My long-term boyfriend is nervous about what will happen if I relocate with him. How do you decide whether to move across country with a significant other? We have been together for over two and a half years. We are generally very happy — good romantic life, we get along famously, have a lot of fun, and are best friends. He is 28 and I am 24.
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After two years of dissatisfaction with his job, my boyfriend is finally taking steps to move back to his hometown and find a job that he really likes there. I have lived in his hometown previously, and I loved it. His career is one where he has far fewer options about location than I do. I can live basically anywhere. The crux of the issue is that he has expressed some doubts about me moving across the country with him. When he explains it, he says that he would love to have me with him and still be with me, but he is still not certain he’s ready to be married and would feel more pressured to take that step if I moved across the country. He also worries that we would break up, and I would be stuck in a city where I have a not-so-big network. My take is that we’ve been together for a long time, are happy, can see each being the person for the long haul, and moving there is worth a shot. Additionally, there is some resentment from me because I feel like he is trying to make the decision about whether to move for me. At the same time, if I moved across the country, I would want to live with him, and he might not be ready for that, and I don’t want to put undue pressure. Is moving across the country with an semi-ambivalent partner a bad idea? If I were to move, what should I be thinking about and expecting?
Don’t go. He doesn’t want you to go with him. You need to break up.
Wicked harsh, right? Sorry. He wasn’t like, “Hey, Suzie, I’m thinking of moving back to Topeka for my career. Would you ever be open to coming with me? I’d hate to be without you.” This is what someone says when he wants to be with someone.
This is what someone says when he doesn’t want to be with someone: “I’m moving. I don’t want you to come with me because I don’t want to live with you and I don’t want to marry you. Additionally, I’m thinking that we might break up shortly after our arrival in Topeka, and I would feel really guilty.”
You say in your letter that you “can see each being the person for the long haul.” Well, not really. You can, but he can’t. He’s talking about breaking up! He doesn’t want you to come with him! Granted, we’re crazy impulsive people who are notorious for last-minute, life-changing, overly-dramatic moving situations, but a long time ago, back before we got married or even engaged, my husband and I had a situation. We hadn’t been dating long, we both needed to move out of our apartments (which were in different cities), neither of us were employed, and we weren’t sure what we were going to do next. There was some discussion about what we should do (Let’s move to Italy and become grape stompers! Let’s rent a bison and ride it across Canada!) but we never once questioned whether or not we should be together. We just assumed it would be so.
This is how it should be with your boyfriend, especially after such a long period of time. Let him go. Make a clean break. Be grateful that you’re in a city where you’re happy and you have friends to support you and make you vodka sundaes when you get sad, and move on. He wants to.