Be yourself and your transition will be easier

From a recent online discussion:

Be yourself and your transition will be easier

Q: I am moving across the country to finally get rid of the 1,200 miles between me and my fiance; we have never not been long-distance.

I am excited, but expecting some "growing pains," as I will have to slowly give up my SSB (secret single behavior). We have lots of space if we need it, with two TVs, and we seem good at talking about things that are bothering us. Any other advice on taking this next step?

Washington

A: Why do you have to give up your SSB? I mean, if you like yodeling to greet the dawn, that might have to go, but if your idea of a rockin' night is to put on a pore mask and watch ESPN, then it's best that he knows that.

I suppose if it's something more serious, like, sleeping around to ease the pain of your fiance's absence, then that behavior would have to go, sure — but the underlying character problem would stay, so we're back to the initial point. Think showing, not hiding. You are who you are.

Which brings me to the biggest growing pain to expect: Being "excited" for day-to-day life is a naturally contradictory mind-set. I would suggest consciously letting go of expectations about the way things will be, and try just to be yourself.

Easier said than done, especially at first. But if you keep the goal in the back of your mind as a mantra — "Be yourself, Be yourself, Be yourself" — it will serve as a clutch reminder that making nice and suppressing your needs may ease the moment, but won't hold up under daily use.

Time to let your boyfriend do some growing up

Q: My boyfriend and I (both 24) have been together five years. I've had the same full-time job since we graduated two years ago, but he has not been able to hold down a job. I'm really sick of being the only breadwinner. Even if I wanted to kick him out of the house — and I don't — he comes from an extremely abusive family, and thus has nowhere to go (and no one to pay for his living and medical expenses except me).

We've talked at length about this, and bottom line: He needs to get a job. But the job market is terrible.

Baltimore

A: Do you love him as a life partner, or feel responsible, as a parent? Figure that out so this next part can be easier for you:

Either way, realize you aren't helping him in the way you seem to believe. Through material support, you're insulating him from the consequences of his actions, and that stunts the growth of all but the smallest children.

This is hardly about "the job market." He needs to grow up, get help for the family damage, accept responsibility for his life instead of dumping it on you and/or others.

And that means he needs a kick-out schedule, a tight one. He gets a job, any job, by X; he finds housing, any housing, by Y; he's out on his own regardless by Z.

He may not believe you are doing this out of love, but that's exactly why you need to do it. For him, and for you: Remain in these victim and rescuer roles, and you both risk losing yourselves.



Be yourself and your transition will be easier 07/14/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 3:52pm]

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