I may be chiming in after the fact, but I guess I wanted to share pieces of my situation and the way it has affected my thoughts on relationships.
I’m very similar to you in age Jadedragon – I’m 21. My fiance and I have been together since we were both 16, and are nearing the end of our third year of long distance. Next year feels like it’s going to be *easy* at this point though, because we spent this year across an ocean from each other, and saw each other for two weeks total in that time. Right now I am nearing 6 full months of separation from him. AND, I am also a future military wife-to-be. I’m so excited to marry him and share a house and be in the same location for long periods of time, but I know that separations will pop up again, in the form of deployments.
That said – I am not trying to say that at 20/21 everyone should be ready to make the kind of life choices I have! Mainly I wanted to echo some other posters and say that if you two really love each other in a way serious enough to mean forever, you can probably do long distance for longer than you think. It is work, but it also develops your communication, trust, respect, and lots of other good things – because if you don’t strengthen them, then the relationship will fall apart.
Also, I’m a firm believer in following your dreams and doing right by yourself professionally up until you do make that life commitment. Studying abroad for a year was a dream I’d had for a long time, so I knew I had to do it, even though it meant even more intense separation from my (then) boyfriend. Very very unselfishly, he understood why I needed to do it, and even though it’s been hard for him (and me!), he has stood by me 100% every step of the way.
There was a long time when I had no idea what he thought of the future – and as I thought about it more and more, it was incredibly frustrating. But one day this past September he brought it up out of the blue. He’d actually been thinking about it for a while but just needed time before he was ready to discuss it with me. Once that happened though, it only took us about two days to decide that marriage was the way to go!
Now, I am going to make many compromises – but it’s because we’ve made the forever commitment, he is in the military, and I know that he is important enough to me that I can be flexible (but not sacrifice entirely) the specifics of my professional goals. I’ve done a lot of soul searching on that, and I’m confident in it. But it wasn’t an easy process at all.
I should probably wrap it up, but I just wanted to offer some thoughts. It does sound though like the two of you might be on different wavelengths. I’d just sort of stay aware of trying to get yourselves on the same page, but in the meantime try not to worry about it too much as you do still have a year of college left. (I know that’s easier said than done, I am a planner too.) Hopefully my reflections on my own experience have offered some sort of help – good luck!