Dear Miss A,
I just moved in September from San Diego to Portland to be with my boyfriend of a year and a half. He goes to school in Pullman, WA (which is 6 hours away from Portland). We see each other every other weekend. Whenever we are with each other, we have such an amazing time together and it just feels so natural. I fall in love with him more everyday. The problem is I have had a hard time adjusting to Portland. I am only 19 and it is my first time away from home. Last week, I asked him if I could move in with him because I felt so lonely living at my aunt’s house. After I asked that, he told me that we are moving too fast and that he wants me to move back to San Diego because he doesn’t want me to be depressed in San Diego anymore. I don’t want to lose him. What do I do?
In Love and Confused
Dear In Love and Confused,
Thank you for writing me. I haven’t given advice in a long time, but your email pulled on my heart strings. I remember my first love and I know how all-consuming it can be. You are in a transitional phase in your life going from being a girl who lives at home with her parents to figuring out how you will manage as an adult. This can be really stressful and scary. I feel like you are clinging to your boyfriend and his path rather than starting your own. Your boyfriend has enough stress making a way for himself in the world. He isn’t ready to take on the responsibility of providing for you and making sure you are fulfilled.
To me, it sounds like your boyfriend really loves you and wants the best for you. He wants you to be you as you were when he met you. He wants to see you happy. You have lost yourself and you you were as an individual.
As Nene Leakes said on Real Housewives of Atlanta, you need to get your “happy back”. You need to figure out how to be happy. Try to remember activities from before you met your boyfriend that made you happy. What did you enjoy doing? What makes you laugh? What makes you feel like you accomplished something? What makes you feel strong? You need to find other areas of your life to focus on and build on so that you aren’t obsessed with your relationship and putting pressure on your boyfriend to make you happy. You are only 19, so I hope that you are in school and building skill sets that can help you become financially independent. Being busy will be great, as you will be too busy to be sad. Working out is also a great thing to do, as you will get endorphins and you’ll feel much better and you’ll know you are treating yourself well. I would suggest volunteering in your community. Seeing the REAL problems others are facing will put your own worries and sadness into perspective.
If you think you can do all this in Portland, then you should stay so that you can at least continue seeing your boyfriend. If you don’t think this can happen in Portland, then you will need to move back to San Diego. Wherever you go, there you are. Your problems will follow you, so it’s best to stay in one place and just deal with them head on.
I hope that this helps,