My long-distance boyfriend is tired of the long distance thing, and has asked me to move in with him. He lives in Chicago, and I’m in D.C. We have dated long distance for almost two years, but never lived in the same city. I fear we may break up if I don’t move. We have talked about marriage, and I think he will propose, but he wants to make sure I’m serious about him, and make sure we can get along well living in the same town. He’s in his 30’s. I’m only 26 and have career goals, but he’s really perfect for me, and everything that I want in a husband. I’m afraid that if I don’t move to Chicago to be with him, I won’t find anyone as right for me later and will live to regret my decision. But I’m also afraid I would move there and be resentful. I really like my job here, and would miss all my friends. I want to get married and have a family eventually but I also want to enjoy my 20’s and pursue my career dreams. My mother thinks I should move, but my friends tell me to wait.
Now or Never
Dear Now or Never,
Thanks so much for writing me with your question. I agree with your boyfriend that if you are going to take things to the next level, you will need to see if you can handle living in the same town. Dating long-distance is very different from dating someone in your same city. When you date long-distance it’s like a bunch of mini-vacations together when you see each other, and you don’t get to see each other on a typical night after a stressful day at the office, or a weekend without anything particularly exciting planned. That said, I think it’s a risk for you to move to a city where you don’t have your support network of friends, and a job that you really like. A move, loss of a great job and network of friends will inevitably affect and change you, so you won’t just be dealing with the change in the relationship. Not that engagement or even marriage give you complete security, but your boyfriend hasn’t even proposed yet, which is understandable as he wants to see how you would do living in the same city.
In my opinion, you should only move to his city if it suits your career and personal goals. That way if your relationship doesn’t work out, you haven’t lost everything. If you feel that your current job makes you happy, and you want to stay with your company, you shouldn’t move. I think moving and the emotional turmoil it will place on you, will put too much pressure on your relationship. Right now, your career, your friends and your relationship all make you happy, but if you move there, you will be very much dependent on your boyfriend for your happiness.
If there is a way to convince him to move to your city that would be best for you. If neither of you want to take a risk and move for the other person, then you are right in that you all may break up. Love isn’t always enough. Timing and circumstances play a huge role. You are young, and still have a lot of growing to do as an individual. Don’t ever think that a particular guy is your last chance, or the best you will ever get.
Please write me back and let me know what you think of my advice, and what you decide to do. I wish you the best, Honey!
– Miss A