Turning Green

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for just three months. I really like her, a

lot, as in she could be “the one” even though I never used to believe in

“the one.” But it’s all very new and she just found out she had a

chance to go to Italy for four months because someone dropped out of

a limited exchange opportunity. I want to be supportive and don’t

want her angry at me that she turned down something she wanted for.

But at the same time I know I am gonna be jealous at the idea of

her over there being chased by handsome Italians, and if she is dating

I want to be able to date too. I am angry and trying not to let it show

and trying to figure out a way to be okay with the inevitable. Got any


Turning Green


Dear Turning Green:

If it’s real, it’ll survive four months. But you’re going to have to be

able to talk about it before and during, and have some plan for after.

If she’s not planning on moving to Italy forever this has a fine chance

of working. Clearly it’s not the optimal way to begin a romance, but if

this has the staying power to be a possible basis for a lifelong

connection, then it can also be a great opportunity to learn how to

communicate in different ways and through more difficult life shifts

than early dating months tend to impose.


Be happy you’re in the 21st century and not the 19th Instead of letters

and snail mail, you get skype and ichat. For virtually free you can see

one another’s worlds in real time, talk and connect about your day,

and get the reinforcement that facial expressions provide. Re the

dating question, agree that you’ll both be able to date but you will give

each other fair warning if something looks more serious than dinner

and a movie. Agree to talk regularly at a time that doesn’t impede a

full life on either end. Talk and share in exactly the ways you would if

you were together (touching notwithstanding). If you can possibly

swing a trip to travel together at the end of her sojourn, do it. If not,

have a plan for re-entry here, and a nice long weekend together about

two weeks after she gets back. If neither cancels you should get back

on track.