, by Leah Albert

Dear Leah,

My girlfriend has been seeing other guys and I don’t know what to do. She’s the first girlfriend I have had (we are teenagers) and I want to be the only one, but she doesn’t seem as serious as I am. Should I just end it with her?

— Perplexed


Dear Perplexed,

The sweet allure of our first romance is one that stays with us for the rest of our lives, regardless of how that romance turns out. Before you decide to just end it, there are a few things you must ask yourself first.

How long have you two been together? If you have only been together for a short time, then maybe you two aren’t ready for a serious relationship with one another at this time. It does not mean you won’t ever be ready for a relationship with one another in the future. However, perhaps at this point in your lives, neither of you is in the right state mentally or emotionally for a steady relationship.

If you have been together for a while then it’s time to take a look at your relationship. How often do you go out on dates together? Keep in mind a date does not equal spending money. One of the best dates of my life was to a free art museum. A great idea for a romantic and cheap date is to have a picnic in a park. You can visit a neat online site for other ideas as well:

If you do spend quality time together, then consider how you treat her. Do you make sure to show her that she’s important to you? Do you compliment her and make her feel like she matters to you? What happens quite frequently in relationships whether we’re 60 or 16 is that we tend to take our partner for granted. We think, “Oh, of course she knows I think she’s beautiful. I’m with her, aren’t I?”

What everyone who is in a committed relationship needs to remember is it’s not the big gestures that keep our partner happy. It’s the little ones. It’s writing her a note and slipping it in her locker telling her that you think she looks exceptionally pretty today or you’re proud of her for getting a good grade on the paper she was struggling with. Perhaps her eye is wandering not because she doesn’t share your feelings about the relationship, but because she thinks you aren’t as happy as you used to be.

Another thing to keep in mind is as we remain in relationships, whether romantic or platonic, each person in the relationship grows. The question is do you grow together or grow apart? What do you two have in common? What do you talk about when you are alone? Do you sit in silence watching TV or listening to music? Or do you sit and discuss the future? Do you think about college? Where you want to live after you graduate? What will your career be?

I’m not saying every single conversation you two have needs to be deep and meaningful. But every now and then a serious conversation is essential to any relationship.

An extremely important thing to keep in mind is you are both quite young. You are just entering the world. You should be with someone who, in a room full of crowded people, only has eyes for you. But you have plenty of time.

It’s very likely you haven’t met the person who is destined to be your partner as you navigate through this crazy thing called life. Don’t rush into a serious relationship if either of you aren’t ready because it could impact the other choices you have, such as finishing school, traveling, a meaningful career, etc.

If in fact she is not the one for you, keep this in mind as you begin to heal and move on: You will love again. The world is full of amazing people who are going to come and go throughout your life. Some will stay permanently and some will only pass through. Whether they remain in your life or only appear briefly, all will leave a lasting impact on you.


Leah Albert is a fictitious character. She likes wine and writing. Don’t ask her to be a matchmaker. Do send your questions to Leah at