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To move to his city, she forced the issue of moving in together

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

To move to his city, she forced the issue of moving in together

Washington: So I took a page from the Hax playbook and set clear expectations with my boyfriend regarding the future. I told him I would move to his city to live with him or we could stay long-distance, but I wouldn't move for us to not live together (which was his clear preference).

After a few weeks and absolutely no pressure from me, he decided he would rather live with me than stay long-distance.

The problem: While I'm excited about moving in with him, he's hesitant about the idea though willing to go forward with it. I understand and respect his hesitancy (we've talked about our issues and feel only time can tell if they can be resolved), but am unsure how to proceed.

Carolyn: Actually, I would have asked you, had you asked me, why you were so set on living with him. I get that moving for someone else is a big deal — which is why I would have advised that you find a way to make the new city work for you individually as well. Go only if you're ready for a new job, a new place, making new friends, new routine, new life. That goal might actually be better served by your having your own place.

Washington Again: I already looked at it from the angle of moving to his city for my own reasons, not solely to be with him, but it didn't work. I don't particularly like his city and would be kidding myself if I tried to convince myself there was any reason to move there other than to be with him. I don't think I'd be as happy if I moved there and lived on my own. I already plan to be vigilant about making my own friends, finding a good job and not revolving my life entirely around him.

Carolyn: I'm not suggesting you kid yourself, really just that you anticipate that you're moving in with someone who isn't ready to commit to you yet. Which could expose you not only to a greater risk that things won't work out, but also to greater risk that you'll be miserable if/when they don't.

While you're arguing that you've thought this through, I would advise you to give it another try by thinking it through backward — call it wishless thinking. What if he dumps you a week after you get there? Where would you want to be when that happens?

I could make arguments both ways — living with him, so you can pack up and move back; or in your own apartment, because moving back isn't always an option, given the various professional, financial or personal variables.

If you're confident in your one-week plan, then move on to anticipate getting dumped at three months, or six, or a year-plus. The investment has to make sense for any outcome, not just the one you're hoping you'll get. The Hax playbook is fat from the worst-case chapters, the blah chapters, and the wow-that's-not-what-I-had-in-mind chapters. There's also a chapter about getting exactly what you want — but only because what you want rarely turns into what you thought it would be.

To move to his city, she forced the issue of moving in together 05/22/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 22, 2009 4:30am]
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